From:Denis Meagher
Perth, Australia
Posted:15 Dec 99
What criterion should be used here? If it is that the word needs to describe a commonly experienced condition, then a seeming lacuna in the language is for a word, acceptable to tender ears, to describe the condition of being "exhausted owing to sexual indulgence."

Should one question the need for such a word, reference to "hangover" to describe the after-effects of indulgence in alcohol should be sufficient answer. Also, there are a host of nondrinkers who turn up to work each day feeling, and looking, haggard from the night before, and who, when asked, are at a loss to describe concisely the reason for their condition.

I believe the Japanese have coined a word derived from "sex-over," "sekusu oba," for which condition small bottles of pick-me-up are specifically marketed on platforms of commuter railway stations at early morning. But this word seems too banal, and would surely not gain currency.

Some time ago I was delighted to discover that we do have such a word. The only recorded use thereof in writing is in one of Shakespeare's plays. I recall looking it up in the OED. However, the dictionary queried not only its etymology and, indeed, whether Shakespeare had even correctly spelled it, but also whether he meant by it meant that which has, by others, been attributed as its meaning. However, before I had the occasion to use the word (a long time later), I had forgotten it; and can now only recall that it started with a "w." I do recall that it had just the right sound.

Have you seen the word we're looking for? Care to coin one of your own? Join the hunt in the Word Fugitives conference of Post & Riposte.

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