Just another Guide to Know thy -ISMS

Last Wednesday, October 10, I had no class. So, I used the opportunity to read books. To read books not in my home but in a supposed to be not a public reading place. It is good to know that this store allows people to read, to know.

Yes, I was in the Fully-Booked in Bonifacio Global City. I used to go there just to read and used my spare time in doing meaningful activity.

When I entered the store, I immediately went upstairs because the second floor is my favorite part of the bookstore. I walked and found myself scanning the shelves in humor and novelty section. My eyes saw this particular book about –isms. I found it very interesting so I took it for a sit.

The title of the book was very eye-catching. It was, “Isms: From Autoeroticism to Zoroastrianism–an Irreverent Reference”.

Some of the –isms were very funny and some were serious. Because I really found it very good, I list down some of the –isms.

(The word and the meanings, word by word, put in here are all from the author of the book who was Gregory Bergman, a Philosophy graduate.)

I didn’t buy the book because I have no Php 700-800. And all I did was to capture the book using my camera on phone.

-ISMS defined

According to Bergman’s introduction (2006), “-ism is primarily used as a suffix for words which entail a set philosophical, political or religious beliefs. Yet this suffix can also be used in a variety of concepts, including medical condition, a movement in the arts, an attribute, an act or procedure, a mode of existence, a discriminatory predisposition, a type of speech characteristic or a theory after an individual.”


Gregory Bergman arranged the –isms in alphabetical order for easy reading (isn’t obvious?). Here are some of the –isms. (By the way, I only put in here the meaning of the –isms. The author discussed it very well underneath each word. If you didn’t satisfy in reading this post because only selected –isms are put in here, just buy the book.)


Abolitionism – the doctrine that calls for the abolition of slavery.

Absolutism – a political theory holding that all power should be vested in one ruler or other authority.

Agrammatism – the pathological inability to used words in grammatical sequence.

Alphabetism – the discrimination against persons whose surnames begin with a letter that falls in the latter half of the alphabet.

– the preferential treatment of persons whose surnames start with a letter at the beginning of the alphabet.

Anachronism – something that is out of date, especially a person or cultural practice that belongs to an earlier era.

Antidisestablismentarianism – opposition to the belief that a nation should no longer have an official church sponsored or backed by the state.

Antiquarianism – the study or collection of antiquities.

  • “An antiquarian is anyone who studies or collects the great works of ancient time.” (Bergman, 2006)

Aphorism – a brief statement that is intrusive or pithy.

Atomism – the philosophical theory that the universe is comprise of small, invisible units or particles.

  • “A Sociological Atomism is the idea that individual choice motivated by self-interest is the sole basis of relations among people.” (Bergman, 2006)
  • “A Logical Atomism has a basic premise that the structure of language reveals the metaphysical reality of both universal and particular phenomena.” (Bergman, 2006). While the author put this in his book, he made a joke that being a holder of Philosophy degree, he didn’t get what really is logical atomism.

Attitudinarianism ­­­­– a rehearsal of attitude; posture making

Autoeroticism – a fancy way to say, “masturbation”. Pleasing oneself sexually without a partner.



Baalism – the worship of false gods or bible. (The author recommends to read the Bible.)

Behaviorism – the school of psychology that excludes the subjective motives and feelings, focusing only on behavior that can be observed and quantified. It is coined by John Watson, the father of behavioral psychology.

Breatharianism – the practice of living purely on a diet of air, no food and usually no water.

Bluestockingism – the character or attitude of being a member of bluestockings; more generally, a word for female pedantry of any kind.

  • Bluestocking refers to women who weren’t serious about their convictions.” (Bergman, 2006). The meaning of the words evolved through time and now, it became an insult.


Caesarism – a militant dictatorship in which the ruler has absolute rule without opposition.

Chauvinism – fanatical patriotism; belief in the superiority of one’s group or gender.

Constructivism – a Russian art movement characterized by its use of industrial materials, such as metal, glass or plastic and its focus on geometric design. Also, a method of education or mathematical proof.

Corporatism – a political system in which legislative power is allotted to corporations that represent major professional and economic groups.

Cryptorchidism – a developmental defect marked by the failure of the testes to descend into the scrotum.

Cubism – a revolutionary school of painting, developed in the twentieth century, characterized by the expression of subject matter in order to capture numerous angles and perspectives at the same time.



Dadaism – a twentieth century artistic movement based on irrationality, nonsense and a rejection of aesthetic principles.

Dashism – making an ostentatious show of something; showing off.

Determinism – the philosophical doctrine that every event, whether nature or human affairs, has been wholly determined by antecedent events and/or natural laws.

Dilettantism – an amateurish or superficial interest in the arts of in the field of knowledge.


Eclecticism – an amalgamated system or viewpoint that draws its methods and beliefs from numerous sources.

Epiphenomenalism – the philosophical doctrine that consciousness is an epiphenomenon (by-product) of material reality.

Esotericism – the study or teaching of mystical, religious or philosophical systems of thought that have a tradition of secrecy or privacy.

Existentialism – a philosophical doctrine that emphasizes individual responsibility and freedom of choice while denying any objective meaning, explanation or essence of human existence. At the heart of this doctrine is the view of human condition as isolated and absurd.

Expressionism – a twentieth century art movement characterized by work that expressed the emotional state of the artists rather than an accurate depiction of the subject.


Faddism – the tendency to like a style, activity or interest for a brief period of time.

Fetishism – the compulsive desire to use a material object or part of the body, usually nonsexual in nature, to achieve sexual gratification.

Frotteurism – the practice of achieving sexual stimulation by touching or rubbing against another person without their consent, usually in a public place.


Hypothetico-deductivism – a scientific method used to determine the validity of a theory based on the empirical proof of a hypothesis.


Impressionism – an art movement characterized by a lack of concern for detail, an interest in real life subject matter, and a focus on color and spontaneous design.

Inductivism – the scientific method based on induction that forms a hypothesis or a theory around patterns or generalizations found in observational data.

Infantilism – a psychosexual condition that makes an adult act like an infant, usually in pursuit of sexual pleasure.

Irredentism – a doctrine under which a nation claims the right to recover a territory under the control of another state, based on the link established through history and culture.


Jingoism – chauvinistic patriotism characterized by an aggressive and belligerent formation of new policy.

Bergman’s citation on Kemal’s Reform (Kemal is the former President of Turkey)

  1. Improved literacy dramatically.
  2. Outlawed the bijab, making Muslim women wear Western clothes and join the work force.
  3. Lifted the Ottoman ban on the consumption of alcohol.
  4. Opened a new art school for both boys and girls
  5. Instituted a new legal code, separating church and state.
  6. Encouraged belly dancing.



Keynesianism – the economic philosophy of John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) who advocated government intervention to stimulate business and create low unemployment.


Laconism – a terse or succinct expression; a laconic expression

Larrikinism – an Australian colloquial term for irreverence, disrespect of authority, and the rejection of conservative or rigid social values.

Lexiphanicism – the use of pretentious words, language or style.

Literaryism ­– an obsession with all literary forms.

Logocentrism – excessive attention paid to the usage and meaning of the words.

Luddism – the action and belief of the Luddites. The opposition to advances in technology.


Machiavellianism – the political philosophy of Niccolo Machiavelli, characterized by moral indifference and the use of unscrupulous means to acquire power.

Malapropism – a gross misstatement, misuse and/or jumbling of words.

Materialism ­– the philosophical doctrine that only matter exists and that the whole of the mental world, from concepts to feelings, can be explained in physical terms. Also, placing undue regard on possessions and material wealth.

Mcluhanism – the ideas expressed by the writer and social commentator, Marshall McLuhan, characterized by the assertion that technological advancements produce social and psychological consequences.

Misoneism – a hatred or fear of innovation or change.

Momism – excessive attachment and devotion to one’s mother.

Monism – the metaphysical doctrine that reality is a unified virtue claiming that all things, both mental and physical, share one substance or essence.


Negrophilism – friendliness toward black people and interest in their culture and/or the attachment to their interest.

Neoclassicalism an art movement characterized by the expression of classical ideals, often in an emotionless or stern manner.

Nepotism showing preference to one’s relatives, usually in granting them positions of power in business and government.

Nihilism – the belief that there is no meaning, value or truth in the world and that human existence is without essential value. Also, an extreme form of skepticism that states that nothing exists.

Noumenalism – philosophical doctrine that knowledge of the ‘noumenal’ or imperceptible world exists and that the intellect is the only source of knowledge.


Obscurantism – the objection to reform, progress or enlightenment; a deliberate attempt to obscure the truth.

Onanism – masturbation

Opportunism – the practice of taking advantage of an opportunity to achieve an end, usually with little or no regard for principles or consequences for others.


Pacifism – opposition to war; the practice of nonviolence

Pan-cosmism the doctrine that only material world exits

Pan-hypopituitarism – the medical term indicating decreased activity of the pituitary gland.

Pan-logism – the philosophical doctrine held by Hegel that only rational is real.

Parachronism – the dating of an event before it actually happened, a mistake in chronology.

Prochronism – the dating of an event after it actually happened, the opposite mistake in chronology.

Parochialism – a limited or narrow outlook on life

Provincialism – describes someone who has a narrow philosophical and political perspective.

Parrotism  – the mindless or mechanical repetition of words.

Pronatalism – a policy (especially one pro-grounded by the state) that encourages having children and a large family


Resistentialism – a mock philosophy asserting that inanimate objects demonstrate hostility toward human beings.

Rurbanism – the theory in urban development that seeks to combine the characteristics of urban and rural life, avoiding the high economic and ecological costs rapid urban growth.


Sadomasochism – deriving sexual gratification from receiving or inflicting pain.

Sapphism – lesbianism

Sciloism – a superficial or pretentious knowledge, scholarship or attitude.

Sesquipedalianism – the use of long words.

Sisyphism – redundant and fruitless labor like that of Sisyphus.

  • “Sisyphus is a crafty figure in Greek Mythology who was punished severely for his trickery and deceit.” (Bergman, 2006)

Solipsism – the philosophical view that the self is the only reality that can be known and verified.


Teetotalism – the complete abstinence from alcohol.

Transvestitism – the practice of wearing the clothes of the opposite sex.

Traulism – the mispronouncing of a word. Also stammering or stuttering.


Ultracrepidarianism – the act of criticizing beyond one’s scope of one’s competence, ignorant criticism.

Uniformitarianism – the scientific theory that states that all geological phenomena are the result of slow processes that have operated since the universe began.

Unilateralism – a foreign policy doctrine that states that nations should conduct their international affairs as they see fit, with minimal or no regard for the interests and opinions of other states even their allies.


Valetudinarianism – the tendency to be overly concerned about one’s poor health.


Weism – the overuse of the first person plural pronoun, ‘we’

Wellerism – a comparative expression that combines a familiar quotation or proverb with its facetious sequel.


Yuppieism – characteristic behavior or speech of a yuppie.

  • “The term yuppie, short for young urban professional, was coined in the 1980’s, a decade associated with greed, selfishness, and really big hair.” (Bergman, 2006)


Zoroastrianism – a doctrine by Zoroaster that good and evil have the same sources.

Source and only source:

Bergman, Gregory (2006). “Isms: from Autoeroticism to Zoroastrianism – an irreverent reference. Massachusetts, USA: Adams Media, 2006. Print.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  • Recommended Foreign Films

    C.O.G. starring Jonathan Groff

  • The Words starring Bradley Cooper

  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower starring Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller

  • Stranger than Fiction starring Will Ferrel

  • Recommended Local Films

    Ang Nawawala starring Dominic and Felix Roco

  • Liars starring Alessandra de Rossi

  • Babagwa (The Spider's Lair) starring Alex Medina

  • Recommended Foreign Novels

    The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp

  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

  • Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

  • Recommended Local Novels

    El Filibusterismo ni Jose Rizal

  • Dekada '70 ni Lualhati Bautista

  • MacArthur ni Bob Ong

%d bloggers like this: