Etymology
Advertisement
neurotic (adj.)

1775, "acting upon or stimulating the nerves," from Greek neuron "nerve" (see neuro-) + -otic, as in hypnotic. Also compare neurosis. Meaning "relating to the nervous system" is by 1873. Sense of "affected by or prone to neurosis" is by 1887. The noun meaning "a neurotic person" is from 1896; earlier it meant "a drug acting on the nerves" (1660s). Related: Neurotically.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
neuroticism (n.)

"state or condition of being neurotic," 1894, from neurotic + -ism.

Related entries & more 
psychotic (adj.)

"of or pertaining to psychosis," 1889, coined from psychosis, on the model of neurotic/neurosis; ultimately from Greek psykhē "understanding, the mind (as the seat of thought), faculty of reason" (see psyche). Related: Psychotically.

Related entries & more 
hysteria (n.)

nervous disease, 1801, coined in medical Latin as an abstract noun from Greek hystera "womb," from PIE *udtero-, variant of *udero- "abdomen, womb, stomach" (see uterus). Originally defined as a neurotic condition peculiar to women and thought to be caused by a dysfunction of the uterus. With abstract noun ending -ia. General sense of "unhealthy emotion or excitement" is by 1839.

Related entries & more 
hysterical (adj.)
Origin and meaning of hysterical

1610s, "characteristic of hysteria," the nervous disease originally defined as a neurotic condition peculiar to women and thought to be caused by a dysfunction of the uterus; literally "of the womb," from Latin hystericus "of the womb," from Greek hysterikos "of the womb, suffering in the womb," from hystera "womb," from PIE *udtero-, variant of *udero- "abdomen, womb, stomach" (see uterus). Compare hysteria.

Meaning "very funny" (by 1939) is from the notion of uncontrollable fits of laughter. For "inclined to hysteria," American English formerly had the colloquial hystericky (1792). Related: Hysterically.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
angst (n.)

1944, from a specialized use in psychology of German Angst "neurotic fear, anxiety, guilt, remorse," from Old High German angust, from Proto-Germanic *angustu-(source also of Old Frisian ongost, Old High German angust, Middle Dutch ancst "fear," also Old English enge, Old Saxon engi, Gothic aggwus "narrow"), from PIE *anghosti-, suffixed form of root *angh- "tight, painfully constricted, painful." Compare anger.

George Eliot used it (in German) in 1849, and it was popularized in English early 20c. by translation of Freud's work, but as a foreign word until 1940s. Old English had a cognate word, angsumnes "anxiety," but it died out.

Related entries & more 
paraphilia (n.)

"sexual perversion, deviate desires," 1913, from German paraphilie (by 1903), apparently coined by Austrian ethnologist Friedrich Salomo Krauss (1859-1938) as meaning "inverted erotic instinct," from Greek para- "beside, aside" (see para- (1)) + philos "loving" (see -phile). Popularized in psychology circles in English from c. 1918 in translation of work by Viennese-born psychotherapist Wilhelm Stekel (1868-1940); not in widespread use until 1950s. It was added to the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" in 1980 as a morally neutral and more dignified label than perversion, to which it is nonetheless etymologically similar. Related: Paraphiliac; paraphilic.

The neurotic whose accompanying fancies always lead into forbidden ground (and this is what constitutes the guilt feeling of pollutions) fights against masturbation [pollutions] because it is connected with incest fancies, criminal desires, perversions, or as F.S. Krauss calls them, paraphilias. [Wm. J. Robinson, M.D., "Masturbation — Injurious or Harmless," "American Journal of Urology," May 1913]
Krauss bereichert uns um das neue Wort "Paraphilie" anstelle der "Psychopathie," ein fortschrittlich-oppositionelles Wort zwar, aber auch nur ein Wort und als Aufklärung etwa so bedeutsam wie "Seitensprünge." ["Rezensionen" über die "Anthropophyteia Jahrbücher," Leipzig, 1907]
Related entries & more