No, we haven’t just added an extra “i” to the word “silence”. This is an actual word. This new noun helps open a new perspective in the way in which we connect with everyday art. In a fast-moving world, where it’s become difficult to sit and appreciate the subtle talents that are all around us, “silience” offers hope that more and more of us will be able to recognize the beauty and potential inside each aspiring artist.
Example sentence: “We should keep our interpretive eyes and ears open to catch any moment of silience around us.”
It’s basically a fancy way to describe a book thief. It’s a combination of the words Biblio meaning “books” and the Greek word kleptes, meaning “thief”. According to linguists, the word was coined to soften the supposedly ugly word book-thief.
Example sentence: “Be alert when you visit that bookstore. I’ve heard there’s some biblioklept roaming around that place.”
Found in The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, this new word would be relatable to many. That old house that you left behind. The old playground where you spend your childhood days but is now deserted. Or even the ice-cream store from your past which is now abandoned... All of these can invoke a sense of kenopsia.
Example sentence: “When I visited my old home after a decade, there was an unmistakable air of kenopsia around it that filled me with nostalgia.”
Acnestis comes from the Greek word aknestis (spine) and the Ancient Greek word knestis (spine, cheese-grater). The Oxford English Dictionary notes that this word is “rare in genuine use.” While it might be rare to use, the word definitely helps describe that feeling when you really want to scratch that part of the back which you can’t scratch. Because when someone asks “where does it itch?” it can be annoying to have to say “where I can’t reach”.
Example sentence: “If you've got an itch on your acnestis, just grab a quality back scratcher.”
The origins of this word remain a mystery but linguists believe that it began to be used in the 1970s. Whatever may be the case, it feels good to know the official name of the number sign located at the bottom right-hand corner of phone keypads. The sign is also used to label hashtags on social media.
The symbol has roots in 14th century Latin and it was initially used by the Romans for the term libra pondo, meaning “pound in weight”. To shorten the word, people began abbreviating it as “lb”. “As people wrote this faster and faster, it just evolved into the hash symbol,” according to author Keith Houston who has investigated the character’s evolution.
Example sentence: “Many of my writing-group friends are quite amused by my love for the octothorpe.”
This Swedish word will resonate with many travelers as it describes the feeling we get the night before we head out on a trip. The mix of fear, anticipation, and anxiety you feel then cannot be better described. It can also be the moment when you buy your plane tickets or when you are entering a new city as part of your travel plan. Can you think of any English word that captures the same essence of resfeber?
Example sentence: "I was feeling so much resfeber yesterday for my trip to London that I couldn’t sleep all night.”
This word comes from the Greek word agélastos (“not laughing, grave, gloomy") which in turn comes from gelân (“to laugh”). Suffice to say that you are unlikely to feel cheerful for long around an agelast.
Example sentence: “I wonder if he’s agelast or just a grumpy man.”
This is the perfect word to describe that almost surreal feeling we get after chugging a few extra glasses of alcohol. Where it feels like we can dance in front of a crowd or climb a wall to enter the neighbor’s backyard. Basically, when a usually bad idea suddenly feels right...
Also known as liquid courage or Dutch courage, the earliest documented use of pot-valor is in 1623. It alludes to a drinking pot + valor (boldness) and comes from the Latin words valor (worth) and valere ("to be strong").
Example sentence: “Even the ‘Beware of Dog’ sign outside the house didn’t stop him that day. He was puffed with pot-valor.”
Here’s another unique word that comes from The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. Vemodalen is particularly relevant to photographers and videographers. Because even though they might have shot something truly beautiful or unusual, the fear that there are thousands out there doing something similar might worry them.
Example sentence: “I took a lovely picture of the Statue of Liberty, but I had the feeling of vemodalen.”
While the origin of this word is unclear, it is believed that “Tittynope” is derived from the word “tittle” – a tiny amount or part of something. So, the next time you have to ask someone in the family to finish off those leftover pieces of food from their dinner plate, you know exactly what word to use.
Example sentence: “Didn’t you like the dinner tonight? You’ve left a lot of tittynope.”
Peristeronic comes from the Ancient Greek word peristera (dove, pigeon) and its earliest documented use was in 1868. When it comes to avian metaphors, pigeons rarely get any recognition while the eagles and the hawks get all the acclaim. So even though it is not commonly used, it’s great to know that there’s a word particularly made to describe anything related to pigeons.
Example sentence: “These peristeronic gardens really do enhance the beauty of our city.”
This new word comes from The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows and perfectly describes what countless book lovers feel while being inside an old bookstore. There’s something quite magical about the smell of old books and when you are surrounded by hundreds of such books in a quaint old shop, you are bound to feel overwhelmed.
Example sentence: “She was overcome with vellichor the moment she stepped inside that old bookstore.”
Share these wonderfully rare words with your friends and family!