A game of unnamed emotions

I talked with a scientist friend of mine the other day. She told me about emotions and how they aren’t what we think they are. And that they are more varied and weird than the older models suggested. Emotions are, according to the newer models based on the newer data, learned concepts and there are emotions that only exist within a certain cultural concept.

And learning that, and being a sucker for terminology (thanks mom), I thought it would be interesting to name some unnamed emotions and to maybe give them a name.

I’m thinking similar to the “If I had” - game but in reverse. I describe a feeling I have no name for, the next person answers a name they think would fit for it and then describe their own emotion? (for fun so don’t overthink the names or emotions if you don’t want to)

Emotion: The elated feeling when you manage to remember someone’s name before it gets awkward.


Word: nymief, a portmanteau of “nym” as in name, and “relief”.

Emotion: The conviction that you are going to die, in the moment that pain swells.


Word: nightdread
Emotion: A desperate anxiety somewhere between memento morí, loneliness and disillusionment about closest relationships; but an anxiety that you can sleep over; something cured by seeing the sun.


Word: crepusculum
Emotion: the fear and self-doubt of leaving hard-won friends to return to a home country of people who never quite liked you.


Word: assuredtimor colloquial ‘buggered’

Emotion: the sense of extreme longing for something that can never be had, held or realised but would result in utopia.


Word: Vackerlögnlängtan (Longing for a Beautiful lie), a compound word formed through compounding Vacker (beautiful), Lögn (Lie) and Längtan (Melancholy longing / desire). I can supply a pronunciation guide if wanted.

Emotion: The sense of wonder and elation felt when walking home in the pouring rain after something good has happened.


Emotion: the feeling of resistance dissolving when finally getting around to doing something important that was being put off.

Word: Findillyago

Emotion: the bittersweet feeling of loving a word so much yet knowing that it is not a tangible object that you can swallow in order to make it a part of your body

Word: Eulecophilia

I’m looking for a whole subset of words to describe various forms of loneliness…


  1. The feeling in the morning of turning over in bed and sensing the empty space where a partner would have been.
  2. The feeling of walking in time or space or heart between the community one is leaving behind and the community one is about to enter.
  3. The isolation felt when one’s world narrows into the full-time care of a single other person who cannot care for themselves.
  4. The sense of having grown apart from a friend and can no longer relate authentically with them because you’ve both become different people but are stuck in who the other used to be.
  5. The feeling resulting from being emotionally malnourished by only receiving connection through a screen.
  6. The feeling when surrounded by friends who all love you and would jump to be of support but somehow not being able to ask for it.
  7. The feeling when realizing part of the true scope of the Universe and that all sentient beings may be stuck on this tiny piece of dust floating through space.
  8. The feeling when expressing oneself but having no clue whether the expression will ever find a receiver.