Brick & mortified

More "doomed to obsolescence"

Wheel of Fish
  • Wheel of Fish

After an outpouring of creative ideas from the brightest minds among the Reader’s local fan base, I offer the following list of neologisms that might fill the gap in the English language where there really ought to be a word for “the pain you feel when you realize something you love about the world is doomed to obsolescence.” Not all of them fit perfectly, but I feel good enough about every word here that all of you reading at home can probably put any or all to use as you see fit.


Chapeaustalgia is a wonderful terms for pining for that which is obsolete, like nostalgia for the age of the snappy chapeau.

— Kathleen

This is catchy as heck, but it kind of reminds me more of plain old nostalgia, like, you’re feeling wistful over that raspberry beret you used to wear in the Eighties. Backwards-looking isn’t what we’re looking forward to here, but I like it nonetheless.

Mr. Hipster,

As if swinging a plate-faced mallet at a dollop of soft, hot metal to stamp coinage for a Roman emperor, I dutifully balanced a list of synonyms for “pain” atop another list of the notably extinct, then smashed them squarely together into the following rough-cut amalgams: Buggywhipped; Faxslapped (facsimile machines being an endangered species); DVDoomed; UHF’d (remember TV’s bottom knob?); Carboraging (fuel injectors replacing carburetors); Dino-sore; and, my fave; Brick & mortified

— Michael McGinty, Clairemont

Not only do I remember the bottom knob, I remember the movie. Who here’s up for agame of Wheel of Fish?


“The pain you feel when you realize something you love about the world is doomed to obsolescence” is Bummerschmaltz.

— Linda

I checked with some Germans to make sure this wasn’t already a word for some variety of Alpine summer sausage. It isn’t. I would have approved either way.

Dear Hipster:

How about, PALINED? As in, Sarah. A one time hotness, whose flame has since fizzled to a barely smoldering ember. Irrelevant, outdated, relegated to the dustbin of WTF? E.g., Horton Plaza got Palined.

— Geoff

I’m fine with picking on Sarah Palin, but we should leave poor Horton Plaza out of it. I get Bummerschmaltz every time I walk through there!

Hello Mr. Stevens:

Here are my suggestions: Defunkt; Passe’d off; Doom gloom; Overgloam; Gonesick; Lostalgia; Fate ache-compli; Pretzel log-algia (based on the Steely Dan song); and one offering in German, Langenscheidenschaden. Thank you for the brainstorming challenge. I consider it a half-hour well spent. Sincerely,

— Russell S. Braman

Very well done, sir. I know I can always count on the Steely Dan fans to dig deep for irony.


It might be too simple, but I cannot come up with a better word for the feeling of missing something in advance of its going away, than “prestalgia.” Also try “forestalgia” on the tongue.

— TH

Yes! This is it, the word I’ve been looking for. Simple, yet exactly meaning what it needs to mean. I think “prestalgia” is better than “forestalgia” because, at least to my ears, “try forestalgia on the tongue” sounds like an old time home remedy for a sore throat. I’ll be using this one at home and abroad for the foreseeable future, and I recommend you all do the same.

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