We’ve all experienced things words cannot describe. “Delicious” doesn’t come close to describing the first bite of a home cooked meal from a loved one you haven’t seen in a while. “Sadism” describes the pleasure derived from someone else’s pain, but what if they entirely deserve it? And “acceptance” doesn’t quite nail the feeling of finding your place after years — or even a lifetime — of abject loneliness.
I sometimes find myself frustrated by the lack of words that can describe these experiences (there should be a word for that feeling, too). But The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows is helping to fill the void. You won’t find these words in a regular dictionary, but you will likely relate to at least a handful of the powerful emotions they represent.