There are, like, a lot of words. So many. Definitely more than any one person could possibly hold in their head at one time.
So it's only natural that every once in a while, people forget the word for something. Sometimes they forget super technical words that they've only used once or twice in their life. That's nothing too exciting. What's hilarious is when people forget the very simple, short words that they use, more or less, every single day.
One time, I was making the bed with my husband and couldn't remember the word "pillowcase." Rather than just pointing or saying "the pillow thing," my brain instead decided to spit out the word "shootcake." Which is actually not a word. It's complete nonsense. Still, it was so funny that we still refer to pillowcases as "shootcakes" to this day.
Recently, someone started a Twitter thread sharing examples of them forgetting very common words along with the very entertaining alternative words they came up with instead. The responses are so good.
It all started when physicist Paul Coxon shared that he had forgotten the word for "photon."
Hello my name is Paul, I have a PhD in physics and thanks to a random brain freeze forgot the word for photon so ha… https://t.co/wBzix7oH9U— Paul Coxon (@Paul Coxon)1550502649.0
Coxon's tweet quickly took off. He shared this brilliant follow-up when it did:
If I had a SoundCloud it’d be here but that’s what I call a thunderstorm— Paul Coxon (@Paul Coxon)1550564725.0
Other people in academia began sharing their own examples of forgetting words:
@paulcoxon I was once trying to say “journal article” and my brain somehow came up with “journicle” 🙃— GirlWhoWaited01 (@GirlWhoWaited01)1550528495.0
This person forgot the word for "trowel":
@paulcoxon Hello my name is Sue. I have a PhD and a career in landscape archaeology and thanks to a random brain fr… https://t.co/Zz74xXVRv5— Prof Susan Oosthuizen (@Prof Susan Oosthuizen)1550517296.0
This is just embarrassing:
@DrSueOosthuizen @paulcoxon Hello my name is Ken. I have a PhD in geophysics and thanks to a random brain freeze fo… https://t.co/CBJzLPfynz— Ken Hamilton (@Ken Hamilton)1550525295.0
But it's nowhere near as bad as this one:
@fen_ken @DrSueOosthuizen @paulcoxon Hi. I’m Elizabeth. I have a First Class BA(Hons) and thanks to a random brain… https://t.co/WOLYX0tpnf— Elizabeth Cottuli (@Elizabeth Cottuli)1550526632.0
"I'm good at saying things."
@paulcoxon I forgot the word ‘articulate’ in an interview for a voluntary post and instead said ‘I’m good at saying… https://t.co/iI25kw1ffK— Kathy Activist Lawyer Hirst (@Kathy Activist Lawyer Hirst)1550521546.0
This person joined the discussion with further crumb names.
@paulcoxon Electron = zappy crumb Gluon = sticky crumb Baryon = heavy crumb Fermion = lonely crumb Boson = friendly… https://t.co/zsE1NHExrw— HiggsBosoff (@HiggsBosoff)1550516183.0
Of course, this type of brain freeze isn't limited to members of academia:
@paulcoxon I don't have a PHD in anything, forgot the name for a young horse, so called it a horseling which I'm gonna continue with.— Scarcely Birding et al (@Scarcely Birding et al)1550525798.0
This person literally forgot the word for "table."I didn't even realize that was possible. I'm sure they bring a lot of other skills to the flat surface with legs, though.
And, of course, pregnancy brain is totally a thing:
@paulcoxon When I was pregnant with my first, I cried one day because I forgot the word "banana." I described it t… https://t.co/fqhI63PRCH— secret sara-mony (@secret sara-mony)1550562688.0
Hold on. "Egg torpedo"?!I guess a baguette is rather torpedo-shaped. This is still pretty wacky, though.
I like how this person doubled down.
@paulcoxon Once in class I was teaching forces and motion and couldn’t remember the word “rocket”. Out of my mouth… https://t.co/4NAbnvWC1G— Dr. Dawn of the Dead (@Dr. Dawn of the Dead)1550541624.0
"Finishment of the week."
@paulcoxon my favourite brain fart in recent memory was forgetting the word ‘weekend’ and substituting with “finishment of the week”— “Diogo!!! DIOGAAAHHH!!!!!!” (@“Diogo!!! DIOGAAAHHH!!!!!!”)1550538244.0
This one made me laugh out loud:
@paulcoxon One of my cleverest and most fabulous friends at university (now PhD in neuroscience) once forgot the wo… https://t.co/IspB5YS8Tx— Wesley Mallin (@Wesley Mallin)1550527867.0
This just seems like an all-around uncomfortable situation:
@paulcoxon I once forgot the name for a urinal when trying to tell a staff member in the resturant I was in that th… https://t.co/btexTqZ85r— Colin Stewart (@Colin Stewart)1550518150.0
"Scholeagues."How do we get "scholeagues" to be accepted as an official part of the vernacular? That portmanteau is way too good to pass up.
I don't think I like this one.
@paulcoxon Reminds me of my two year old daughter explaining a hot dog to me as a "meat pickle"— Alistair Dove (@Alistair Dove)1550516033.0
Have you ever forgotten the word "fork"?
@paulcoxon Not in the same delightful league, but in the final throes of writing SATC, I forgot the word 'fork' whi… https://t.co/dEbsSoyg7r— Laurie Winkless (@Laurie Winkless)1550542615.0
@paulcoxon Hello, im Sue, I'm a horticulturist, almost with a PhD in gardens, and I got my organisms and orgasms mi… https://t.co/6SckhQ3YG8— Dr Suzanne Moss 🌱🏳️🌈 (@Dr Suzanne Moss 🌱🏳️🌈)1550520414.0
This one made me cringe:
@Sane217 @dunnem12 @paulcoxon I once said “defecating” instead of “deprecating” in an interview. It was over 10 yea… https://t.co/q9FMjdq3Lo— your mom (@your mom)1550544612.0
We need to adopt this terminology:
@paulcoxon My five year old niece calls ravens 'Halloween Eagles'— The Lady Red- the night is dark and full of terror (@The Lady Red- the night is dark and full of terror)1550540871.0
@paulcoxon I haven't studied biology, chemistry or physics since my GCSEs and few weeks ago couldn't remember the w… https://t.co/icIQ9WHkqe— Russell Honeywell (@Russell Honeywell)1550562412.0
You're not technically wrong.
@paulcoxon I've got 3 first class degrees, but once forgot the name for the oven; calling it the "hot box". It happens to us all.— Gareth Tallon 📷 (@Gareth Tallon 📷)1550519329.0
This one is along the same lines as "hot box."
@GHTallon @paulcoxon My daughter didn't know the word "Microwave", so she called it "the hot refrigerator. She also… https://t.co/9duzCFuZri— T minus 123 hours 😷🌊 (@T minus 123 hours 😷🌊)1550520395.0
Heroes in a half lid.
@paulcoxon I have a doctorate in nursing practice and I had to tell my family about the turtle that I saved on the… https://t.co/HA0tqb1AQn— Aimee Burch (@Aimee Burch)1550596451.0
How do you forget the word "pants"?!
@paulcoxon I once blanked on the word "pants" and instead said "shirts but for your legs."— Jennifer Lee Rossman (@Jennifer Lee Rossman)1550588326.0
Remember when I said "horseling" was my favorite word for a baby horse?
@paulcoxon Haha my sympathies. Shiny crumb is a much better name for it. My 17yo forgot the word for “foal” in the… https://t.co/ayM19oj1Gg— Mel clarke (@Mel clarke)1550528761.0
Not that Garfield.
@paulcoxon @JenLRossman Hello. My name is Haley, and I am mere weeks away from obtaining my PhD in U.S. History. I… https://t.co/ahnHqy3qQV— Dr. Gienow-McConnell (@Dr. Gienow-McConnell)1550531435.0
@paulcoxon Hello, I am a librarian and thanks to a random brain freeze I forgot the word for book and said to a new… https://t.co/1VlomHTjkl— Beth Dunston (@Beth Dunston)1550543851.0