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."

Obviously, most of us don't use the word "photon" very much in our everyday lives, but you can see why Coxon would. Personally, I'm a big fan of "shiny crumb."

Coxon's tweet quickly took off. He shared this brilliant follow-up when it did:

Why did we not name thunderstorms "soundclouds" in the first place? Seems like a real missed opportunity.

Other people in academia began sharing their own examples of forgetting words:

It's nice to know that even some of the smartest people on the planet suffer from a good old-fashioned brain fart every now and again. It makes me feel better, anyway.

This person forgot the word for "trowel":

"Diggin implement" certainly isn't incorrect! (Also, now I need to know what a career in landscape archaeology entails!)

This is just embarrassing:

On the one hand, at least you didn't forget the word for something you use every single day in your career. On the other hand, forgetting your long-time colleague's name might actually be worse.

But it's nowhere near as bad as this one:

Yeah, I might have called a pillowcase a "shootcake," but at least I've always known my husband's name. So far, at least.

"I'm good at saying things."

At least "I'm good at saying things" is grammatically correct! It could have been way worse. You could have said something like, "I word good."

This person joined the discussion with further crumb names.

Tag yourself. I'm Friendly Crumb.

Of course, this type of brain freeze isn't limited to members of academia:

"Horseling" is so good. I don't think I'll ever hear of a better name for a baby horse.

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:

I can so easily imagine this woman getting more and more frustrated at her inability to pull the word "banana" out of her brain. I hope she got it eventually!

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.

If you're a teacher and you make a mistake, you have two options. Immediately correct yourself and hope your students move on to the next topic, or double down and invent a new phrase for the word "rocket."

"Finishment of the week."

This is way too fancy for my blood. I'm glad we actually have the word "weekend."

This one made me laugh out loud:

It's not just a wet salad. It's a "really REALLY wet salad." (Still, she's not wrong!)

This just seems like an all-around uncomfortable situation:

What hand gestures were you using, exactly?


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.

Is it pickle-shaped? Yes. Is it made of meat? Also yes. But "meat pickle"? I just can't follow you down that path.

Have you ever forgotten the word "fork"?

I'm pretty sure she was talking about a dinglehopper. I forget that word sometimes, too.


Don't worry. One time I said "erotic driver" instead of "erratic driver" in my 9th grade English class. I still haven't gotten over the embarrassment.

This one made me cringe:

You know they were talking about self-deprecating humor. Self-defecating humor is...something else entirely.

We need to adopt this terminology:

Can we just have children name everything from now on? I can't see any way that could go wrong.

"Science blazer."

Yes! Three cheers for "science blazer"! That is my new favorite thing.

You're not technically wrong.

It's a box. It's hot. What more do you want?

This one is along the same lines as "hot box."

Hot refrigerator. Makes sense to me! (So does "foot wrist," BTW.)

Heroes in a half lid.

"Lid" makes it seem like you're going to open up the turtle and eat whatever is inside it. Just me?

How do you forget the word "pants"?!

I don't know how anyone could forget the word "pants," but I admire the speed with which they came up with "shirts but for your legs." It's so evocative, no?

Remember when I said "horseling" was my favorite word for a baby horse?

I lied. It's actually "horse puppy." I'm going to call all baby animals puppies, now. Cat puppy. Chicken puppy. Human puppy.

Not that Garfield.

Please tell me you brought some lasagna with you. Please. I need this.


Hey, it's true. My library has a great selection of thingies, too! Share this with someone who always has the funniest brain farts!