What is Serendipity? Know its history, origin and usage
Serendipity is one of the most beautiful words in English. With its roots going back to late 1700s, Serendipity is fortunate occurrence of events by chance, resulting into something wonderful. The outcome of the events are beneficial, which you were not looking in the first place. Serendipity is popularly known as happy accidents, that initially look totally unrelated to its outcome, slowly weaving a larger picture with the events before finally working out in your way.
We humans as the most evolved species on earth have the ability to experience multitude of emotions and feelings. And we have countless words to express them all. Each ‘word’ has a unique meaning and nostalgic explanation attached to it which could not be expressed or communicated by any other word. That’s how precise and discrete English is.
Did you know how Alexander Fleming discovered Penicillin? As per the historians, the discovery of penicillin was a happenstantial event. One morning while working at St. Mary’s Hospital, Dr. Fleming returned from a summer vacation in Scotland to find his cluttered lab and a great deal more.
Upon coming back to his lab, almost two weeks later, Dr. Fleming noted, how a mold(penicillin) had contaminated his Petri-dishes. He was amazed to find out that it prevented and stopped the growth of bacteria (staphylococci). That’s how one of the most important antibiotics in the history of Medicine was discovered. Interesting, isn’t it? The invention of microwave by Percy Spencer in 1945 and invention of Post-it note by Spencer Silver in 1968 are also considered as similar cases of Serendipity.
History of Serendipity
Horace Walpole, first used the word ‘Serendipity’ in a letter to Sir Horace Mann. In the letter, Walpole explained the meaning of the word and how he got the idea from a Persian fairy tale, The three princes of Serendip. The princes, Horace wrote to his correspondent were making discoveries, by accidents, of things they were not in quest of.
Where does ‘Serendipity’ come from?
The word Serendipity comes from Serendip, an old name for Sri Lanka. In addition, Serendipity finds its origin from three different ethnic languages; Tamil, Sanskrit and Persian.
- Tamil: Ceralamdivu
- Sanskrit: Simhaladvipa
- Persian: Sarandīp (سرندیپ)
For an extended period of Time, the most part of Sri Lanka was under the reign of Tamil Rulers. Kings of Kerala, India (Cheranadu) were regarded as Ceran kings and islands were termed as ‘dheep’. Hence, the Arab traders often Ceran island as ‘Cherandeep’.
How do you use ‘Serendipity’ in a sentence?
“Sweet Serendipity… that unexpected meeting that changes your life.”- Anonymous
“Sometimes serendipity is just intentions unmasked.”-Elizabeth Berg
“We could have simply passed like ships in the night, with serendipity eluding us.”- Matt Abrams
“Serendipity is not the product of patience; it’s the product of action.”- Audrey Moralez
Serendipity Meaning in other Languages
A lot of culture and traditions recognize Serendipity because of its serene phonetics and beautiful meaning. With a movie based on the word and aura around it, Different ethnicity and cultures acknowledge the word as following.
|Meaning of Serendipity in Different Languages & their Pronounciation|
|Serendipity Meaning in Tamil||தற்செயலான நிகழ்வு||Taṟceyalāṉa nikaḻvu eṉpatu|
|Serendipity Meaning in french||sérendipité||sérendipité|
|Serendipity Meaning in Spanish||serendipia||serendipia|
|Serendipity Meaning in Arabic||الصدفة||alssudfa|
|Serendipity Meaning in Telugu||వూహించని||Vūhin̄cani|
|Serendipity Meaning in Bengali||লাভজনক||Lābhajanaka|