Word of the Week: January 8, 2024

Word of the Week: a bookish meme hosted here on Mondays in which we share a word that we find entertaining, enlightening, edifying, or just plain fun to say! Share your own word on your blog, then help me grow the meme and come share it here on mine!

Happy New Year! I came across this week’s word somewhere as I meandered on the internet and thought it was just perfect.

I found the word independent of its source, so I had to go digging. I found it mentioned in a Merriam-Webster post about words the internet loves, and that pointed me to the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows is the creation of John Koenig. It’s an ongoing collection of words invented to try to fill a hole in the English language, to try to express those concepts for which we have no single word. I just love the full definition of vellichor: “the strange wistfulness of used bookstores, which are somehow infused with the passage of time—filled with thousands of old books you’ll never have time to read, each of which is itself locked in its own era, bound and dated and papered over like an old room the author abandoned years ago, a hidden annex littered with thoughts left just as they were on the day they were captured.” Can’t you just feel and smell that definition?!

What do you think of “vellichor”? Had you ever encountered the word before today? Leave a comment!

Got a word? Share it below! Then share the meme to help it grow.

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