WORD LISTS

Dissed List: Breakup Words for Valentine's Day

February 7, 2017
Regardless of your romantic status this Valentine’s Day, we've got a word list for you! This one's for the under-attached, or anyone who's ever been burned by love. We've also got one for those who find the holiday’s saccharine sweetness nauseating: Sickly Sweet Treats: Sappy and Insincere Valentine Words. And if you just so happen to be truly, madly, deeply in love, check out: Love Letter Words for Valentine's Day.
alienated
When people are alienated from each other, they feel like they don’t belong, like Martians on Jupiter.
But she is also deeply alone and alienated.
dejected
But when her husband decided to "explore business opportunities on foreign shores, leaving his young wife and two children behind", she was completely dejected.
disdain
As the years pass, success eludes them both, and their old feelings of affection grow knotted up with jealousy and even disdain.
divorce
“A divorce, a breakup, a crisis of some sort.”
dump
Dump has been around since the days of Middle English and originally meant to fall or plunge. As dump slumped through English, it became something you do, like tossing away a bunch of garbage. The dating-oriented meaning appeared in Dale Stivens’ 1946 book The Courtship of Uncle Henry in sentences that read as accusatory (“You've dumped plenty of fellows before”) and indignant (“Dumping me like this for a couple of dumb sailors”). Man, that's rough.
She dumped you cruelly because you wanted to get married.
estranged
When people become estranged, they’ve become like strangers to each other.
Bosh and the Heat are estranged, with no hope of reconciling.
hiatus
Though hiatuses more often apply to other kinds of stoppages, they can also apply to romantic interruptions.
Malik has had reportedly very little contact with the remaining members of One Direction, who announced an indefinite hiatus at the beginning of this year.
humiliation
Watch Mr. Hurt’s gruff, stoical Henry realizing that his girl has ditched him for his brother, with just a flicker of humiliation.
rebuff
A rebuff is a rejection: in particular, a rejection that’s not very nice. Rebuffs are blunt and sometimes rude. “I’m not interested in you that way” isn’t a rebuff. “You are gross and icky and make me want to bleach my eyeballs” is more of a rebuff. Back in 1947, Charlotte Brontë used the term in Jane Eyre: “All eyes met her with a glance of eager curiosity, and she met all eyes with one of rebuff and coldness.” This word has a high wind-chill factor.
‘Lady Artemis rebuffed him, of course,’ Phoebe said.
reject
But she’s also been rejected by men, scorched by fashion snobs and followed through Ikea by a paparazzo.
spurn
The meaning of this unromantic word is, as with so many words, more complicated than you’d think. Early uses refer to tripping and stumbling, which smoothly morphed to the sense of kicking something away. This kicky meaning led to a metaphorical use perfectly summed up by the contemporary phrase “kicked to the curb,” which means rejected and usually doesn’t involve a foot or curb. Spurning is more likely to come with a sneer than a smile.
Now spurned by both ladies of Winterfell, he’s surely going to want some revenge for that awkward scene.
thwart
This theme, of individual choice and romantic love thwarted by parental edict and tradition, is a long-standing one in literature.
uncouple
In March 2014, the couple announced they were separating, with the process described as "conscious uncoupling" on Paltrow's lifestyle website Goop.
unrequited
Ocean compares this unrequited love to a tumor: "By the time I realized I was in love, it was malignant."
pooh-pooh
This silly-sounding word can be used to reject many ideas, including an invitation to a candlelit dinner.
Lancaster, whenever he noticed her dejection, was inclined to pooh-pooh it.

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Wednesday February 8th 2017, 1:47 PM
Comment by: Jan S. (Brookline, MA)
There are a few useful ones embedded in my poem "One Crow Sorrow":

yellow chair
foggy air
at the landing
sit and stare

engines shake
widening wake
regret explain
excuse forsake

gulls wheel low
and the crow
you had your moment
let it go

Jan Schreiber

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