[Image by Birgit of Pixabay]

Most of us know the phenomenon of “tip-of-the-tongue” but you may not realize there is a more technical term; it’s known as lethologica. This label emanates from the 2oth century and comes from two Greek words meaning forgetfulness and word.

The frustration often associated with forgetting a word is common but understanding it can be of assistance. First of all, it happens to everyone, irrespective of where they’re from. It also occurs in both genders and to individuals of any age group. If it occurs daily, it may be anomia and something about which you may wish to consult a physician. That will help you allay your fears and is a good way to take care of yourself.

So why does it occur and what can you do about it, you ask. Both are good questions, which I’ll attempt to answer. Tip-of-the-tongue can occur from inadequate sleep patterns where one is deprived of natural sleep. Another reason for it happening is when we multitask. Many individuals are proud of their multitasking skills, but they can have a negative effect on our performance. An additional reason is that we may not have made a strong enough association with a term and therefore we easily forget it.

Now, what can be done about it? The most typical reaction is to dwell on trying to recall the forgotten word. This generally doesn’t work. It’s far better to simply move on with whatever you were doing and often the word will “pop” back into our memory. Forcing it to do so is not a good idea and often has poor results. Once the term or name comes back to you, you may wish to write it down, say it aloud, and form a strong association. Those behaviors potentially will assist you.

The next time you find the need to say “whatchamacallit” feel free to try the strategies I’ve offered and notice what works best for you.