English Has No Word For

The kind of detritus—rubber bands, thumbtacks, orphaned fasteners, possibly dead batteries—that collects in drawers.

A rock or brick left next to a locked door of a common area (the rear entrance of an apartment building, say, or a laundry room) so that people can prop the door open when their hands are full.

The unspoken agreement to leave a rock or a brick next to a locked door to a common area by all the people who use it.

The colors yellow or orange perceived as a single thing. (Perhaps “yorange”. If necessary we could call yellow “light yorange” and orange “dark yorange”.)

A concept that cannot be expressed because there is no language for it. Oops, sorry. “Ineffable”. Never mind.

Musical genres that haven’t been invented yet.

Relating to the bank of a creek. Specifically a creek and not a river.

Absent-mindedly scraping off the label of a beer bottle with your fingernail.

An insufficient amount of sand.

The quality of being small and requiring delicate manipulation—characteristic of earrings, watch knobs, pretty much all surgery.

Having a useless skill.

The opposite of photogenic.

The time between when your fuel gauge reads empty and when you actually run out of gas. This one in particular lends itself to metaphor.

The property of lending oneself to metaphor.

What sawdust feels like when rubbed between your fingers.

A song with only two chords.

Being just beyond the cusp of something.

Strikingly angular or strikingly rounded but definitely not in between.

Something that is not optional that really should be optional.

Something you have momentarily forgotten.

Tossing a ball in the air and catching it 99 times, then missing it on the 100th toss. Again, lending itself to metaphor.

Abandoning a train of thought.

Nostalgia for things you did not actually experience.

The fleeting realization that you too will someday die.

This entry was posted in Mermaids. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to English Has No Word For

  1. fatclown says:


  2. fatclown says:

    neo-[current_genre] (I know I’m cheating)

  3. Pingback: English Has Over 1.5 Billion Meanings for the Word Snow | Corner Cases

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