Mom, author, nurse, teacher . . . reading the world around me

Since I’m on a vocabulary kick…how about mizpah?

So, a few days ago I blogged about Hiraeth, the sense of nostalgia one feels at remembering a former home. I thought it was a beautiful word, and I easily related to it. Today, I saw another word pop up on a Facebook share. It is Mizpah. You pronounce this one just like it looks, “Miz-pa”. Unlike Hiraeth, which is Welsh, Mizpah is a Hebrew word. It describes a deep emotional bond between people, especially those separated by distance or death. 

I have so many friends with deployed husbands, who miss them terribly. Here is an ancient word that describes that deep bond they feel even while separated by a great distance. Then the last two words of the definition came to mind…or death. Oh how I know that pain! I had a tremendous bond with my grandmother. Her death when I was thirteen left me an emotional wreck! 

So here in the course of a week, I’ve come across two formally unknown (to me) words that perfectly describe the feelings I have when I think of my grandma. Hiraeth for the yearning for her home in the mountains. And Mizpah for the incredible bond I feel with her even after her death. 

I think I’ll have to start hunting for these old words that we don’t use often in everyday English communication. They somehow capture my feelings more than our modern words!

I’d love to hear what you think on this. Mizpah? Does it bring anyone to mind?


Hiraeth? Why have I never known of this term until now?


Life Lessons Learned on the Prairie


  1. Tim and I had mizpah charms when we were teenagers, they have the inscription: “The Lord watch between me and the while we are absent one from another”, from Genesis 31:49

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