Urman Dictionary



Something that registers in one’s peripheral vision and demands more direct attention.

Visual equivalent of a noise drop.

Stan loved dogs. Even if he was focused intently on a conversation with someone, all it took was something furry and low to the ground passing nearby to act as a sightgrab and yank his attention away before he could even fully realize what was going on.



A person, often a celebrity, with whom it is possible to connect on social media but impossible to have a genuine human relationship.

Walter was a big fan of The Merry Gentlemen, and devoured all the sketch comedy they put up on YouTube. In a way, he felt like he knew them, and they were his friends - after all, they had a habit of making him smile and laugh. He followed them on Facebook and Twitter, and they’d even followed him back! But when he tried to reach out to the troupe leader - spending two hours crafting a personal email in a gesture of friendship - he got no response. Crushed, Walter realized that the man was a disperami, and Walter was just one of many fans who’d wished to be friends. It was a little harder to enjoy their videos after that.



Unencumbered, stress-free, able to enjoy relaxing activities.

Often prevented by taskloomers. Impossible to achieve while streading.

Normally, Eunice attended to a strict to-do list, working hard to avoid wasting a single moment. But now, spending a few days at a Caribbean resort for a friend’s wedding, she found herself with nothing she had to do. After getting over the panic of not being productive, she found herself libo for the first time in years, letting herself idle away the hours with a smile on her face.

personalization threshold

noun phrase

The level of investment or commitment at which one bothers to personalize or customize something.

Most of Isaac’s temp gigs only lasted a couple of weeks, so he never bothered decorating his desk. When he finally got a permanent job at a company he liked, the personalization threshold was crossed and he brought in his indie rock posters and classic Ninja Turtle action figures.



A word that cannot be translated.

“That is not a word!” accused Jonna, eyes twinkling.
“Sure it is!” said Ned from across the Scrabble board. “Why, I ‘zarfled’ three times this morning!"
Their laughter mingled with the soft piano music coming from the stereo. From the couch, Katrin smiled and sipped her cocoa. “Ah, hyggeligt,” she said to herself.
“Hmm? What’s that mean?” asked Garth.
Katrin opened her mouth and then closed it. Rather than try to put the immolex’s meaning into words, she raised her free hand to pointsweep at the rest of the room. “This,” she said.

do one's due pillagence

verb phrase

To make all reasonable attempts to pay for something with the understanding that if all attempts fail due to moneyblocks, piracy is justified.

Browsing Youtube, Brannon came across a lovely song. Checking the various music store websites, he determined the song was only available for purchase in the Japanese iTunes store, which would not accept his US credentials nor allow him to sign up from the US. He sighed - as much as he’d like to support the artist, he’d done his due pillagence, so he simply ripped the mp3 from the Youtube video.



A mechanism by which a seller blocks legitimate income.

In Spain for work, Emma tried to order a few things online to be sent to her home address. But the website, keying off of her IP, refused to let her access the US store. Frustrated by the moneyblock, Emma bought nothing at all.



An experience that cannot be shared due to depending heavily on transient external factors that can neither be replicated nor adequately conveyed.

“Why are you guys laughing so hard?"
“Hahaha… oh man. There was this weird noise, ahahaha, and the look on Nikola’s face… oh, never mind, it’s an ephemerience. …Bwahahaha!!”



The last remainder of a food item that is the most difficult to consume and often the least tasty.

Sandra liked strawberries, but she was troubled by the editritus left around the stem and leaves. It had such little flavor but she felt bad throwing out something that was still technically an edible part of her snack.



To passive-aggressively destroy a relationship, especially by making oneself insufferable so the other party will break things off.

Often a case of weak cruelty.

Jelani had had a few pleasant dates with Antwan, but then the latter started flaking on plans and stopped returning calls. At first Jelani chalked it up to Antwan being busy, but soon enough it was clear that Antwan wasn’t interested in seeing Jelani anymore and was engaging in sociotage rather than coming out and saying it. Jelani stopped calling, and that was the end of it.

first shoe

noun phrase

Speech or action that implies a followup, particularly a negative one, thereby leaving witnesses waiting for the other shoe to drop.

“So how’d your blind date go?"
“Well, he was perfectly nice."
“What do you mean, ‘but?'"
“Oh, come on. ‘Perfectly nice’ is a total first shoe. What was wrong with him?”

built truth

noun phrase

A lesson that cannot be taught or revealed but can only be learned through personal experience and reasoning.

“Aurelie asked me what I thought of her shiny new boyfriend today."
“Did you tell her what you told me? That he’s clearly going to break her heart and she needs to be single for a while?"
“Of course not! Those are built truths. If I tried to tell her, the only effect would be that she liked me less. No, I just smiled and nodded. She’ll figure this stuff out herself eventually.”



A chicken with its head cut off.

“Kelly’s panicking since she lost her cell phone. She’s running around like a necken."
“…I feel like that used to take a lot longer to say."
“I know, right?! Isn’t progress grand?”



Characterized by needless sacrifice.

“Rene, why are you standing?"
“There isn’t enough room to sit."
“There totally is. Come sit between Hubert and Enzo."
“No, it’s fine. I really don’t mind standing."
“Stop being martyrdumb and come sit with the rest of the group!”



A problem that inflicts suffering and is then immediately solved.

Yorick gritted his teeth. He was late. He had no time to figure out why there was no hot water this morning - he’d just have to suffer through a cold shower so he could get ready for work.
Ten minutes later, just as he was reaching to turn off the shower and step out, he heard a rumble in the pipes and hot water started coursing out of the showerhead. He made an annoyed sound - it was hard not to feel personally mocked by the universe when it inflicted a vexpoint like that.



To accept as good enough something that one had been trying to make perfect.

Bleary-eyed, Isabela regarded her poem. She’d been working on it for— how long? But some of the rhymes were still mediocre. English was her first class the next morning, and her grade had been dipping dangerously close to a B…
She looked at the clock. Three AM? With a deep sigh, she abitulated and printed out her poem in its current state. There would be other chances to boost her grade.



A source of self-worth.

The internet is full of negativity. If you put out your creative work, you will run into Hater’s constant. To succeed in such an environment, your corstock cannot be the opinions of others. You have to be able to constructovalidate regardless of what drive-by strangers say about you and what you’ve made.



The wisdom that comes from recognizing one’s own weaknesses, flaws, and destructive impulses.

As he walked into the break room, Lauritz noticed the open box of donuts on the table. He immediately wanted one. Knowing that such compulsions were natural but shortsighted provided him with the provigo to resist the donuts and fetch an apple instead.



An upgrade with downsides that outweigh its upsides.

“Hey, iTunes wants me to upgrade. Have you tried the new version yet?"
“Yeah, they did a complete redesign. I guess it’s a bit prettier now but the UI has tons of wasted space and everything takes more clicks."
“Sounds like a clear nupgrade. I’ll skip this one, then.”



To get just barely enough rest and recovery to be able to continue dealing with one’s stressors.

Reannon knew she really ought to schedule some vacation time. While she’d managed to avoid burning out too much at work, she’d been streading for a while and it was a fragile arrangement - a particularly busy week could easily push her over the edge. Stability would require more than a weekend’s worth of recharging.