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Coined by American author and neologist John Koenig in 2012, whose project, The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, aims to come up with new words for emotions that currently lack words. Constructed from Ancient Greek ἄνεμος (ánemos, wind) + νόος (nóos, mind), with reference to anemosis, the warping of a tree by high wind "until it seems to bend backward."[1]


  • IPA(key): /ˌænəˈmɔɪə/
  • Rhymes: -ɔɪ.ə
  • (file)


anemoia (uncountable)

  1. (neologism, uncommon) Nostalgia for a time or a place one has never known.
    Synonym: fauxstalgia
    • 2015 November 15, Robert Trussell, “Awash in nostalgia”, in The Kansas City Star, volume 136, number 59, Kansas City, Mo., page 12D:
      Yet, from reboots to genre revivals, nostalgia remains a powerful force in pop culture. So does an associated phenomenon, called anemoia, which is essentially nostalgia for a past you’ve never experienced. Nostalgia and anemoia have been Broadway’s bread and butter for decades.
    • 2018 May 17, Shane Nyman, “Local guy’s ‘Africa’ remix perfects nostalgia”, in The Post-Crescent, volume 99, number 118, Appleton, Wis., page 6A:
      Goetzman (who also records his own own[sic] original music under the alias Raspberries and Rum) brought up another idea as a possible explanation for his Toto-based virality: anemoia. That’s the concept of a person feeling nostalgic for something they never experienced. [] What I can say is this little video and its embedded nostalgia — or anemoia — seems to be bringing a little happiness to people all over the world.
    • 2018, Trevor Harley, The Psychology of Weather[1], Routledge, →ISBN, page 102:
      A White Christmas is the perfect example of anemoia, nostalgia for a time we never knew.
    • 2024 January 14, Tim Adams, “The big picture: layers of nostalgia on London’s Oxford Street”, in The Guardian[2], →ISSN:
      The theme of that YouTube chat was the idea of anemoia, a niche form of nostalgia that prompts a yearning for a historical time and place that you have never actually experienced. Photographs can be perfect anemoia triggers, and this one works by layering retro longing from several different eras.
    • For more quotations using this term, see Citations:anemoia.


  1. ^ Koenig, John (2021), “anemoia”, in The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, New York: Simon & Schuster, →ISBN, pages 167–168