Origin of philatelyFrench philatélie, coined (1864) from Classical Greek philos, loving + ateleia, exemption from (further) tax, taken as equivalent of “postage prepaid”
Origin of philatelyFrench philatélie Greek phil-, philo- philo- Greek ateleia exemption from payment (because a postage stamp indicates prepayment of postage) ( a- without ; see a- 1. ) ( telos tax, charge ; see telə- in Indo-European roots.)
- phil′a·tel′ic phil′a·tel′i·cal
(countable and uncountable, plural philatelies)
1865, from French philatÃ©lie, coined by French stamp collector Georges Herpin (in Le Collectionneur de Timbres-poste, Nov. 15, 1864) from Ancient Greek Ï†Î¹Î»Î¿- (philo-, “love of") + á¼€Ï„ÎÎ»ÎµÎ¹Î± (atelÄ«a), the closest word he could find in Ancient Greek to the concept of "postage stamp", from á¼€- (a-, “without") + Ï„ÎÎ»Î¿Ï‚ (telos, “tax"). This word serves as a reminder of the original function of postage stamps, now often forgotten: the cost of letter-carrying formerly was paid by the recipient; stamps indicated it had been pre-paid by the sender, thus the letters were "carriage-free".