Human emotions are varied and really hard to understand. There are certain feelings in a particular situation that we cannot simply describe. John Koenig created the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows to coin and define neologisms for emotions that do not have a descriptive term.  

The dictionary was started in 2006 for Koenig’s attempt at writing poetry. It began to grow in popularity in 2015 after twenty-three words from the dictionary began to be shared across social media platforms.

This week, we feature fifteen words from the dictionary:

Monachopsis (Mo-na-kop-sis)

n. the persistent feeling of being out of place and not fitting in.

• It’s the inability to adapt to your surroundings and feeling like you don’t belong.

Chrysalism (Kris-a-lizim)

n. that cozy feeling you get when it’s raining outside and you’re indoors.

Nyctophilia (Nik-to-fil-ya)

n. love of darkness or night.

Finding relaxation or comfort in the darkness.

Eramnesia (eram-nee-ja)

n. the realization of being born in the wrong time period and wishing to live in another.

Liberosis (lib-ero-sis)

n. the desire to care less about things

Acatalepsy (aka-ta-lep-sy)

n. the impossibility of comprehending the universe, the belief that human knowledge can never have true certainty.

Lilo (Ly-lo)

n. a friendship that can be stable for years and still feel as if no time had passed since you last saw each other.

Vemodalen (ve-mo-da-len)

n. the frustration of photographing something amazing and realizing that thousands of identical photos already exist like photographing the same beautiful sunset or the same waterfall.

Sonder (son-der)

n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own, populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and craziness.

Xeno (zee-noh)

n. the moments shared between passing strangers, such as a random nice smile, a flirtatious glance, a sympathetic nod or a shared laugh about some odd coincidence.

• Moments that are short and random but still contain powerful emotional effects that can reduce the symptoms of feeling alone.

Kenopsia (Ken-op-sia)

n. the sad feeling of a place that was usually full of people and noise but now is abandoned and quiet.

Adronitis (adro-naai-tis)

n. the frustration with how long it takes to get to know someone.

Anemoia (an-em-oh-ya)

n. the feeling of nostalgia for a time/place/thing that you have never known.

Pâro (pah-ro)

n. the feeling that no matter what you do is always somehow wrong.

Exulansis (eg-zo-lan-sis)

n. a sense of frustration when you realize that you are talking about an important experience, but people are unable to understand or relate to it, so you give up talking about it.