Words you need to know if you take sleeping VERY seriously
Sleeping. It’s one of the only activities in the world that everyone can agree upon, and not just because it’s essential to survival but because it’s easy, it’s satisfying, and it provides an excuse to invest in adorable pajama onesies. Sleeping is the topic of every water cooler conversation (“I slept so well last night” or “I just woke up so groggy” or “I couldn’t reach my laptop from my bed so my Netflix queue ran all night and I couldn’t fall asleep”) so you might as well equip yourself with the proper vocabulary so that you can sound like the bedtime expert you are at heart.
1) Clinophile (n.): a person who loves beds
If you are a clinophile, you will excitedly leap into any bed put in front of you, and not discriminate any beds that might be “too hard” or “too soft.” (Some people aren’t so open-minded. Not gonna name any names, Goldilocks.) In a more literal sense, clinophile refers to anyone who enjoys the physical act of reclining. So while cinephiles might spend every waking hour watching movies and logophiles may spend all day flipping through old dictionaries, clinophiles would rather their time basking in the pleasantness of their reclining chairs.
2) Slugabed (n): a lazy person who stays in bed long after the usual time for arising
If life were a game of Pokemon, slugabed would be the evolved form of “couch potato.” It’s a more creative and less offensive way of saying “someone who sleeps in too late and should probably get up because it’s Saturday and you’re wasting your life away under the covers by sleeping in until 3PM.” It still has the unpleasant word “slug” in the title, but I think we can move past that.
3) To tucker (v.): to exhaust
It’s hard to know where the word “tucker” came from in reference to the definition “to exhaust” or “to make weary” but some sources suggest the term originated from the 14th century word “tucked,” often used to refer to dogs that seemed exhausted or underfed. Others (really, just me) believe that the association was the result of a particularly hyperactive toddler named Tucker who caused his parents so much grief that they made it their mission to immortalize the definition under their son’s name. But that’s just a theory.
4) Somnambulism (n.): sleepwalking
Somnambulism: because poets needed a more elegant word for sleepwalking. I’ve discussed my love for the word somniloquy before but I almost like somnambulism more for, perhaps, the most English major reason: the slight onomatopoeia with the “m”s that almost lull the reader into a sleepy state.
5) Zeitgebers (n.): cues that help regular sleep cycles
I know the definition of this word seems boring but let me explain. Zeitgeber refers to those natural cues that prevent us from oversleeping every day and becoming groggy. Sunlight is an example of a natural zeitgeber in that it hits your eyelids at the same time every morning, which signals to your brain that 8AM is wake-up time, whether or not you agree with it.
6) Forty winks (n.): a short nap
The phrase “forty winks” was first used back in 1841 in a self-help book by William Kitchiner. The English optician’s book The Art of Invigorating and Prolonging Life offered advice on how to lead a long, healthy lifestyle, including “a forty winks nap in a horizontal posture.” Unsurprisingly but disappointingly, eating a cookie a day is not included on the list. Then again, it’s pretty outdated…so there’s still hope.
7) Hypnoid (adj.): of or relating to sleep
A human-alien hybrid deft in the art of hypnotism? Or a deceivingly sci-fi-looking adjective referring to sleep.
8) To kip (v.): to sleep especially in a place that is not your home
English slang never ceases to amuse me. This tiny word seems like a slightly classier way to say “to crash.” So instead of “Can I crash at your apartment tomorrow, I’m going out drinking with my friends” you would say “Could I possibly kip at your flat on the ‘morrow, I’m gallivanting with my mates.” Right? That’s how English people talk, right?
9) Lie-in (n.): a prolonged stay in bed in the morning
Lie-ins are not some new form of civil disobedience involving blankets, popcorn, and a whole lot of Doctor Who DVDs, unless you consider ignoring your alarm clock a form of protest in which case, that’s exactly what they are. Another English term, a lie-in is simply a prolonged stay in bed, due to being overtired or not wanting to expose your fragile toes to the chilled bedroom floor which is a completely valid reason.
10) Languescent (adj.): becoming tired
If you’re going to tell your coworkers how tired you are every day, you might as well start switching up your vocabulary so they’re at least partially entertained. “I’m languescent this morning” would be a fine place to start.
BONUS: Matutolypea (n.): the state of “waking up on the wrong side of the bed”
I include matutolypea as a bonus item because, although it is a linguistically correct term, it hasn’t really entered the popular lexicon, nor has it been seen in any official dictionary. But it could come in handy in the future should you ever feel too languescent to say “waking up on the wrong side of the bed.”
(Featured image via FOX.)