You have probably felt some complex feeling that you cannot really explain, at least not in one word. Well, it turns out that there are some made-up words that can help you express these obscure feelings. Most (or all) of the words you see on the list below were published in The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows.

  1. Sonder – The realization that each passerby has a life as vivid and complex as your own.
  2. Opia – The ambiguous intensity of looking someone in the eye, which can feel simultaneously invasive and vulnerable.
  3. Pâro – The feeling that no matter what you do is always somehow wrong.
  4. Monachopsis – The subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place.
  5. Rubatosis – The unsettling awareness of your own heartbeat.
  6. Kenopsia – The eerie, forlorn atmosphere of a place that is usually bustling with people but is now abandoned and quiet
  7. Mauerbauertraurigkeit – The inexplicable urge to push people away, even close friends who you really like.
  8. Jouska – A hypothetical conversation that you compulsively play out in your head.
  9. Chrysalism – The amniotic tranquillity of being indoors during a thunderstorm.
  10. Anecdoche – A conversation in which everyone is talking, but nobody is listening.
  11. Ellipsism – A sadness that you will never be able to know how history will turn out.
  12. Lachesism – The desire to be struck by a disaster – to survive a plane crash or to lose everything in a fire.
  13. Adronitis – Frustration with how long it takes to get to know someone.
  14. Onism – The frustration of being stuck in just one body, that inhabits only one place at a time.
  15. Liberosis – The desire to care less about things.
  16. Altschmerz– Weariness with the same old issues that you have always had – the same boring flaws and anxieties that you have been gnawing on for years.
  17. Occhiolism – The awareness of the smallness of your perspective.
  18. Wwytai – A feature of modern society that suddenly strikes you as absurd and grotesque.
  19. Vemödalen – The fear that everything has already been done.
  20. Midding – Feeling the tranquil pleasure of being near a gathering but not quite in it.


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