I love to learn new words — I used to keep a written list of new words years ago, but lately I’ve realized that the words I don’t know aren’t really useful. I have plenty already, and it gets old having to define obscure words to my readers.

While I was living with my folks this winter my father recommended the Word Of The Day site to me. The URL is:

Word of the Day

The May 9th e-mail featured a word I’ve never encountered: anomia.

The Dictionary Demon,once roused from his slumbers, brought me back this definition after a short foray over the Sea of Words:



noun: The inability to recall names of people or objects. 

From Latin a- (without) + nom (name). 
Earliest documented use: 1900. 
Don't confuse the word with anomie. 

"In Dad's case of anomia, he's been calling his nightly 
can of beer 'ink'. 
Sometimes he calls it 'gas', 
which makes a kind of sense."

Patricia Traxler; I'm Still Listening for My Father's Words; 
Newsweek (New York); 
Jun 11, 2007.

I have a terrible time with people’s names. Typically it takes me three times to really absorb someone’s name.

A useful site for a literary type like me! I may not use the obscure words, but it’s nice learning them!




Filed under Essays and Articles

3 responses to “Anomia

  1. Joan

    word of the day is even more obscure since the link didn’t work. (grin)

  2. I got the link fixed, Joan. Thanks for letting me know of the flaw!

  3. Joan

    Thanks for fixing it, Larry. It was fun reading it and a relief on this particular post to learn that other people have a problem with remembering names. I didn’t know there was a real name for it. I always say I’m proper name dyslexic. This is particularly galling when I’m reading a novel . If I put the book down for a couple of days I suddenly will draw a blank remembering if Paula is the heroine or the villain. A true test of my declining sanity is experienced when trying to get through a Russian novel. I particularly recall “Crime and Punishment” where, in any given paragraph, the same person is referred to by his first name, his last name, and even more annoying the tacking of ‘-ovich’ (sp.?) on the end of a name.. I think it means ‘son of’… whose ever name precedes it. But I never rembered which son of an ovich it referred to. But enough gritching for today. . I will enjoy the ‘word of the day’, and won’t have to wake the oft times grumpy Dictionary Demon, for clues. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s