24 New Human Emotions That Were Invented This Year

From Apron-huddling to a Zuckerpricking, we came up with some words to explain this total Dimbledown of a year.
16 December 2016, 12:00pmUpdated on 16 December 2016, 12:17pm
Collage by Marta Parszeniew

Collage by Marta Parszeniew (Pictures via / via /via)

Seeing as we live in the future now, we've had to come to terms with a range of feelings that no previous human encountered. Tech and broiling globalisation is twisting our feelings into kooky new pretzel shapes, and language is struggling to keep up.

German is famous for its ability to generate new abstract nouns: fremdschämen (exterior shame); t orschlusspanik (closing-gate panic); trappenwitz (staircase wit). But this year especially, our clumsy English tongue has barely managed to keep up with the times. Sure, "post-truth" was decent; "dumpster fire" felt fairly on-point; and the suddenly-everywhere business-speak of "eating our lunch" summed up something of the feral feel of the age.

But after such a game-change 12 months, what other new emotions do we now need to point to? A quick scan of 2016 and we've already come up with more than you can fit in a dumpster fire. Think of what follows as Viz magazine's Profanisaurus for stuff other than the powdery smeg that collects around the perineum.


Dimbledown: That familiar sinking 1AM feeling when a supposedly open-n-shut election count starts ever-so-very-slightly going the way everyone said it couldn't possibly.

The Pussy Paradox: The irritation in watching a bunch of smug US desk show comedians make the same impotent fish-barrel gags about Trump and realising that instead of "getting really good" for the next four years, satire is about to tank.

Foxtonia: The queasy cognitive dissonance of slyly cheering on the next recession in the hope that it will violently blow up the property bubble, while simultaneously understanding that your tenuous gig-economy job will be the first bit washed off the rock.

Diplotilisation: The post-radio dysphoria of realising that, despite hearing them hundreds of times, you still have no idea what any of this endless slew of Drake songs you're being bombarded with are called.

A Zuckerpricking: The numbing weariness in realising that what you'd assumed to be fake Facebook news is actually real and happening.

Cohentonia: The low grade self-loathing of realising your chief reaction to a new celebrity death is disappointment that they're less important than another recently-dead celebrity.

Virtual Trappist: The bittersweetness of realising you've muted so many people on so many different social platforms down the years that you're now receiving most of your info from second cousins and rap lyric portals.

Being Jezzed All Over: The suffocating panic of being at a party and talking to a Corbyn supporter, and realising that without bothering to ask you he has automatically assumed you're totally down with everything he's saying.

Cowelstalgia: The wistfulness of realising that it's been five years since you last bothered to buy a novelty Christmas number one download to dethrone the X Factor winner.

Hahaism: The gruesome hilarity of watching any "expert" try to predict any future event.

Middle Class Group Think Terror: The Stasi knife-pang of fear that someone in your immediate circle suspects you of being a secret Leave voter and is briefing the others accordingly.

Wrong-righting: Mortal embarrassment at accidentally re-swiping previous internet dating partners as "matches" because one or both of you must have deleted the app at some point.

Brookeritis: The jamais vu head-swirl of, for one week in October, imagining your every tech interaction to be "just like something from Black Mirror".

Owenage: The gut-churn, eyeball-rip despair of watching a discussion over 50 dead people in a nightclub devolve into tedious identity politics beef over whether this was "islamic terror" or "homophobia" or "mere madness".

Roonism: The utter black-hole feelings-void when it comes to the future success or failure of the English football team since every ounce of national pride, basic respect or misplaced optimism has been melon-balled out of you over the past 20 years.

Arg: The claustrophobia of realising that there are now too many people you know un-ironically using the terms "mansplain" or "manspread" for you to just discreetly drop them all from your social circles.

Bennellity: The worrying where-are-my-car-keys sensation of realising you've forgotten which section of civil society is presently embroiled in a paedophile scandal.

Apron-huddling: The topsy-turvy bliss in finding yourself to be deeply relieved that Theresa May is running the country.

Fonsecation: The curious through-the-looking-glass fascination of watching the national media report on "rich people don't pay their taxes" stories as though they weren't all available to read in Private Eye five years ago.

Infobia: The itchy discomfort of knowing that whatever "Pizzagate" could be is probably now so enmeshed in the discourse of our idiot age that it could directly impact on your future, yet still being too scared, depressed and apathetic to actually google "Pizzagate".

Farahgism: The pleasant quad-annual contentment that for someone, somewhere, somehow, the Olympics are probably, in some way, important or interesting.

Archetypicality: The goggling awe at the works of Carl Jung inherent in watching the alt-right be magicked into existence moment-by-moment by the liberal media's collective unconscious.

Nuttallness: Dazzlement at realising there is still an endless tide of spud-faced UKIP orcs out there waiting to take the place of any resigning leader.

Strangeloving: The distant, unspoken, but truly electrifying glimmer of delight at the sheer drama of all Western civilisation burning down.


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