The Origins of Our Language of Love

by | Feb 11, 2023 | Larry's Observations

Photo by Jose Escobar

The Origins of Our Language of Love

by | Feb 11, 2023 | Larry's Observations

Photo by Jose Escobar

Where does this notion of love, affinity, affection come from? Is it instinct or something from a higher power? Well now that you asked...

Welcome to OBS Post 14! To those of you who wrote me regarding your passions, thank you so very much. I enjoyed reading every one of them. You are more than welcome to keep sending them into me. Here’s a couple of samples, name change to protect the not so innocent.

RR wrote: Mine, right now, is running. I don’t know why, nor do I understand it. I only know how it makes me feel.

WL wrote: Larry, this brought out the passion in me! Living a happy, fulfilling, and passionate life and helping others to too. I like creating beauty and observing beauty along my path.

SM wrote: This really shifts my whole view of life!

AG wrote: My passion is helping people. There is nothing like lifting someone up so they can see how good they actually are and stripping away the layers—some self-imposed and some imposed by others but layers, nonetheless, revealing the true being. There really is nothing like it.

NS wrote: This is wonderful. Today my passions are for justice. Sometimes it is for silence. For joy in old age. For my husband’s body. Sometimes I have to ask god to help me quiet my passions.

Tell me your passions—I love hearing from you.

This week’s OBS Post is all about love and other things. It has been proven and stated many times, that love is a very important component of civilization. It is the glue that holds it together. While I do at times wonder about how civil this society is, a little more love won’t hurt. It surely needs much more of this illusive element called love (Luv would be its elemental listing on the chart of elements). The Beatles said “All you need is love,” and we believed them. While Tina Turner asked, “What’s love got to do with it?” Just about everything, me thinks. Especially this type of love of humanity often disguised as kindness is most important in troubled times! We need more of that illusive element—Luv in our diet that’s for sure.

Where does this notion of love, affinity, affection come from? Is it instinct or something from a higher power? Well now that you asked (you did ask?) what’s the word of the week? It’s LOVE. From where did love spring? Per Collins Dictionary love “a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person. a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.” I would like to add humanity to this list and let’s not forget our affection for sports teams, bands, art, and other assorted things we are endeared to.

Taking it back to its origins, the English word love comes from the Old English word lufu meaning deep affection. Lufu is linked to the Old Frisian word luve, Old German luba and the Gothic lubo. The Indo-European root comes from the Latin lubet meaning pleasant, and lubido meaning desire, in Sanskrit it derives from lubhyati, also meaning desire. That about sums it up, no? I love knowing where words come from.

Below you will find my poem on the subject of love, all types of love.


The ancient Greeks speak of three different categories of love: Eros, Philia and Agape. Eros is the feeling of love that exists between two people. It is the type of love that burns with intensity. After Eros has burned itself out, Philia must be present for the relationship to endure. This is the kind of love felt between friends, the kind that commands mutual respect. Agape is one step beyond. It is one of complete and total love, and manifestations of such unconditional love, enlightenment, are rare. To this balance I add the final measure of Infinity slightly different from the others as it should be.


the passion ever
bright always
dawning sun
mist of salvation


the bond ever
affinity always
magnetic reply
mist of touch


the distance ever
contact always
immediate universe
mist of time


the love
we have without
where the mist
beyond friendship
into totality

I hope you enjoyed my poem on love. But what about these other things, you may ask? Well, how about kissing. That’s pretty much an expression of love and I’m sure as we roll along here, we just might find a few more things. But as for kissing—Ahhhhh, that is a subject of great desire.

We kiss our spouses, lovers, babies, children, relatives, and friends. The bible says to love thy neighbor, which probably means we kiss them too. A kiss is the touch with the lips as a sign of love, sexual desire, reverence, or greeting. We don’t usually kiss our enemies. But then again there is that fatal kiss of death some of us are not so fond of. The first recorded human kiss stems back to the Vedic Sanskrit scriptures of 1500 B.C. It derives from the German küssen.

Don’t mean to go too academic with you. I just love kissing.

Besides kissing there is hugging. Hugging is big in some cultures and families. In my family not so much, which is weird cuz I have always been a big hugger. Squeezing someone in my arms to express my affection has always been important to me. Hug comes from the Norwegian hugga to comfort or console.

Is it not amazing where words come from, words that affect us every day? It amazes me. I suppose that wraps it up for this edition of love. I wish you much lubido with lots of küssen and hugga.

Lawrence George Jaffe

Lawrence George Jaffe

Lawrence George Jaffe is an internationally known and an award-winning writer, author, and poet. For his entire professional career, Jaffe has been using his art to promote human rights. He was the poet-in-residence at the Autry Museum of Western Heritage, a featured poet in Chrysler’s Spirit in the Words poetry program, co-founder of Poets for Peace (now Poets without Borders) and helped spearhead the United Nations Dialogue among Civilizations through Poetry project which incorporated hundreds of readings in hundreds of cities globally using the aesthetic power of poetry to bring understanding to the world.

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