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Psychoanal Q. 1993 Jul;62(3):437-53.

The word "just": an essay on resistance, words, and multiple meanings.

The Psychoanalytic quarterly

V Spruiell

PMID: 8416030


This is an essay on the word, just, often used by patients as an ordinary trivial word but also as part of resistance functioning to derail further associations. But there are other, more weighty meanings of the word connected with justice and fairness, and thus, ethics and morality. Besides these, there are hidden meanings that certain words can convey consciously and unconsciously. "Just" is part of a "family" of words, some now obsolete, that range from aspects of law to various passionate derivatives of sexuality and aggression. Therefore, the word, just, can serve as an example to which the insights of psychoanalysis can be applied when seeking answers to questions about the origins, hidden meanings, changes, and apparent losses of meaning of other "ordinary" words.

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