This has recently happened. I discovered Object Orientated CSS. I had the concept for a long time but had never had a title for the concept. Discovering this was a joy for me.

Is there a word or phrase that encapsulates that feeling?

Another example I have is being told about the German word schadenfreude many years ago. Finding a word for that concept was a great feeling.


2 Answers 2


Not specific to finding a word, such an experience can be called:

  • an epiphany (experience of sudden and striking realization)
  • a serendipity (instance of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for)
  • or an Aha-Erlebnis (German for aha-experience).

Following Archimedes, the interjection to celebrate such a discovery is eureka (ancient Greek for “I have found it”).

Let’s make this specific to finding a word:

  • a vocabularic epiphany
  • a terminologic serendipity
  • a vernacular epiphany (specific to the native language or dialect, especially in contrast to the lingua franca)

The perfectly appropriate word or phrase itself is often called a mot juste (French for “right word”).


I don't think such a word exists. If you want a German one, I could suggest 'Wortentdeckungsfreude', but I just made that up.

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