The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows


The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows is a compendium of invented words written by John Koenig. Each original definition aims to fill a hole in the language—to give a name to emotions we all might experience but don’t yet have a word for.

The author's mission is to capture the aches, demons, vibes, joys and urges that roam the wilderness of the psychological interior. Each sorrow is bagged, tagged and tranquilized, then released gently back into the subconscious.

▸ visit the facebook page to hear the backstory behind each word

▸ follow on twitter (@obscuresorrows) for whatever reason

▸ send me a tumblr message describing emotions you need words for

▸ send me an email via obscuresorrows@gmail.com

JOHN KOENIG is a designer and commercial director who lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. His dictionary has been acclaimed by New York Magazine, Washington Post Express, John Green, Jason Kottke, and the guys from Radiolab.

He is currently writing a book version of The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. It is gigantic and completely made up.


Copyright © 2014 John Koenig. All content is intended to be read at night.

sonder

n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.

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  1. ihavetriedinmywaytobefree reblogged this from dictionaryofobscuresorrows and added:
    n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own...
  2. number4bakerstreet reblogged this from dictionaryofobscuresorrows and added:
    Not technically a word in any language but as far as I’m concerned, it’s a word.
  3. oblique-stranger reblogged this from dictionaryofobscuresorrows
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  14. gyrlonfyre reblogged this from dictionaryofobscuresorrows and added:
    #sonder
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  18. cassiex reblogged this from dictionaryofobscuresorrows and added:
    THIS IS HAUNTING.
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