10 Words for Feelings You Probably Didn’t Know You Had

We’ve all had some feelings we couldn’t quite explain. However, did you know that at some point somewhere, someone may have named these very specific emotions? We’ll go through 10 of them, and if you like, there may even be a part two!

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  1. Heimweh

is a word describing a strange mix of homesickness and nostalgia. It is a German loanword comprised of the words heim meaning ‘home’ or ‘home place’, and weh which means ‘pain’ or ‘woe’. While it is related to homesickness it is not quite the same thing. Sometimes it is called “true homesickness” because it is often used  for situations that are quite severe either emotionally or physically.

  1. Liminal

Liminal comes from the latin limen which means ‘threshold’ or ‘border’. That is also what it tends to describe, a feeling of being on some sort of border or crossing. Some liken it to the feeling you have when you wait at an airport or train station for longer than expected. They are both places where everyone is often travelling through, not staying, and when you do stay, it can feel kind of peculiar.

  1. Sonder

Sonder is the feeling you have when you realise that each individual around you has a life, both inner and outer, as complex as you. They have fears and worries, a history, things they rather not talk about, just like you. For a moment you seem to feel a kinship or a shift, or maybe even confusion. You feel sonder.

  1. Chrysalism


Chrysalism is the strange kind of comfort and quietness you feel when you are inside when there is rain or thunder. You see and feel the natural phenomena lash out and rage outside, while you are in the warm comforted cocoon of home.

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  1. Liberosis

Liberosis, in very basic terms, is the desire to feel “chill”. Perhaps especially when experiencing mental illness, you will probably feel an innate desire to care less about unimportant things, to loosen up a little. You desire to be more carefree, more liberated.

  1. Kairo sclerosis

Kairo sclerosis is the conscious effort to savour a happy moment. It describes the realisation that you are happy, and then the following effort to really remember that moment.

  1. Vellichor

Vellichor is described as the strange wistfulness you feel when you are in a used bookstore. These books have had a life and purpose before ending up in the store to be available for you to buy. It’s a strange variation on nostalgia.

  1. Gnossienne

Gnossienne derives from the Greek ‘gnosis’ ( = knowledge). This word is kind of related to sonder, number 3. It describes the realisation that even people you have known for years still have a complex and mysterious inner life you know very very little about.

  1. Mimeomia

Mimeomia is quite an interesting word, and something a lot of us will have experienced at some point. Stereotypes are part of life, and even though they can be untrue very often, sometimes you do something, or exhibit a trait that does fit into a stereotype. You might not like it, because you know it’s a stereotype and you don’t want to fit into that stereotypical image. This annoyance with fitting into a stereotype is called mimeomia.

  1. Anemoia

Anemoia is another whistful one, like gnossienne and sonder. Anemoia is what you feel when you experience nostalgia for a time you’ve never known. You might experience it when listening to music or watching movies characteristic for a particular time.

Would you like to hear more about these obscure feelings, then let us know by sharing and liking this. We’ll dive back into the books to get you some awesome psychology information!


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  1. I have absolutely loved reading these words and their meanings!
    I particularly love and relate to the words Sonder and Liberosis.
    Would really enjoy learning more from you, thanks for a great article, the word refreshing comes to my mind after reading it.

  2. These words have a certain serenity to them. Loved reading this, and didn’t want it to end.

  3. There’s a word for a feeling that I remember hearing about at one point or another. It describes the feeling of pleasure at someone else’s pain, like when a criminal is convicted and you feel that sense of justice or when the team you’re not cheering for missed the shot and doesn’t get any points. I remember that it is a German loan word, much like heimweh. Could you possibly put that into another post similar to this one as I would like to know more about it.


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