The Book of Human Emotions: From Ambiguphobia to Umpty - 154 Words from Around the World for How We Feel - Tiffany Watt Smith 2016
In the early nineteenth century there was a fashion for divining personality traits by examining the lumps and bumps on a person’s skull. The new science was called Phrenology. In drawing rooms up and down the country, Victorians felt their own and each other’s heads, hoping to unlock the secrets of their souls. One of the qualities phrenologists thought they could detect was the peculiar-sounding philoprogenitiveness. Early exponents of the science, such as Johann Gaspar Spurzheim and George Combe, defined it as “the glowing impulse of parental love.” Others spoke of it as a desire—part emotion, part instinct—to nurture small and vulnerable creatures, whether family pets or bawling babies.
Here’s how to find yours. Place two fingers in the hollow where the skull meets the back of the neck, and move them about an inch upward and to the right. Is there a ridge or a bump there? If so, you have a pronounced organ of philoprogenitiveness. And if the lump is large and you happen to be a parent? Then the phrenologists advised restraining yourself from the urge to coddle your children—not, to be clear, for their sake, but for your own, lest you become “a slave to maternal duties.”*
See also: AMAE; NAKHES.