n. when your dream about someone you know skews how you feel about them all the next day, an emotion you are unable—and unwilling—to shake.
n. the intense desire to bite deeply into the forearm of someone you love.
n. the half-forlorn, half-escapist ache of a train whistle calling in the distance at night.
Q. “Are these words real or do you make them up?” –silhouetteme
Yes and yes. They were invented by the author, but meet the standard of realness established by lexicographer Erin McKean:
“People say to me, ‘How do I know if a word is real?’ You know, anybody who’s read a children’s book knows that love makes things real. If you love a word, use it. That makes it real. Being in the dictionary is an arbitrary distinction; it doesn’t make a word any more real than any other way. If you love a word, it becomes real.”
Q. “How do you come up with the words?” –anonymous
Each word actually means something etymologically, having been built from one of a dozen languages or renovated jargon. For example, aimonomia is French (aimer, to like + nom, name) and a palindrome. Etymologies are discussed in detail on the facebook page.
Q. “How do I pronounce them?” –jessegivens
As with caramel and pajamas, there are many possible pronunciations. All are acceptable. It is the author’s experience that each of us tends to think and speak in our own strange dialect. Sure, our words mostly overlap, but their meanings are fundamentally unique, which makes them untranslatable. In fact, an unabridged Dictionary of Obscure Sorrowswould be several miles thick, and would include billions of sub-definitions and individual pronunciations, very like the Tower of Babel. Accordingly, the author recommends that you pronounce them according to your best judgment.
That said, anecdoche is properly pronounced /əˈnɛkdəki/.
Q. “Are you writing a book version?” –aquaholical