Is there a word for the feeling/situation where we almost remember a thing/word/scene,etc. but are not able to exactly recall it. For example, the other day I was trying to recall the author of the book Contact (i.e. Carl Sagan). I wasn't able to exactly recall 'Carl Sagan' but was in that situation where I could feel I almost remember it. I could recall there was the letter 'C' in his name. Finally after some effort I could recall the exact name 'Carl Sagan'. Is there any word for such a feeling/situation? EDIT: The feeling is not necessarily of trying to remember a single word(as in from vocabulary). It could be trying to remember a movie or an experience that you were a part of, etc. Eg: If say I was with friends and we were having a conversation. After few days I was able to recall a statement said by someone, but wasn't able to remember by whom; i.e. I had a clouded recollection and I could almost remember but not really.
On the tip of one's tongue is a useful expression:
- Fig. [of a thought or idea] *about to be said or almost remembered. (Typically: be ~; have something ~.) I have his name right on the tip of my tongue. I'll think of it in a second. John had the answer on the tip of his tongue, but Anne said it first. See also: of, tip, tongue
(McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms)
A somewhat misleading entry in the Farlex Trivia Dictionary may provide the word you seek. If you don't mind using a technical term with a colloquial sense, then you have
lethologica - If you cannot recall the precise word for something, you have a case of lethologica, which may lead you to an obsession with trying to recall it—loganamnosis.
[Farlex Trivia Dictionary. S.v. "lethologica." Retrieved March 15 2016 from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/lethologica ]
However, it should be noted that 'lethologica' is most typically used in a technical sense. In that sense, 'lethologica' is "a temporary but debilitating disorder" (Wikipedia, "Tip of the tongue").
In a February 9, 2016 article at BBC Future, "Lethologica: When a word's on the tip of your tongue", Mark Gwynn has this to say about the origins of the word:
The coinage of this term is popularly attributed to psychologist Carl Jung in the early 20th Century, but the earliest clear record is in the 1915 edition of Dorland’s American Illustrated Medical Dictionary, where lethologica is defined as the ‘inability to remember the proper word’.
Response to question edit:
What you're now describing is called 'anomia'. Again the term is technical, and describes a type of 'aphasia', which is a disorder:
a·no·mi·a (ə-nō′mē-ə) n.
Aphasia characterized by the impaired ability to recall the names of persons and things.
[American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. S.v. "anomia." Retrieved March 15 2016 from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/anomia ]
While the terms 'anomia' and 'anomic aphasia' refer to a disorder, the disorder may be more or less severe, and in a mild form may be common in a given population.