30 Words For Things You Do Every Day But Never Knew Had a Name
Read them all, and don't absquatulate!
Most of the time, it’s not too much of a challenge to describe the things we do everyday. We eat. We sleep. We talk. But what about stretching your arms after you wake up, or that sound of your stomach rumbling at lunchtime? Did you know there are single words for those everyday occurrences as well? Get ready to sound a whole lot smarter, because we’ve rounded up 30 words for things you do every day that you never knew had a name.
We’ve all been guilty of boondoggling—probably more than we’d like to admit. It’s the act of doing work that has little to no value just for the sake of looking busy. And trust us, your boss knows.
Make sure you take it slow when you jot down your grocery list. Because if you don’t, your griffonage, or illegible handwriting, could lead to you buying Cheerios when you really needed cheese.
If you’re one of the millions of people who thought ‘NSYNC’s hit song was a springtime tune called “It’s Gonna Be May” (instead of the actual title, “It’s Gonna Be Me), you can call that mondegreen, which is what happens when you mishear a lyric that changes the meaning of a song.
That rumbling feeling in your stomach when you’re hungry? That’s wambling, and it means you need to take your lunch break ASAP.
Have you ever said “biting my time” instead of “biding my time”? That’s an eggcorn, which is when you mistakenly use a word or phrase because it sounds similar to the one you meant to use.
If you rub your eyes too hard, you might start seeing phosephenes. Those are the bright spots you see when you close your eyes and put pressure on them.
That magical moment when you feel the warm sun on your face on a cold day? That’s apricity, a name for the heat from the sun in winter.
The acnestis is the part of your back that you just can’t reach, although we’d bet that you try and scratch it at least a few times a day.
Grabbing your morning coffee? Make sure you grab a zarf so you don’t burn your hands! That’s the cardboard holder you put around your coffee so you can hold it.
We’re sure you were told multiple times not to do this while you were growing up. In British English, accubation is the act of eating or drinking while lying down.
Your bad habits have a name: akrasia, or the act of doing something contrary to what you know is best. For example, a good example of akrasia would be going on a shopping spree at Target when you know you don’t have the extra cash.
Electronic devise not working? Well, have you tried turning it off then turning it back on? That’s called power cycling.
A similarly annoying occurrence is the tingling you feel when your leg falls asleep. This is called paresthesia, i.e. the “pins and needles” feeling that can occur in any part of the body.
If you’re finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning, you’re experiencing dysania. While it’s not formally recognized, some people consider it to be an actual medical condition, according to WebMD.
You know that feeling you get before you speak in front of a large crowd? Or before you talk to a person you’re interested in? Those butterflies are technically called collywobbles.
Men are usually the ones practicing pogonothrophy (especially during No Shave November)—it’s the act of growing out facial hair.
Pandiculation is the act of stretching out those stiffened muscles, usually when you’re tired or first waking up.
Defenstrate is the act of throwing something or someone out of a window—both of which you should probably avoid.
That small fuss you make over the way you’re dressed right before you leave the house? It’s called prinking—and don’t worry, you probably look great!
Aren’t these words just fan-freaking-tastic?! Well, that brings us to the word tmesis. It’s when you separate one word into two by inserting another word for emphasis.
Stuck at a party you don’t want to be at? Just absquatulate, which means to leave abruptly.
If someone reluctantly offers you some of their food because they saw you eyeing it, that’s a classic example of accismus. It’s the irony in which someone pretends to be disinterested in something they actually want.
The word ambedo, which has Latin roots, is described as the “melancholy trance you experience when you become completely absorbed in vivid sensory details,” like when you’re listening to the raindrops on a window or watching snow fall in front of a streetlamp.
Meanwhile, the act of absent-mindedly staring without focusing on your thoughts has a Japanese term: boketto. It’s similar to daydreaming, except it involves not thinking at all. Sounds kind of nice, doesn’t it?
That excess weight you gain from emotional over-eating is called kummerspeck in German. It literally translates to grief bacon.
That last-minute, panicked cleaning session you engage in right before guests come over is called scurryfunge.
Have you ever had that dreaded moment where you go to address someone and completely blank on their name? The term for that act of hesitation is tartle, which is actually a Scottish word.
If you exchange a look with someone who you know feels the same way as you, it’s called mamihlapinatapai. The word is from the endangered Yámana language, but according to linguist Thomas Bridges, it basically describes a look shared between two people.
Anecdoche is a group conversation in which everyone is talking just to one-up each other, but no one is really listening. For instance, when someone just has to tell you about the time they broke their leg after you explained how you had been experiencing an odd leg pain. And for more words to add to your ever-expanding vocabulary, check out these 30 Useful Yiddish Words Anyone Can Use.
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