Words have magical power. These meaningful nuggets of vibration made of a mixture of consonants and vowels allow us to express and communicate our experiences and emotions. In this article, we have compiled 32 such words, all lovely, unique and very uncommon, sourced from various languages, that give meaning to the numerous transient and unspoken thoughts, ideas and feelings we experience on a daily basis. These expressions make us pay attention to many such overlooked things in our life that actually enrich our souls, so don’t forget to include them in your vocabulary.
Fun Activity: Pick 5 expressions that resonate with your inner voice, write them down, memorize them, and start using them as a part of your regular vocabulary. You will definitely sound more interesting and thoughtful.
32 Expressions You Should Have in Your Vocabulary
Sophrosyne (n.) is a term originating in Greek philosophy, which is characterized by healthy-mindedness, balance, self-control and moderation; one is guided by knowledge and is in sync with their real nature, which in turn results in true happiness in life.
Pronunciation | “so-frO-‘sU-nA
Note: To all those who are thinking “I want to reach that level” and also to all those who are thinking “Probably I’ll never get there”, let me tell you that you will! Even if it feels like a battle, keep fighting; have faith in yourself because you are strong and good, and your happiness is valuable.
Vorfreude (n.) is an intense feeling of joy that one experiences when anticipating future pleasures and happiness; it is the delight one feels when looking forward to something.
Pronunciation | ‘for-froi-duh
Numinous (adj.) describes any experience that has a strong divine quality, which makes us fascinated yet fearful, awestruck yet enchanted- it evokes the powerful emotions of being overwhelmed and influenced.
Note: The word has a religious origin, but it can be used for both natural experiences and supernatural experiences. It can also mean “having a strong religious or spiritual quality”.
Nemophilist (n.) is a person who is in love with the forests and woods, and the beauty and solitude they offer; the person is a haunter of the woods.
Pronunciation | ne-‘mo-fe-list
Sillage (n.), the French word for ‘wake’, meaning a trail of disturbed water left by the passage of a boat, broadly means the impression left in the atmosphere after something or someone has passed through the space; can be the trace of someone’s perfume that lingers in the air, the trail left in water and air, etc.
Pronunciation | ‘sE-yazh
Note: Sillage is a tern used in perfumery to indicate the degree to which a perfume smell lingers when worn on your skin; a perfume with light sillage does not linger much in the air. Also, don’t confused it with silage (sy-ladzh), which is a type of food for cows.
Erlebnisse (n.) stand for those experiences that make us feel most deeply and leave a profound impression on us, can be positive or negative, but they make us truly feel alive.
Pronunciation | Ar-‘lEb-nis-e (ayr-LEEB-nis-eh)
Koyaanisqasti (n.) means a life that is totally out of balance; a nature that is so unbalanced that one desperately needs a new way of life.
Pronunciation | koy-an-Es-kot-sA
Meliorism (n.) is a belief that the world can be improved through human effort; it holds that when human beings interfere and put effort to better a natural process, the outcome is an improvement over the previous, natural one.
Pronunciation | ‘mE-lE-or-iz-m
Fernweh (n.) is an ache to see far-flung places and the craving for travel to distant locations beyond our doorstep.
Pronunciation | FEIRN-veyh, with fei as in feint
Ostranenie (n.) is an artistic technique of presenting common things in an unfamiliar, strange, or wild manner, defamiliarizing what is known so people can gain new perspectives and see things in a different light and more deeply.
Note: generally used as an art term
Russian | остранение
Smultronställe (n.) lit. “place of wild strawberries”; it denotes a special and personal place discovered and treasured by a person who often returns there for comfort and relaxation, a idyllic spot free from worries and sadness.