Dictionary of obscure sorrows

These are not real English words… yet.

It is a creative writing project which aims to give 1 or 2 word vocabulary to a specific feelng that is universal but current English requires a 4 sentence description… maybe a famous example, not from this website, is the lack of an English word for what German speakers call “Schadenfreud”

Here are more examples from dictionaryofobscuresorrows:


n. the moment you realize that you’re currently happy—consciously trying to savor the feeling—which prompts your intellect to identify it, pick it apart and put it in context, where it will slowly dissolve until it’s little more than an aftertaste.


n. the strange wistfulness of used bookstores, which are somehow infused with the passage of time—filled with thousands of old books you’ll never have time to read, each of which is itself locked in its own era, bound and dated and papered over like an old room the author abandoned years ago, a hidden annex littered with thoughts left just as they were on the day they were captured.

Pick your favorites!

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Thank you! For me it’s going to be “vellichor”.