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Welcome to Weird Word Wednesday! Today’s word elicits a great big “awwww” because of its warm, fuzzy nature. That word is arctophile. The suffix “phile” is a Greek word meaning “lover of”or “enthusiast of,” and you’ve probably seen it in other words like “bibliophile,” (lover of books) or “turophile,” (a lover of cheese).

teddy bears are collected and loved by many people

Gund teddy bear

But if you’re an arctophile, you love teddy bears, those squishy, cuddly little toys that make you smile. I think, deep down, we’re all arctophiles. Who can resist? Not our daughter – she’s been an ardent arctophile since she was little. We have seven or eight huge plastic storage bins, filled to the gills with her collection of teddy bears. Thank goodness she’s not Jackie Miley, the South Dakota woman who’s amassed over 7,000 teddy bears!

I’ll share the history of the teddy bear here. It’s rather coincidental that the first teddy bear was sold on February 15, 1903, the day after Valentine’s Day. These little guys have always been associated with love! And sometimes money – in 2000, a Steiff bear, made with the Louis Vuitton logo, was auctioned for $2.1 million. I don’t think our daughter will be that fortunate if she decides to auction off her bear collection!

Our language  has adapted many words with the Greek ending “phile.” There’s “ichthyophile,” or “lover of fish” and “oenophile,” a “lover of wines.” One of my favorites is “batrachophile,” a “lover of amphibians.” A full list of these fun words can be found here – enjoy!

teddy bears make great friends and toysFrogs may not be as cuddly as teddy bears, but they do have a certain charm. I’ll leave you with a quote from Teddy Roosevelt, the man who unknowingly inspired the arctophile craze:

“It is better to be faithful than famous.”