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Ever come across a scenario in life so often you wish you had a word to coin it? This is the list for you!

Definitions or common life experiences that there should be a word or neologism for:

  • A word for things that there should be a word for.
  • A noun for a word with no synonym.
  • An adjective for "uncomfortably or awkwardly sincere," or in colloquial terms, "too real."
  • A noun for a person who is "uncomfortably or awkwardly sincere," or in colloquial terms, "too real."
  • An term for some cultural product that is "so bad, it's good," (to use John Waters' words) i.e. tastefully distasteful, where the low-brow meets the high-brow sophistication of taste. Reveling in the reception of entertainment from trash, and fully ackowledging this. "Campy" or "kitschy" come close.
  • A noun or verb for a specific state of rumination in which you relive in your head a past argument or discussion, and regret that you didn't think of the right words to say until just now: the "Aw man! I totally should have said that!" phenomenon.
  • A non-gender-specific pronoun for a person besides "him/her," or "(s)he."
  • A conjunction for "and/or."
  • An adjective for the smell of burning leaves in autumn (a common practice in the midwest, redolent with remiscent memories, see Alinea for an example).
  • A word for a smell that elicits a memory (see this project as a collection of smells that elicit memories).
  • A word for that dropping sensation in your stomach when you realize something bad, like you forgot you had to take a test today, or you're late for an appointment, or perhaps something more existential, like "what the hell am I doing with my life." A sort of revelation or moment of insight, but an unpleasant one. Similar in Greek tragedy to Anagnorisis, but perhaps a modern equivalent.
  • A word for those humbling experiences when you discover you're way off on something you naturally assumed since you've known about it. E.g., some common ones: you thought beeline was spelt "b-line" or you thought the term prima donna was spelt "pre-madonna." In the radio show This American Life, the host coined this term "modern jackass."
  • A type of tip of the tongue sensation when you forget what you were going to say, and compulsively try to remember it but to no avail.
  • A "circle-merger": when two social circle of friends converge into one large social circle.
  • A term for a friend or former friend from whom you've grown apart, and with whom you can only seem to connect by your shared past.
  • A adjective for something that is simultaneously interesting and boring.
  • A noun for a bossy older sister.
  • A term for the anxiety of wanting to do something but not knowing exactly what to do.
  • A term for the frustration when technology or things aren't working the way they should (like "road-rage" for the frustration of getting stuck in traffic).
  • The word for a humbling experience when you realize you were wrong.
  • A noun for an "outdoorsy" person, or an adjective to replace "outdoorsy."
  • A noun for things you want but cannot have.
  • An adjective meaning "of or related to the forest" (arborial, comes close but it relates specifically to trees; boreal also, but it relates specifically to the coniferous taiga of the northern hemisphere).


Words without synonyms or unique definitions that many people don't realize there is already a word for:

  • atavistic - adj. showing tendancies towards reverting to something primordial, ancient or ancesteral.
  • avuncular - adj. of or relating to an uncle; kind and friendly toward a younger or less experienced person.
  • curmudgeon - n. a grumpy stubborn person, usu. an old man.
  • dilettante - n. a person who cultivates an area of interest, such as the arts, without real commitment or knowledge.
  • inured - adj. accustomed to something undesirable.
  • omphaloskepsis - n. a fancy term for belly-gazing.
  • petichor - n. the earthy smell of rain on dry pavement.
  • quixotic - adj. idealistic but impractical.
  • recidivism - n. relapse into former bad habits or misbehavior.
  • saccharine - adj. excessively sweet.
  • uxorious - adj. having or showing an excessive or submissive fondness for one's wife.
  • virago - n. a domineering, violent, or bad-tempered woman; a woman of masculine strenght or spirit; a female warrior (see also termagant)

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