...she had meant to examine these more carefully herself, but the very idea of philately bores her to distraction and she has hardly given them a glance.
-- Margaret Drabble, The Gates of Ivory, 1991
But he could hardly talk to Julia about either philately or his German penfriend. 'I like music.' This was no good either—who didn't?
-- Rosy Thornton, Hearts and Minds, 2007
Philately entered English in the 1860s and comes from the Greek roots phil- meaning "love," and atéleia meaning "freedom from charges." This second element refers to the recipient's freedom from delivery charges thanks to the stamp affixed to the letter.