Sonder is another absolutely gorgeous word created by The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. Sonder is a term that describes a complex experience of the human condition, thus it’s rather tricky to try and describe in brevity. Sonder is something that is deeply felt, a sort of spiritual and intellectual “ah-ha” moment of clarity that can make you feel incredibly connected to mankind, as well as uniquely small. Sonder is that moment you wake-up from your cocoon of personal thoughts, feelings, problems and notice that everyone around you who was just part of the blur of humanity is as complex, frail, and amazingly different. Sonder is a very poetic and wonderful way to describe the awareness of “otherness” or others, to know that we are not singular in this world, we are not alone in the complexity of our thoughts, feelings, or experiences.
Awareness, awakened / peopled everywhere / the sonder it grows / suddenly I’m here. / No longer a stranger to those who surround / the otherness knowledge unfurls / resounds. / The fog of my thoughts lifts at the quick / alone no longer / no more adrift. / Abrupt / jolted to my very core / feeling out loud / growing once more. ~ La
I like the word Sonder, it’s an emotional awareness term and one, despite it’s new creation, that seems as old and wise as time itself. What do you think?
Namaste ~ Ella
*Check out the Word Nerd Index and my Word Nerd Pinterest Board for other superb words!
** If there’s a word you’d like to see added to the Word Nerd roster, please feel free to drop me a line or suggest it in the comments – I love feedback and recommendations!
12 thoughts on “Word Nerd: Sonder”
This is easily one of my personal favorites of your words and displays of such! Thank you.
I had a feeling you’d enjoy this one!
Every time I try to use this in a sentence, it comes out in verb form. “A moment to sonder, else a lifetime to regret.”
Also, since I went wondering through your site for an hour unintentionally, I wanted to mention: I Love This!
Last, it’s unlikely I’ll find my way back to the right page for this, but I would like to guess something. Could a uitwaaien translate to ‘constitutional’? In the old days, families would go for a walk after dinner together, and courtship involved a stroll through cultured gardens. The way you used it, it seemed to be similar. Unless this constitutional, this uitwaaien, is always done solo, and/or in uncultured nature.
Hello Korina! I totally get what you mean with sonder since it could tend to a verb usage rather easily. I’m so glad you enjoy it! I also like your idea of uitwaaien translating to constitutional. It does fit, though I believe that uitwaaien is more specific in it’s usage since it means a walk in the wind/breeze (since I live up in the mountains there tends to almost always be a light breeze of sorts when I head outside, so that’s why my usage of it seems less specific to walking in the wind.). I do like the idea of it having an English-language counterpart though! Oh, and just so you know there is a Word Nerd Index (there’s a link at the top of the page) so you can easily locate or relocate any word you’d like to at any time. Thank you so much for taking the time to wander through my blog and for the delightful commentary! I hope you have a whimsical weekend!
I stumbled upon this today and am delighted. I would like to be on your mailing list if you would be whimsical enought to include me…thanks!
Welcome and Thank You for reading Paul! If you want you can sign up for post notifications for this blog (it’s in the side bar). I hope you’re having a whimsical day!
I absolutely love this word! I’m just always so confused on how to use it in a sentence, though. Which is correct? “I felt sonder.” “I felt a moment of sonder.” “I sondered.”
Hello Laura ~ It is an absolutely wonderful word! Truth be told, I’m not wholly sure how to “properly” use it in a sentence, however, I feel that saying “I felt a moment of sonder.” or perhaps “The feeling of sonder struck me to the core.” would work. Sondered could also be apt! I hope that helps!
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