ATG Quirkies: Vellichor, Sonder, Keta….Imaginary Words for Obscure Real Things

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. 

Watch the YouTube Series, with new episodes every other Sunday. Describe an emotion you need a word for here on tumblr. Or just follow along on twitter.  Follow on facebook, to learn the etymologies and backstory behind each new definition.

And if you have suggestions or questions you can email the author at

*John Koenig is a graphic designer, editor, and voice performer from Minnesota, who currently lives in Amsterdam with his wife. His work has been acclaimed by New York Magazine, Washington Post Express, Business Insider, Jason Kottke, and the guys from Radiolab.

(The source of ATG Quirkies is John Riley of Gabriel Books)

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