This idea, or more correctly this class of idea, came from two sources. One was Douglas Adams & John Lloyd’s book The Meaning of Liff—and the later expanded version The Deeper Meaning of Liff—which took underutilised place names and repurposed them into such wonderful definitions as “Moffat (n.) That part of a coat which is designed to be sat on by the person next to you on the bus.”.
The other was a collection of so-called “untranslatable” words from other languages. For example, the Portuguese saudade—a deep emotional state of nostalgic or profound melancholic longing; or the Yaghan mamihlapinatapei—the wordless, meaningful look shared by two people who both want to initiate something, but are reluctant to do so.
Adams himself may also have been inspired by these untranslatable words. In Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency there is a London restaurant called “L’Esprit d’Escalier”, which is a French term for thinking of the perfect comeback after the discussion is over.
Here, rather than co-opting place names as Adams & Lloyd did, I have tried to come up with new words, some of which are not entirely unreasonable. This is a living document and I may at some point ask for your help in coming up with these new names, as in most cases the definition comes first.