The word “serendipity”

“Today we call it Sri Lanka, but centuries ago the island off the coast of southern India was called Sarandib in Arabic. The author Horace Walpole, writing to his friend Horace Mann in 1754, coined the term “serendipity” in reference to an old Persian fairy tale called “The Three Princes of Serendip.” In the story, wrote Walpole, the princes “were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of.” Sarandib (also recorded as Serendib or Serendip) is actually a corruption of the Sanskrit compound Siṃhaladvīpa, which means something like “island where the lions dwell.” The Sri Lankan language Sinhalese also gets its name from this Sanskrit term. Meanwhile, although the term “serendipity” has been around since Walpole coined it, it only really became popular in the 20th century.”

Source: Britannica | Date Updated: December 23, 2020

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