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Christian Krohg, Dagen Derpå, Selvportræt (The Day After, Self-portrait, 1883), from the collection of the Anchers Hus in Skagen, Denmark

From Norwegian kveis (uneasiness after debauchery) +‎ -algia (suffix meaning ‘pain, suffering’) (from New Latin -algia, from Ancient Greek ἄλγος (álgos, pain)), coined as a medical term by Jeffrey G. Wiese, Michael G. Shlipak, and Warren S. Browner in a 2000 article published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (see the quotation).[1]



veisalgia (uncountable)

  1. (medicine) The unpleasant after-effects of the consumption of alcohol; a hangover. [from 2000]
    Synonyms: hangover
    • 2000 June 6, Jeffrey G. Wiese; Michael G. Shlipak; Warren S. Browner, “The Alcohol Hangover”, in Annals of Internal Medicine, volume 132, number 11, DOI:10.7326/0003-4819-132-11-200006060-00008, pages 897–902:
      There is no consensus definition of veisalgia ("alcohol hangover," from the Norwegian kveis, or "uneasiness following debauchery," and the Greek algia, or "pain"). Most descriptive and experimental studies have identified a set of common symptoms: headache, diarrhea, anorexia, tremulousness, fatigue, and nausea []. Perhaps the most alarming feature of veisalgia is its high prevalence. In a study of college students, 25% of students reported experiencing a hangover in the previous week and 29% reported losing school time for hangover recovery.
    • 2006, David L. Sloan; Christopher Shultz, “How’s It Hanging?: The Key West Hangover Defined”, in The Hangover Survival Guide, Key West, Fla.: Phantom Press, →ISBN, page 8:
      In your case the "something" would be the effects of alcohol and the "something else" would be the time you spent at the bar actually thinking you would get lucky. Leave it to drinkers to screw up a word. Overhang was reversed and turned into hangover, but we only call it that because "veisalgia" is too difficult to pronounce when a tequila worm is gnawing away at your cerebral cortex. What is "veisalgia," you ask. Read on. [] Veisalgia is the term those geeky guys who blew off frat parties to pursue a degree in science have given to the hangover.
    • 2014, Adam Rogers, “Hangover”, in Proof: The Science of Booze, Boston, Mass.; New York, N.Y.: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, →ISBN, page 187:
      You might also be dehydrated, and feel generally slow—a little stupider, a little less coordinated. You, my friend, have a hangover. Scientists have a more inscrutable name for it: veisalgia, from the Greek word for "pain," algia, and kveis, a Norwegian word meaning "uneasiness following debauchery." That sounds about right.



  1. ^ See also Bill Casselman (2010) Where a Dobdob Meets a Dikdik: A Word Lover’s Guide to the Weirdest, Wackiest, and Wonkiest Lexical Gems[1], Cincinnati, Oh.: F+W Media, →ISBN:

    Veisalgia is a hangover. The neology was coined in an article by Jeffrey G. Wiese, Michael G. Shlipak, and Warren S. Browner in the professional journal Annals of Internal Medicine, June 6, 2000, vol. 132, no. 11, pp. 897–902. Seven years after its initial use, veisalgia is fairly widely used in popular medical websites and household medical advice books. It is not yet listed in the Oxford English Dictionary online and has met a modicum of resistance from academic doctors and journal, principally, I suspect, because the word is a hybrid, that is, not made from all Latin or all Greek word roots.

Further readingEdit



veisalgia f (plural veisalgias)

  1. veisalgia, hangover