About a month ago I came across the word hiraeth. The word itself was unique, but the definition was life-changing:
A homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past and the departed.
Some might wonder how others can get so much out of one, little word, and I feel sorry for them. I find it magical that a number of letters put together hold so much power. It's even more special when the words are rare, unheard of, or even lost. Since coming across hiraeth, I went on a search to find other words that have been forgotten but have meanings that are still incredibly relevant.
Here are my favorites:
1. Erlebnisse (n.) the experiences, positive or negative, that we feel most deeply, and through which we truly live; not mere experiences, but Experiences
This definition is one of my favorites. The Experience defined is just as rare as the word.
2. Orphic (adj.) mysterious and entrancing; beyond ordinary understanding
3. Nepenthe (n.) something that makes you forget grief or suffering
5. Mizpah (n.) the deep emotional bond between people, especially those separated by distance or death
Another word I connect with on many levels, and one that is more relevant to the human race than most people probably realize.
6. Saudade (n.) a nostalgic longing to be near again to something
7. Alpas (v.) to become free, to break loose
8. Kairos (n.) the perfect, delicate, crucial moment; the fleeting rightness of time and place that creates the opportune atmosphere for action, words, or movement
The meaning of this word, to me, is similar to that of erlebnisse; to experience this "fleeting rightness of time" is as unheard of the word itself.