Serendipity means a “fortunate happenstance” or “pleasant surprise”. It was coined in 1754 by Horace Walpole, the English art historian, man of letters, antiquarian and Whig politician. In a letter he wrote to a friend, Walpole explained an unexpected discovery he had made by reference to a Persian fairy tale, The Three Princes of Serendip. The princes, he told his correspondent, were “always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of”.
The word has been voted one of the ten English words hardest to translate in June 2004 by a British translation company. However, due to its sociological use, the word has since been exported into many other languages.
Serendipity, the commercial film of 2001 staring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale seems to have sparked a plethora of businesses named Serendipity, that were either prompted by a serendipitous event or that have anything to do with romance. You can find restaurants, a wedding venue, photographers, flower, coffee, chocolate, ice cream shops and even a winery with “Serendipity” over the door.