Relationships

What Words Should Exist in English?

pizza by Stella Blackmon

Last week, Alex and I went to an outdoor restaurant…

We shared a caesar salad, and then I had salmon with the tiniest peas. And the next day, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I kept getting that satisfied, nostalgic feeling and saying, “That dinner was so good last night.”

There should be a word for that! The glowy feeling the morning after an epic meal.

There should also be words for:
the soothing feeling of organizing a closet
the sadness after finishing a wonderful book
the joy of having a baby fall asleep on you

Recently, the New Yorker wrote about the Positive Lexicography Project, an online glossary of untranslatable words. The leader of the project, psychology lecturer Tim Lomas, specifically searched for words to describe different kinds of happiness. Mamihlapinatapei is Yagán for “a look between people that expresses unspoken but mutual desire.” Norwegians use the word “utepils” to describe “a beer that is enjoyed outside… particularly on the first hot day of the year.” In Arabic, tarab means “musically induced ecstasy or enchantment.” And gigil is Tagalog for “the irresistible urge to pinch/squeeze someone because they are loved or cherished.”

These days, when we’re all trying to find comfort and delight in small things, I’m curious: what kinds of happiness would you want to describe? Or sadnesses? Or pastimes? What else should there be words for in English? xoxo

P.S. 11 untranslatable words from other countries, and the hardest tongue twister.

(Photo by Stella Blackmon.)

  1. Jessica says...

    Jólabókaflóðið, which is an Icelandic word which means “Christmas Book Flood”. In Iceland, books are usually released the months before Christmas, and people will buy books to give each other on Christmas eve. So it’s a tradition to read the new books you have been gifted that day,

    Lagom in Swedish, which means something like just enough or just right. One can for example ask if the food is hot enough, and get the reply that it’s “lagom”.

  2. There should be a word for the feeling you get when you make a strike in bowling, a game winning shot in basketball, or all three bags in the hole on a cornhole turn. There should be a word for finding the perfect fung shui for a room, or having just the right amount of things on your desk.

  3. Robin says...

    I lived in japan for a couple years and the word that I still use is genki. It means healthy, but also happy/energetic/ready to go. So useful and there really isn’t a good replacement in English.

  4. Genevieve Martin says...

    I’d like a word for the version of someone’s name that they go by, so if someone was called Elizabeth for example you could ask what their-name-they-like-to-be-called is (Elizabeth? Beth? Liz? Lizzie?)

    • Kristian says...

      My husband needed to create a database for the nonprofit he works for, in conjunction with a school. So they needed to use legal names for documents but wanted the names people went by for when they mailed things to them. Etc. My husband struggled with coming up with a term for what you are describing and finally settled on “Preferred name”
      So: First name, Last Name, preferred name.

  5. Genevieve Martin says...

    The feeling to describe when you really wish you could give an experience or thing that you have or had to someone you love, because they really want it so much more than you (but it’s not a thing that can be given).

    In my family we call this “otter feeling” because once we went to a holiday cottage in Scotland that my dad had picked because it had a view of a place where sea otters lived and he spent ages looking out for them and telling us about sea otters over the course of the week but didn’t spot one and was so disappointed. Then on the last day my sister was just glancing out of the window and saw them but they were gone too soon for my dad to get there. She just wished she could give the experience to him! Once we had words to describe it, it comes up fairly often.

  6. Cynthia Miller says...

    Well, not to get political here (cough, cough) but English needs a word like Inshallah or, as we say in Spanish, Ojala. That way presidential candidates wouldn’t have to borrow the word from another language during a debate.

  7. Lydia says...

    Not necessarily a word but a sound…we say brrrr when we’re cold. I need an equivalent for when we’re hot! I find myself saying brrrr when I get into a too hot shower just because I have no alternative and it just comes out even though I mean the opposite.

  8. Maya says...

    I have ALWAYS said there should be a word for those little bits of time that are between things and not quite enough time to do anything. Like 15 minutes between when you come home from an errand and then have to head out to an appointment. I don’t speak German but I imagine they would have a word for that?

    • Daisy says...

      I’m German and I can confirm there is no word for that … unfortunately!!

    • Stefanie says...

      Hahaha, you made me laugh with your trust in the accuracy of German. I am German and have to disagree with Daisy. I’d say there is an expression for that, but maybe it’s regional. This in-between time is called “tote Zeit” which translates to dead time. Are there other German speakers who know and use this phrase?

  9. Jessica says...

    My husband is a native Spanish speaker from Colombia and taught me “encrucijada.” Literally, it means “crossroads” but, as he explained, it means trying to make a very tough decision. I love it and use it all the time now.

  10. Alice says...

    Late to this but my favourite untranslatable word is the welsh “cwtch”- it’s a VERY SPECIFIC type of hug and I can’t really explain it, but the best way to help you understand what it means is that my Grampy used to brush my hair after a bath and then he’d say “Come and have a cwtch” when he was done. It’s a very loving, tender, sweet kind of cuddle, and it’s the best.

  11. katarina says...

    I “invented” a word this morning. Its wake up-mare, like the opposite of nightmare. I had a dream where i had given my exam just to wake up a realize i haven´t even started studying for it. buu

  12. Jess says...

    When you find a song that hits the emotions and the beat and the melody just right to hit your mood/feelings/the moment.

    When your morning cup of coffee is JUST right.

    When a smell and sound and memory line up just right to make you feel like you’ve gone back in time.

  13. My favorite in Japanese is “umami” to describe food. There is nothing like it in English.
    I also love that Arabs live by “Inshallah” … literally meaning “god willing” but more like “if it happens it happens” they do not dwell on the maybes or the things they cannot have. I wish I could live like this.

  14. Meli says...

    My family has a word for when you choke on your on spit: chokalivating.

  15. I’ve just discovered the perfect one! I need a word for that secret thrill in your chest when you realize you’ve visited a place used in the plot of a fiction novel. For just a split-second you’re living real-time in an alternate universe.

  16. Molly says...

    Something that seems so obvious but I was surprised about after becoming a mother is how everyday moments with your child can trigger forgotten childhood memories, at random times. Swinging at the playground, the smell of play dough in a classroom and just hundreds of mundane things. I was bathing my daughter one night and this vivid memory of my mom teaching me how to write letters when I was a little girl by tracing them on my soapy back in the tub during bath times then having me guess the letter flooded back. I hadn’t thought about that memory before and I couldn’t stop thinking about it that night. There should be a word for that. Nostalgia but stronger?

  17. Ellen says...

    Oh my goodness! My husband and I read that article too a long time ago and still use “cluey” for the same reasons. It’s now in our everyday vernacular. I love to know that someone else out there does this! :)

  18. Justine says...

    In French we use the word “dépaysé” when you are in a setting, situation or environment that makes you feel foreign. It’s a positive word. It’s that feeling of discovering a new country where you are lost in translation and do not understand what’s happening but are curious about it and enjoying it.

  19. Anna says...

    Kjæreste – The Norwegian word for boyfriend/girlfriend meaning Dearest. I love that it’s not specific for gender and it’s such a lovely word to use.
    Koselig – similar to the word Hygge, but this means that something is cozy, someone can be nice/sweet, a situation is nice, and you just in general can reply “koselig” when you think it’s something nice/cozy. A hard word to explain but is used all the time in Norway and better than the word Hygge ;)

  20. Frieda says...

    I’m regularly struggling in English language when I want to express “Vorfreude” – being happy in advance about something still to come (e.g. birthday, wedding, vacations, release of book/movie, …). I really don’t get, why schadenfreude was integrated into English but noone knows Vorfreude. Vorfreude is the much better Freude! :D

    • MM says...

      I LOVE this one!!!! Vorfreude is such a wonderful feeling :)

    • LN says...

      Couldn’t you use “anticipation”?

  21. Casey Glanzer says...

    I’m glad you posted this because I think about this often. I have young kids and am looking for a word to describe the moment when you make a transition that’s bittersweet – like the last time you ever breast feed your baby, the last time you hold them on your hip, the last time they wear a diaper – you typically don’t realize it’s actually THE last time. While you’re ready to move on, if you knew this was it, you might break down and cry. What’s the word for these moments?

  22. Manda says...

    There has got to be a word for the feeling after a grocery trip and driving all the way home and not hearing the crash of everything falling over in the the back of the car. (other than “winning”, of course)

  23. Cora says...

    There needs to be a verb for the action of taking clothes from the washer and putting them into the dryer. In our house we call this task “adios”, as in “Can you adios the towels for me?”

    • katarina says...

      hahhaah i love this

    • Robin says...

      I always call this ‘turning over’ the laundry. I never realized everyone didn’t use the same phrase!

  24. Anna says...

    That feeling of anticipation when you’re landing to a new country you’ve never been to…all the possibilities! I miss travelling! :(

  25. Hilary Kopple says...

    saudades in portuguese is like a longing, like nostalgia- but sounds so much better

    beleza in portuguese is like beauty but you can use it to say cool, like how are you? good. beleza.

  26. Kathleen says...

    “L’esprit d’escalier” (literally “staircase mind”) is a great expression in French for thinking of the perfect thing to say after it’s too late. I love the image of thinking of a reply while taking the stairs like the effect is felt wholly: mentally and physically.

  27. Courtney says...

    In German there’s a word that clearly answers in contrary to a question posed like, “he didn’t leave though?” In English if you say “yes” it could be interpreted either way. But in German the word “doch” would mean yes he did leave. And “nein” is saying no in confirmation of the supposed question, no he didn’t leave.
    I always wish there was a doch in English.

    • Kathleen says...

      This exists in French (“Si” corrects a negative question), and I’ve often desired an equivalent in English too.

    • Frieda says...

      I think “si, si” was actually the expression I hard most during my exchange in France. I first thought being in the wrong country, but no, it’s not only French but pretty essential in every day communication.

    • Lou says...

      In Lebanese Arabic we say ‘mbala’, which is a yes to a negative question :) same as doch and si :)

  28. Beth says...

    Hands down, my word would be “the last time you did something and didn’t know it would be the last time.” I think of this each time I pick up my four-year-old son. While I’m sure there are plenty of more years (!) of picking him up, there will be that last day, that final time, that moment when I place him down and he leaves my arms and I never pick him up and carry him again. That feeling. That moment. Can there be a word for that? I ache knowing that day will come.

    • Katherine says...

      oh yes! And also, the ache when you know it is the last time and you want to savor every sensation of it and soak it all in while trying not to ruin it in the process :)

  29. nette says...

    The anxiety of not starting a book you want to read so badly because you know it will be over all too soon!
    Same with a movie or tv series.
    Am I the only one??? haha #sheissoweird

    • Jess. says...

      Definitely a thing! I will even go so far as to stop reading/watching something when I like it “too much,” because I just can’t bear the thought of it ending.

  30. Jon says...

    Here’s another Tagalog word/phrase “Pag-Pag”, which I can never quite explain in English… The closest thing I can think of is, “the act of violently shaking/flapping/snapping a (usually cloth) object to remove dirt or debris”

    “Hey, there’s sand all over the beach towel, could you “pag-pag” it before we roll it up?”

    “Ugh, there are goldfish crumbs all over this bib, could you “pag-pag” it into the sink?”

    “I’m cleaning the inside of the car today, please help me “pag-pag” the floor mats.”

    • Laure says...

      Oh we have the same in my language! haha a very useful verb :)

  31. Elena says...

    I lived in Zurich for two years in my early twenties and there is a Swiss German word (at least in the Zuri-Deutch dialect) that I love: Gluescht. (imagine the umlaut over the U) Gluescht means you not hungry, but just want the taste of something in your mouth. Really, a craving, but slightly different. I love it and I still use it, twenty plus years later. I have gluescht for potato chips right this very second…

  32. Calla says...

    Sometimes when am having one of those perfect moments with a group of people where we are all really in sync and laughing and having a great time, but we’ve been there for awhile, I get this feeling that whatever is holding the group in place is really fragile. I know that as soon as someone gets up or moves, everyone will decide it’s time to go. So I don’t want to go to the bathroom or get up to order a drink for fear of being the one who breaks things up.

    • Ellie says...

      Ohhh like at the end of a dinner party when you’re all a little tipsy and the candles have burned low and the meal is done and you’re just finishing wine and coffee…that’s such a magic moment… And I learned the hard way not to encourage everyone to move to the living room where it’s more comfortable! Inevitably you break the spell and everyone takes the change to head home :(

    • Daisy says...

      In Spanish there is a word “sobremesa” literally translated it means over table, but what it really means us when you sit around after dinner has been eaten and have a drink and talk. Love this word.

  33. Jess. says...

    That terrible feeling of getting all the dishes done, to turn around and discover dirty pots and pans on the stove.

    • Jessica says...

      Yes!!!

  34. Chrissie says...

    Clueyness! “A special kind of sad”. I read this article a few years ago and it completely sums up the little hearbreaks when someone seems vulnerable but it’s hard to capture in normal words.

    https://waitbutwhy.com/2016/05/clueyness-a-weird-kind-of-sad.html

    I’ll give an example. I was at a rest stop and in the restaurant there was a table with 20 or so elderly women having an awesome time. They were cracking up and they were all wearing funny hats like they were part of some type of club. Anyway, I’m watching these ladies living their best lives and then I look over and there is another older lady at a table by herself (no hat because she is not a part of the club). Anyway, the lady by herself was eating an ice cream cone and watching the ladies with a sad look on her face like she wanted to be a part of the club. It broke my heart!!!

  35. Tracy says...

    Fredagsmys is Swedish for “cozy Friday” when you relax in front of the tv at the end of the work week with food like pizza. Waldeinsamkeit is German for the feeling of divine solitude and contemplation when you are alone in the woods. And, off topic, but I love Yiddish words like mentsch for an upstanding person, pupik for belly button and mitsve for a good deed which are so expressive.

  36. The short walk down the driveway to get the mail. Going extra slow because the rush of the day is behind me, breathing in the vanilla smell of the ponderosas, and hearing my husband and kids in the house laughing and reconnecting at the end of the day. That moment.

  37. Rosha Forman says...

    My highschool best friend and I came up with the word “post-pripus” meaning all of the things you said in your head after a conversation took place. The post-pripus is the conversation you wish you had, the whitty response to an insult that you didn’t think of in the moment, or the brave thing that you didn’t say.

    I still use that word often. I miss my highschool best friend, we have fallen out of touch. The post-pripus to our last conversation is “I miss you, and I’m so proud of who you have become.”

    • Veronica says...

      Awe

    • Ashley O says...

      Rosha, first – -what a great concept! I think I’ll start using “post-pripus” now (Lord knows I’ve had MANY). I’m not sure what happened between you two, but maybe your HS best friend would be delighted to hear that post-pripus. In a time when so many of us are feeling disconnected, it could be a welcome reunion :)

  38. Nicole Loiterstein says...

    REGROUP :: My friends, family and I use the word regroup when we travel and stay in close quarters. It’s what you say when you just need a few minutes of alone time. But it’s really used to say – “I need to use the RESTROOM and would really appreciate it if no one came back to the room with me right now” as in “I’ll meet you guys at the beach – just need to regroup real quick.” It seems to always make us laugh and somehow makes things a lot less awkward.

    • Fiona says...

      in my line of work we call that “parada tecnica” or “technical stop”

  39. Emily says...

    My friend and I have always wished for a word to describe overly annoying errands or chores (i.e. going to the DMV, calling about an incorrect medical bill). We refer to them as farfignugens, but I wish there were a really word for them.

    • Veronica says...

      ❤️

    • Agnès says...

      that looks like a real word to me; i will write it down. farfignugens.

    • Bonnie says...

      That’s funny–you took the word you use, “farfignugen,” from the old Volkswagen commercial/marketing slogan that sang the word fahrvergnügen, which is the German word meaning “driving pleasure.” How ironic that you use this word when you have to go to the DMV. :)
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CESVgaeD-nI

    • Eléonore says...

      In French we say “corvée” !

  40. haya alanjari says...

    Arabic is my first language by birth, but comes second in practice because it is so complex. A word can manifest into numerous meanings just by changing its phonetic symbols, its place in a sentence, or even the context in which it has settled. Making it inherently poetic, and the very word for poetry itself is beautiful;

    Shi’ir which translates to both feeling and emotion in English.

    • Chelsea says...

      Love that so much! I’ve always loved listening to my Lebanese friends speak Arabic; so incredibly beautiful

  41. J. says...

    Oh yes– the morning after an epic meal! Or even the evening after, when you leave the table feeling full as in physically satiated but also full as in heart-full and are all floaty on your way home.

    Here are some of mine:
    -the instinctual jolt of empathy + perspective when a friend tells you something tough/difficult (but not tragic) they are experiencing, where you feel so empathetic and want to take away their frustration/annoyance, but suddenly all of the minor annoyances of your own day you almost feel a rush back to apologize like: “ooh I’m sorry I thought MY MEETING today was so bad… you weren’t that bad, meeting!! thank you for being the worst thing in my day that wasn’t that bad at all!” (is mentally apologizing to your annoyances normal? probably not but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)

    -when you’re in a public place or social situation with someone who you know extremely well and you have a full-blown, multiple part conversation with one glance (especially if it’s a conversation that ends with a quick, subtle, invisible-to-anyone-else hand squeeze or other sign of – “I get it, and I got you”)

    -that time of day when you’re just going to be useless and slightly grumpy and it’ll take you 45 min to write a 3-sentence email and nearly everything is going to be “UGHHHHHHHH,” but which you know will pass (and is usually, just like with little kids, aided by a snack) – my team at work and I call it “troughing” as in “I’M TROUGHING” typed in our group chat meaning, universally, NOBODY ASK ME TO DO ANYTHING YOU ACTUALLY NEED DONE QUICKLY AND IF YOU WANT TO SEND ME ANY FUNNY MEME OR SOMETHING NOW WOULD BE HELPFUL

    -one of my favorite feelings in the world that my people and I call: “happy-cry” — when you’re so overwhelmed with joy at the magnificence and beauty of the world, in spite of it all, and gratitude at getting to be alive and loved, and nostalgia for a moment before it even ends but sheer ecstasy for getting to experience the endless wonders of life that you don’t always deserve but somehow are swimming in anyway. My sister and I (who will probably read this– hi, e.!) both happy-cry several times daily and I used to be so embarrassed about it but now it is one of my favorite things about myself– usually around books, music, sharing and receiving love, a good dreamy meal like Joanna described, a sunset, reading comments on COJ, or something else that makes you just think – I LOVE THIS TOO MUCH I’M OVERFLOWING- GUESS IT’S GOT TO COME OUT OF MY EYES!

    (Sorry for the extreme number of all-caps in this very long comment?!)

    • Robin says...

      Troughing! Adding this to my vocabulary now :)

  42. Briana R says...

    I need a word for the wedgie I get in my double chin while wearing a mask.

    • Jax says...

      ?

  43. Cory says...

    One of my favorite words in spanish is “ahorita,” which technically means “right now” but usually means “whenever I feel like it which may possibly be never.” It’s both maddening and great because it conveys a sense of impatience with another’s impatience, but also can be an attempt to soothe one’s impatience. It’s extremely useful.

    Another thing I notice now that I’m bilingual is that this works in reverse, too— there are so many times there is no spanish word for what I am trying to say. There’s no word for “scary.” You can “have fear” or describe a thing as “fearsome” but it just doesn’t compute for me that there isn’t a direct translation sometimes. I find it fascinating to think how our language colors our experiences, and I wonder if my friends in Mexico are braver sometimes because they don’t think of some things being scary in the same way I do.

  44. Tina says...

    When you thought you waited too long to drink your tea but then you sip it and it’s exactly the right temperature. Or when music gives you chills in your hair follicles, like during Sinnerman when it’s just clapping and breathing, then the piano kicks in. So good.

    • Ginger says...

      I’ve heard the Spanish word “duende” used to describe that chills feeling you get when hear an amazing piece of music. I also use it to describe when music/art/life gives me a lump in my throat and makes me weepy.

      According to Wikipedia, “El duende is the spirit of evocation. It comes from inside as a physical/emotional response to art. It is what gives you chills, makes you smile or cry as a bodily reaction to an artistic performance that is particularly expressive.”

  45. Meghan says...

    A word to describe something that we think is unprecedented, but actually isn’t. It might be something we haven’t experienced in recent memory so it feels like it’s never happened before, when in fact it’s happened many times before.As in “these are unprecedented times”. They’re not, unfortunately (insert any example from the 1918 influenza pandemic).

    By the way, “unprecedented” is the easiest square to achieve on my work’s Staff Meeting Bingo card.

  46. mike says...

    You should look up a book called “Sniglets.” I remember back in the ’80s reading those books and then trying to come up with some of my own. One my brothers and I came up with is “Aftertizer” which is when you eat your dessert first and then, more often than not, are not hungry for the main meal any more. Sprung straight from the minds of pre-10 year olds. “I had some oreos as an aftertizer and now I’m not hungry for my fish sticks and French fries.”

    • Trudy says...

      Love it! Sometimes dessert is all I want, especially ice cream during our recent heat wave. So now I know that I am having an Aftertizer!

  47. IM says...

    My husband coined the phrase “Yum-hush” for when a tasty meal is served and everyone is quiet while eating it.

    • Amy says...

      I think I’m going to use that one!

  48. Anne S says...

    “gigil” is amazing. My best friend has a thing where she’ll look at me across a room and just run over and squeeze the crap out of me, pinch my cheeks, etc. She says something comes over her and she HAS to squeeze me. Same goes for her baby sister, small animals, etc. She needs to get that word as a tattoo.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that sounds like such a lovely friendship!

    • Tasha says...

      I lost my incredible best friend of over 20 years last year. She was married and I am too. Of course I can’t imagine the loss that her widower feels, and also, she was my soulmate/life partner too. I’ve often felt that it would help so much to have a word for a person that has been widowed by their best friend so that others can understand and honor the relationship <3

  49. Anna Margret says...

    In Icelandic we have the word ‘gluggaveður’. The literal translation is ‘window-weather’ and it means the kind of weather that looks really great when you look out the window, but then when you go outside it is actually really cold.

    • Harper says...

      ah I love this!!

  50. Hilary says...

    I wish there were a word for the nostalgia I feel RIGHT NOW for my children as they are RIGHT NOW. They’re 8 and 11–young enough to be delighted by our presence and old enough to have some independence and engage in wonderful conversations (and make hilarious jokes, and ask hard questions, and, and, and…). When I think about this moment in our family’s story, I feel as though I’m empathizing with the future me, saying, “Yes, dear. I know: It really WAS wonderful, wasn’t it?”

    • Molly says...

      Oof, right here with our daughters at 10 and 13. It’s SO great right now, and feels so close to becoming the Next Thing. I already know I’m going to be nostalgic for this.

  51. Megan says...

    The word for when you are shopping for greeting cards and someone else is in the section you need, so you have to pretend you are interested in other cards until they are finished. ;)

    • Kara says...

      This word could also be for when you’re a pedestrian and you have to pretend you don’t need to cross the street while waiting to cross the street, so that overly “nice” drivers (cough, Portland) don’t stop in the middle of traffic for you and mess up the flow that would have given you a clear opening like 8 seconds later

    • honey says...

      @kara This is an OG PNW thing. I’ll always remember first moving to Seattle and literally taking one step off the curb in prep to cross the street and both lanes of traffic screeching to a halt. No one honked, no one indignantly cursed me. Everyone was so politely concerned for my safety! This was the city center! I was instantly both mortified, charmed and changed; and cured of jaywalking forever. This kind of behavior is worth an 8 second wait, imo.

    • Kara says...

      @Honey, yes totally, when ALL the cars stop it’s very nice, but when one car stops and the cars going in the other direction do not, and then cars from behind the stopped car start passing it, you’re doomed! You live on that corner now.

    • Calla says...

      hahaha yes, I do this in clothing stores all time. “Oh I guess I’ll just look in this rack behind you…”

  52. Chelsea Brito says...

    When I was in Sweden a few years ago, I was introduced to the word “fika” which is often translated as “a coffee and cake break” but truly means making time for friends or colleagues to chat and enjoy with a coffee and snack. It can even be used as a verb, like “let’s go and fika”. In the US, it’s rare to slow down like this in the middle of the workday, but so important for our mental health. Now it’s one of my favorite things to do, and one of the things I’ve missed the most in the last few months of WFH.

    • Christina says...

      It is indeed. Often, during fika, is when the best ideas appear, while talking with colleagues. The day is a lot less efficient without that pause (twice a day).

    • Lauren says...

      There used to be a coffee chain in New York called Fika. Terribly overpriced but then again … can you put a price tag on those moments when you slow down & take a breath during your work day? ;)

  53. Katie says...

    I think about this ALL the time. I wish there were words for these specific kinds of joy:
    1. The joy of finding something that you really wanted that you did not think you had. Ex: a Rolaid in your purse. a hair tie in your gym bag.
    2. The joy of seeing that white piece of paper on the office building door announcing that the office will be closed for the upcoming holiday.

  54. Helen Anderson says...

    Some happy feelings that I believe there should be a words for:
    – When you sit down to relax after cleaning your whole house / apartment.
    – Those perfect sunny and chilly days – where your slightly cold, but you sit on a park bench or blanket that has been warmed by the sun and your the perfect temperature.
    – Hugging a friend goodbye when you don’t know when you’ll see them again. (not happy, but there is something beautiful about it)
    – This one is silly, but I love when I see something out of place at the grocery store or any store really. I imagine the person traded it out for the thing it is by because they like it more. Pasta > shaving cream.

    • mariah says...

      These are great! especially the feeling when you sit down to relax after cleaning your whole house / apartment! Such a great feeling!

  55. R says...

    There should be a word for that bittersweet feeling when a child does something, and it is probably something they won’t do ever again (or for very much longer). We need a word that properly communicates the happiness you feel for their continued growth and development but the stunning nostalgia for what they were. Every time my son spontaneously grabs my hand, I feel this.

    • Veronica says...

      Ugh so tru. The last time one holds their child in their arms can easily pass unnoticed. I find it a difficult fact to be aware of with an eight year old.

    • Karen says...

      My son’s, one aged 33 and the other 28, will both hold my hand if they are sitting next to me on our sofa when they are visiting. It’s just something that is unsaid but enjoyed, not sure what to call this but it’s wonderful in a very quiet way.

  56. Lindsay says...

    The feeling at night when my husband and I finally get to sit together and enjoy wine and watch the Office (for the millionth time) , after the hard work that is caring for children, cooking dinner and cleaning up the kitchen, and tidying up a house that looks like a giant picked it up and shook it all around :) I guess I would call it “Phew!!!”

  57. Rebecca says...

    My friend always calls that feeling of satisfaction after cleaning out and organizing a space an “organasm” and I kind of think it’s perfect.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha

    • beth says...

      Oh my God- I was just looking at pantry organizers online, and I may have had an organasm just thinking of getting that space tidied up- hahaha!