Every year, about 4,000 new words are added to the dictionary. Dignitaries in high courts and castles used to prescribe language rules; now it’s democratized. Our fast-paced, abbreviated culture of lol’s and brb’s can leave us tongue-tied, twiddling our thumbs — yet we always find a way to capture and articulate shared experiences, subtle feelings, and strange phenomena that haven’t found their lexical home yet. Language isn’t dying; it’s just evolving for the times. Check out these 25 words and phrases for common occurrences, and see if you can come up with the perfect example of your own.
When Time Plays Tricks on You:
The phenomenon of glancing at an analog clock and seeing the second hand seem to take one really long tick, and then resume normal ticking. This can happen with other blinking or switching things as well.
When you look at the time and as soon as you look away you forget so you have to look again.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Looking for food in the fridge multiple times within a short time frame, while knowing that no food is in there.
“I checked again for some ice cream, but the fridge still only contained green peas and broccoli, I guess it was just fridgefull thinking.”
From Cognitive Disconnects:
4) Brain Lag
When you lose a train of thought but then catch back up to it.
“I was worried I’d never remember what I was going to say about your mom, but it was just brain lag.”
5) Air Stair
Stepping down heavily on a stair that isn’t there.
“I hit that air stair so hard, I thought I broke my ankle”
Any scenario relating to when you put the milk in the cabinet and the cereal in the fridge
“Totally pulled a flopflip when I was putting away the milk and cereal today.”
When you get a fake sensation on your leg that your phone is vibrating when it’s not.
“I’ve been having crazy ringxiety lately, but I know my phone is in the car…”
When you can’t remember what you wanted to search on Google.
“For the life of me I could not remember what I was searching for online….Screwgled again!”
To Social Faux-Paus:
The little dance two people go through when approaching one another on the same side of the street, where each person alternately attempts to make space for the other but is confounded by the other person doing the same thing.
“Jenny and I did the pass dance for the longest in the hall at work today.”
That awkward, crummy feeling you get when your friend complains about another person’s behavior to you but quietly feel like you kind of do it.
“Mike ranted about Annie and I just nodded, but on the inside I was totally shamepathic.”
11) Name Shame
The point at which it’s too late to ask again for someone’s name because you’ve spent a bunch of time around them and should definitely know it by now.
“I have total name shame. I’ve been working with the same guy for over a month and have yet to learn his name.”
When talking with someone in person, trying not to seem like you know too much about them despite having stalked them on facebook and knowing details of their life.
“I creeped on my ex’s facebook and saw she got knocked up, so it was super stalkward when I ran into her yesterday and had to pretend I didn’t know anything.”
When you say goodbye to someone and then awkwardly walk in the same direction.
“I totally just Awkwalked my co-worker at school”
When you and another person are in two toilet stalls next to each-other wanting to take a shit, but neither of you will dare make the first move/splash.
“I got into a stallmate with the guy pooping next to me. I got so frustrated I just ended up leaving.”
When you accidentally catch the eye of someone on public transport and you’re worried they think you’ve been staring at them for a long while.
“Dude, I was in a commutrance and that girl totally caught me staring.”
When You Game The System:
The money one earns while taking a poop at work.
“I earned at least a couple of brownbacks taking a shit today. Feels good man…”
17) Irish Mile
A word for small pleasures like getting a row of green traffic lights
“I hit that Irish Mile driving home today.”
18) Pump Roulette
The name of the game of trying to land the gas price or gallons number exactly on .00 when filling up.
“Only the gas station wins in pump roulette.”
Words and phrases are just symbols after all, but they can make us feel psychic or lose their meaning completely:
19) Say ja Vu
When you say a word or phrase out loud and then hear it on the TV, radio, etc. immediately after
That moment when you repeat a word many times to the point it has no meaning and it feels odd to pronounce it.
The daily rollercoaster of anticipation turning to disappointment
The moment of disappointment when you think you found a parking spot in a full lot but it turns out there was just a short car/motorcycle in the spot.
“Ugh, what a spottease – I was so sure that spot was free!”
22) Entrée Envy
That moment when you order your food then realize that you like how someone else’s food looks
“I had a bad case of entree envy when I saw the elegant dish my girlfriend ordered next to my rice dish.”
And Some Mysteries That Can Never Be Explained:
23) Dust Horizon
The little line of dust you can’t ever quite sweep up with the broom and dust pan.
“Dude don’t bother sweeping anymore, you’re about to hit the dust horizon.”
When you do a reality check to find out if you’re lucid dreaming, and it gives the dream-type results but you come up with an excuse for it (e.g. You were born with an extra finger), leading you into further non-lucidity.
“Oft nights he twirls uncontrollably in limitless anti-lucidity loops, his mind a twisted barbed wire the deeper he drills into his subconscious.”
When you are in the shower, and suddenly you start thinking deep thoughts about life and the mysteries of the universe.
“I had an Aquaphany about what car I want today.”
Note: Many of the words that inspired this post can be found in this unusually obscure word-lover’s dictionary. As well as the music of Sigur Ros, who use made up language in their hauntingly beautiful music.