Archive for New-to-me Words


I recently heard about Netflix’s fan event, known as Tudum. But I wasn’t sure how to pronounce that word, nor what it meant. Took me a while, but I eventually found out, from a 2021 article: Netflix subscribers know the "tudum" sound when they hear it, but maybe not how to spell it until now. […]

same shoe

Just saw someone on a BoardGameGeek forum use the phrase “I am in the same shoe with you,” which I don’t recall ever encountering before. I like it—it was immediately clear what it means—but now I’m curious about it. A Google search for [“same shoe with you”] shows only about 13,000 instances of that phrase […]

kenopsia and other 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.” For example, kenopsia is “the eerie, forlorn atmosphere of a place that’s usually […]

human biodiversity

I recently encountered yet another vaguely-scientific-sounding term that’s used to make racism sound less bad: human biodiversity, also known as HBD. RationalWiki explains the way that the phrase tries to come across as innocuous (to be clear, RationalWiki is being snarkily opposed to racism here): By being just one “bio” away from supporting “diversity” and […]


My dictionary defines nescience as “lack of knowledge or awareness.” It gives ignorance as a synonym. I encountered it in a Robert Anton Wilson book, where he was using it essentially as the opposite of omniscience.