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When Sir Thomas Moore coined the term in his book of the same name, he created the word from the greeek Ou, "not" or "no", and topos, "place". Thus "utopia" originally meant "Nonexistant Place" or "Nowhere".

However, due to the idealized nature of Moore's Utopia, it became a common misconception that the word was formed from Eu, "good", and topos, and thus meant "Good Place". The latter meaning stuck, and has become the primary meaning of the word.