Did you know there’s a difference between the words “jealous” and “envious”?
I didn’t until today!
I’ve been reading this random blog called Filling My Patch of Sky. I’m not even sure who the author is, but she writes about faith and grammar, so what’s not to like?! Anyway, she has Wednesday word posts called “Which Word Wednesday” where she takes a look at two closely related words and determines their differences. This week was “jealous” vs. “envious.”
Consider the definitions of these two adjectives from the Oxford American Dictionary:
envious :: adjective
feeling or showing envy
envy :: noun
a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck
jealous :: adjective
fiercely protective or vigilant of one’s rights or possessions; an intense effort to hold on to what one possesses
What we find is that one word describes feelings about a lack (envious) and the other describes feelings about an abundance you want to guard (jealous).
Envy is about keeping up with the Joneses—you see what others have and want it for yourself.
Jealousy is about guarding your territory to keep those pesky Joneses off your turf—others see what you have and want to take it from you. (This sounds a bit more like paranoia than need be, but you get the idea!)
So I thought this was interesting and posted a link to my Facebook, where one of my LT friends Kelsey commented:
That’s why I love thinking about our jealous God. 🙂
Isn’t that great?! Our god is jealous, as in fiercely protective or vigilant of one’s rights or possessions jealous. Legit.
In other news, if the abbreviated phrase “totes jeal” wasn’t already grammatically incorrect enough, it probably should be “totes envi” in most cases. Just so you know.