No Matter How You Say It: Positivity

by | Jul 24, 2022 | No Matter How You Say It | 0 comments

Word Origin

positive (adj.)

early 14c., originally a legal term meaning “formally laid down, decreed or legislated by authority” (opposed to natural),  from Old French positif (13c.) and directly from Latin positivus “settled by agreement, positive” (opposed to naturalis “natural”), from positus, past participle of ponere “put, place”.

The sense of “absolute” is from mid-15c. Meaning in philosophy of “dealing only with facts” is from 1590s. Sense broadened to “expressed without qualification” (1590s), then, of persons, “confident in opinion” (1660s).

Roughly, the word in -ity usually means the quality of being what the adjective describes, or concretely an instance of the quality, or collectively all the instances; & the word in -ism means the disposition, or collectively all those who feel it. [Fowler]


Can you see how positivity is rooted in confidence or certainty?

Sign Language

Check out the following links from Handspeak for the American Sign Language interpretation of the words



Both of these words are compound signs that combine thinking with positive and negative.  Can you see the difference between positive and negative thinking?

Positivity Idioms

  • Be a breath of fresh air
  • Be a ray of sunshine
  • Be like a beacon of hope
  • Be like a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis
  • Be like a gentle breeze
  • Be like a guiding light
  • Be like a rainbow after the storm
  • Be like a ray of sunshine
  • Be like a steady hand
  • Be like a sunflower
  • Be like a wellspring of positivity
  • Be like the sun shining after the rain
  • Count your Blessings
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff
  • Every cloud has a silver lining
  • Focus on the positive
  • Hang in there
  • Have a can-do attitude
  • Have a sunny disposition
  • Keep your chin up
  • Let bygones be bygones
  • Live in the moment
  • Look on the bright side
  • Make the best of it
  • See the glass half full
  • See the silver lining
  • Spread positivity
  • There is light at the end of the tunnel
  • Turn a frown upside down
  • When life gives you lemons, make lemonade
  • When one door closes, another one open

                                      In Other Languages

                                      Spanish – positividad

                                      French – positivité

                                      German – Positivität

                                      Italian – positività

                                      Swedish – positivitet

                                      Basque – positibotasuna

                                      Portugese – positividade