It’s 75 years since the death of Sigmund Freud, and the words and phrases he popularised are deeply ingrained in popular culture and everyday language. How did Freudian jargon become so widespread?
There’s the Freud in textbooks. The bearded Viennese polymath who pioneered psychoanalysis. The Freud that academics never tire of arguing about.
Then there’s the other Freud. The pub Freud. The one you might allude to when you mention dreams, or verbal slips, or someone fancying their mum. His relationship to the first Freud is tangential at best.
Eavesdrop on a conversation and it’s likely that, sooner or later, a concept invented or popularised by the founding father of free association will pop up.
Oedipus complex. Denial. Id, ego and super-ego. Libido. Death wishes. Anal retentiveness. Defence mechanisms. Displacement. Phallic symbols. Projection. Transference. And, of course, Freudian slips.
It’s not just Freud’s terminology that is all over the popular lexicon. He’s an adjective in his own right.