Parents often tell frustrated kids, "Use your words!" but sometimes we just can't express ourselves through language, because the language isn't there.

Other cultures often have words that can't be translated, and there are cultural concepts that we just don't have. English is my native language, and though I love it, it's the one I often find most lacking.

I saw this idea over on Angelicasnews, and I had to try it myself! Here are a few feelings that I couldn't find a word for in English — or any other language I'm aware of — so I made up words to describe them.

Andrewissimma (Andrew-ee-sim-a):

A young girl in a blue dress dancing on a mountaintop. Young woman with blue fabric fluttering on wind.I often feel exuberant upon having climbed a mountain, don't you? (Photo: chote/Shutterstock)

That feeling of wanting to sing and spin around in joy when you find yourself on a beautiful mountaintop. It's named for Julie Andrews, who will forever be my touchstone for this feeling, for both her passion, and slight sense of rule-breaking as Fräulein Maria in "The Sound of Music."


friendly saleswoman in bakery passing bread over the counterWhen someone gets the last of something you wanted, and you irrationally hate them for a moment, that's riftlonging. (Photo: Racorn/Shutterstock)

That sense of frustration and slight hatred when the person ahead of you in line at the grocery store, bakery or chocolatier gets the last of something you wanted. This used to happen to me all the time in NYC when someone in front of me got the last pumpernickel bagel on a weekend morning. This one is a portmanteau word, combining rift (a break in friendly relations) and longing (yearning desire).


A woman cries as she listens through headphones to music.Overwhelming emotion from experiencing beautiful art is a widely experienced emotion, but there's no English word for it. (Photo: KPG Payless2/Shutterstock)

Crying brought on by that feeling of joy and sadness, mystery and wonder that listening to a certain piece of music, or looking at a piece of art makes you feel. Another portmanteau, it combines the Latin root word for tears with the ability to see.


A man in a bear suit leans out from behind a tree in a park.The thought of this being a real bear gives me eeekoholia. (Photo: Pavel L Photo and Video/Shutterstock)

The high-attention state you're in when you know you're in an environment that includes the animal you fear the most. For me, it's bears. I think you can figure out where this word comes from!


An Indian businessman reclines at his desk while playing the ukelele.Sometimes, the work just isn't getting done. (Photo: bikeriderlondon/Shutterstock)

That feeling you get when you have so much work to do that you don't do anything. It's almost like a paralysis, but you can do other things, just not the work you're supposed to do. It's an advanced, more physiological form of procrastination. This is kind of onomatopoeia, which is technically a word that sounds like what it is. In this case, it's more like a word that sounds like how this feels.


A woman walks home after work in the setting sun.The sun feels particularly warm — almost like a caress — when you have been inside all day and then step into the light. (Photo: Connel/Shutterstock)

The way the sun feels on your skin when you step outside after a long day spent indoors. Another word that sounds a bit like it feels, I think.


A woman thinks on the past. It's strange how places that only exist in your memory still feel so real. (Photo: Wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock)

The love you have for a place or situation that no longer exists, so it's real only in your memory. It's like wistfulness in its yearning feeling, but not regretful — just missing a place that's gone. My example would be the room I grew up in. The people who bought my childhood home did a complete remodel of the house's interior, so the only place where that beloved room exists in fine detail is in my mind. This word is just completely made up, but sounds both pretty and a bit sad, at least to me.

There are plenty of other feelings that don't have words. What feeling needs a word in your world? (I thought this was an interesting inquiry and I couldn't figure out a word for it: a word for the satisfying sounds some objects make — like certain buttons clicking, or two magnets slapping together.) Give it a try!

Starre Vartan ( @ecochickie ) covers conscious consumption, health and science as she travels the world exploring new cultures and ideas.

7 emotions that don't have names
I've felt these feelings before, but I didn't have a word for them — until now.