17 Things You Didn’t Know Had Words For Them

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Trivial Diversions

17 Things You Didn’t Know Had Words For Them

17 Things You Didn’t Know Had Words For Them

In this era of great uncertainty, I take comfort in the fact that there are words for just about everything. And I mean everything. Take, for example…

  1. Petrichor

Definition: The smell of rain falling on dry dust

Also, proof positive that the English language comes up with some oddly specific terms.

  1. Iktsuarpok

Definition: The feeling of anticipation that leads you to keep looking outside to see if anyone is coming

This applies especially to dogs around rush hour.

  1. Sobremesa

Definition: The conversation following the main meal of the day

Leave it to the people who have a mid-afternoon nap to have a word for the nice, leisurely conversation following a meal.

  1. Fremdschämen

Definition: To be ashamed or embarrassed for someone else

The next time your dumb friend burns himself trying to take a flaming shot, that feeling you are having is definitely fremdschämen.

  1. Waldeinsamkeit

Definition: The feeling of being in the woods all alone

Leave it to the people who brought us the huge, creepy fairy tale collection to have a word for the feeling of being alone in the woods.

  1. Defenestration

Definition: The act of throwing someone or something out the window

Also meaning to fire someone from a position of authority.

  1. Ballicatter

Definition: Ice that forms along a shore from waves and spray

As opposed to ice on a glacier, in your glass of lemonade, etc.

  1. Colophon

Definition: A brief statement printed in a book containing information about the publication, publisher and date of publication

An interesting word, although I can’t recall a single time I ever wanted to talk about this page.

  1. Cromnyomancy

Definition: Divination using onions

It worries me that this is a word. Someone, somewhere, is praising Shrek as a seer.

  1. Hogra

Definition: The feeling of anger or depression from knowing that the next day will be no better than today

  1. Ilunga

Definition: Someone who is willing to forgive abuse the first time, will tolerate it the second time but will not forgive the third time

Oddly specific.

  1. Pandiculation

Definition: To yawn and stretch your arms

Try not to yawn after reading this.

  1. Quiddler

Definition: Someone who wastes time or fiddles around with trivialities.

Also, writers who compile lists of strange words with bizarrely specific definitions.

  1. Snup

Definition: To buy something of value which some ignorant person has discarded or sold cheaply

  1. Tatamae

Definition: The behaviors and beliefs that one is expected to display in public which may not be held privately

This Japanese term is tied to another Japanese word: “Honne.” “Honne” means a person’s true feelings and desires.

  1. Thenar

Definition: The rounded fleshy part of your hand at the base of your thumb

Now you know that the fleshy part of your thumb is named like a dinosaur noise.

  1. Uitwaaien

Definition: To take a break to clear one’s head

Or, a good excuse to visit Phactual.com.

Related topics definitions, quiddler, snup, specific, words
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Ziv Schneider is currently a grad student in NYU whose