The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

Non-Fiction, Languages & Reference, English Language, Dictionaries & Reference, Linguistics & Language Studies
Hardback Published on: 20/01/2022
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Bookseller Reviews

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The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
In the running for my favourite book of all time
A customer called into my shop yesterday and asked me to name my favourite book. I could not do it. I promised that I would think about it and that he sh... READ MORE
Libby Chapman
The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
Beautifully Poignant
Honestly, this is one of the most beautiful non-fiction books I have ever read. Upon receiving a copy from the lovely folks at Simon and Shuster I started ... READ MORE
Carys W.
The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
Thoughtful, clever and mind-expanding
How can you express or feel an emotion if there are no words to describe it? Well worry not (if you were), as this book is here to help. Full of partly mad... READ MORE
Richard Keay
The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
Beautiful, thoughtful, poignant
With thanks to the publisher for sending me a reading copy. A beautiful pocket sized tome of words you otherwise might never have heard of. Each entry ... READ MORE
Holly Roberts
The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
Koenig is a Genius!
I was lucky to receive a copy of this incredible book from Simon and Schuster just a few days ago and I'm already besotted with it. Not just because of the... READ MORE
Faye, Durham
The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
This book will make you feel so much
I am having THE BEST time dipping in and out of this book. It is like reading a book and realising you are not alone, you are made aware of feelings you h... READ MORE
Lizzie Ryan


A truly original book in every sense of the word, The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows poetically defines emotions that we all feel but don't have the words to express, until now-from the creator of the popular online project of the same name. Have you ever wondered about the lives of each person you pass on the street, realizing that everyone is the main character in their own story, each living a life as vivid and complex as your own? That feeling has a name: 'sonder.' Or maybe you've watched a thunderstorm roll in and felt a primal hunger for disaster, hoping it would shake up your life. That's called 'lachesism.' Or you were looking through old photos and felt a pang of nostalgia for a time you've never actually experienced. That's 'anemoia.' If you've never heard of these terms before, that's because they didn't exist until John Koenig began his epic quest to fill the gaps in the language of emotion. Born as a website in 2009, The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows has garnered widespread critical acclaim, inspired TED talks, album titles, cocktails, and even tattoos. By turns poignant, funny, and mind-bending, the definitions include whimsical etymologies drawn from languages around the world, interspersed with otherworldly collages and lyrical essays that explore forgotten corners of the human condition-from 'astrophe,' the longing to explore beyond the planet Earth, to 'zenosyne,' the sense that time keeps getting faster. The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows is for anyone who enjoys a shift in perspective, pondering the ineffable feelings that make up our lives, which have far more in common than we think. With a gorgeous package and beautifully illustrated throughout, this is the perfect gift for creatives, word nerds, and people everywhere.

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • ISBN: 9781501153648
  • Number of pages: 288
  • Weight: 311g
  • Dimensions: 178 x 127 x 23 mm

Customer Reviews

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The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
A great book
I love it. Perfect to dip into on occasion.
Dani Riot