The Book of Human Emotions: From Ambiguphobia to Umpty - 154 Words from Around the World for How We Feel - Tiffany Watt Smith 2016
The urge to settle permanently in one place can be felt as a quiet hum. Even wanting to stay in a job can bring some often much-needed reassurance and stability to our lives—even if we might worry we’re being a bit unambitious. According to the phrenologists, a group of early-Victorian scientists who thought they could detect personality traits by examining a person’s skull (see: PHILOPROGENITIVENESS), the urge to find a groove and stay in it was innate. They called it “inhabitiveness” and defined it as a “love of continuity, of endurance, of sameness, of permanency of occupation.”
“Inhabitiveness” itself lacked staying power, and by the middle of the century had faded into obscurity, partly because phrenology itself lost scientific credibility. But perhaps this loss of a word for the pleasures of permanency can also be traced to the enthusiastic response—by some Victorians at least—to the ideals of dynamism and mobility, and the idea that humans are not only hardwired to nest, but also to discover and roam too (see: WANDERLUST).
For other ways of feeling at home see: HIRAETH; HOMEFULNESS; HOMESICKNESS.