The Missing Words

Hello Readers,

I have this feeling that I get sometimes, it annoys me extremely. It’s this burning need to write, but coming up dry with anything halfway decent. It’s this overflowing of feelings that I need to write into something, need to tell someone about, but I can’t find the words and my fingers sit idly at the keyboard. There is no word for it, as you can see, as I just used a paragraph to describe a single feeling.

Sometimes I feel so limited by language. There are some words that I grasp for desperately that we do not know, that we do not own. There is no word in English for dust sparkling in the sun. We have no word in our language for the smell of the earth after rain. We have no word in this language for a longing homesickness for somewhere we’ve never been.

What do you call missing someone you’ve never met?

And some words, some words don’t seem to do the feeling justice. Have you ever missed someone? Missed seems like such a shallow word for this sad and happy feeling you feel. Miss. Four letters to sum up a turmoil of thoughts.

It just doesn’t feel right.

Love, too, four letters to some up such a complex emotion that takes so many different forms. We don’t have a separate word for the bond between best friends, we don’t have a word to do justice to the link between siblings.

I grasp for these words and my hands come up empty.

We have so many words, but we are missing so, so many.

How do you do justice to these things? How…

There must be some words, somewhere, that encompass these things. I just have to look for them.

Here’s a couple that I found in my quest:

Greng-jai (Thai)
That feeling you get when you don’t want someone to do something for you because it would be a pain for them.

L’esprit de l’escalier (French)
A too-late sarcastic retort thought of only after departure.

Tartle (Scots)
The word for that panicky hesitation just before you have to introduce someone whose name you can’t quite remember.

Yuputka (Ulwa)
The phantom sensation of something crawling on your skin.

Waldeinsamkeit (German)                                                                                                             The feeling of being alone in the woods.

Iktsuarpok (Inuit)
To go outside to check if anyone is coming.

L’appel du vide (French)
The instinctive urge to jump from high places.

Don’t you feel like we’re missing something? That there’s words we should know that don’t exist in English or any other language?

I feel it.


One thought on “The Missing Words

  1. Dear Rubix,
    Thank you for that wonderful post. I agree with you so much that such small words like love and miss can never encompass all that feeling. I always love learning new words and you have just taught me so many. Now all I need to do is memorize them. Another word that I like is “nugatory” meaning useless or trifling. I doubt I will ever use these words, but still it is fun to know them for a time. Like those times when someone says something and then when they walk away you think of a wonderfully sarcastic remark. Everyone needs a word to describe that. Then when you think that a spider is crawling up your back but it really isn’t there, what do you say? In this amazing post, you have taught me wonderful and intriguing new words. But, in the end, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for teaching me those awesome new words.


    Liked by 1 person

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