It seems that all good things are amoral. The word hedonism, now touted by religious conservatives as paramount with the sin of lust and just general wantonness. Well, it wasn't always like that. In days of yore, hedonism was an actual philosophical system where some ancient Greek thinkers decided that, in an absurdist sentiment, there was no purpose to life and therefore we should enjoy ourselves as much as possible, because WHY NOT. So hedonism was borrowed from the much older Greek term in the nineteenth century. That term is from earlier hedone ("pleasure"), which is curious in its own way. While it perhaps does not directly derive from Greek hedus, "sweet", it is at least an identical twin, for both are entwined and originated from Proto-Indo-European swad, meaning "sweet". The connection is obvious; that which is sweet is also pleasant.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a rising junior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.