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Q: a French feeling ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   7 Comments )
Subject: a French feeling
Category: Health > Conditions and Diseases
Asked by: badabing-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 22 May 2003 11:54 PDT
Expires: 21 Jun 2003 11:54 PDT
Question ID: 207385
afternoon kids!

after correcting spelling of déjà vu about 30 times on one report this
morning, granny was wondering about words of phreaky phenomenology. 
I've these found references so far:

déjà vu is French and means, literally, "already seen." 

jamais vu: a disorder of memory characterized by the illusion that the
familiar is being encountered for the first time.

déjà visité ("already visited") 

déjà vecu "already experienced or lived through."

déjà senti (already felt)

are there any other déjà-anythings, like "already smelled/heard" and
why are these French words?  any similar words you can find to
describe sense phenomena would be most appreciated.  there are probaly
quite a few clair- words also.  medical/psychiatric words okay but I'd
rather have something that sounds exotic like those mentioned above.

thanks for looking,
Subject: Re: a French feeling
Answered By: leli-ga on 22 May 2003 15:46 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Thanks, Granny, for suggesting this excursion into language,
psychology, philosophy and beyond.

There are some very enthusiastic lists of all the possible déjà
experiences - but which phrases are really used for more than
déjà entendu (already heard),
déjà gôuté (already tasted), 
déjà vécu  (already lived or experienced), 
déjà raconté (already recounted), 
déjà pensé (already thought), 
déjà visité (already visited),
déjà fait (already done) and 
déjà senti (already felt). 

Some have strong links to a particular psychologist. For instance,
Freud wrote about déjà raconté, also known by the term 'fausse
reconnaissance' (false recognition).
As you said, there is jamais vu, the opposite of déjà vu. There's also
presque vu (nearly seen), a sense of nearly seeing the whole truth.
The excerpts and links below should give you a chance to think your
own thoughts about which terms matter most. Sometimes they are used in
discussing paranormal phenomena, sometimes in more mainstream

Why use French terminology?
These quirky memory phenomena were discussed in the French journal,
"Revue Philosophique", at the end of the nineteenth century. One key
article was a piece on false memory, published in 1894 by Ludovic
Dugas (the man who introduced the idea of depersonalization to
psychiatry). One of his patients reported having already experienced
the exact same moment that had just passed. ("J'avais déjà vécu
identiquement l'instant qui venait de s'écouler.") In the same
article, Dugas quoted one of Verlaine's poems, also using the déjà
vécu phrase. (Literal translation: In a street in a dream town, it
will be like when one has already lived.) Bergson, Nobel prize winning
philosopher, joined in the debate, writing on fausse reconnaissance in
the Revue.
The best online information about these first déjà debates in the
Revue is in German, in an article and a dissertation which would take
me a long time to follow fully. Luckily one author, Krapp, tells us
clearly in English that "The French expression déjà vu was popularized
in the pages of the Revue Philosophique at the end of the 19th


One collection of terms:

"The terms "déjà experience" and "déjà vu" are used interchangeably.
There are many ways in which déjà experience may manifest.
Some of these have specific names:
déjà entendu already heard
déjà eprouvé already experienced
déjà fait already done
déjà pensé already thought
déjà raconté already recounted
déjà senti already felt, smelt
déjà su already known (intellectually)
déjà trouvé already found (met)
déjà vécu already lived
déjà voulu already desired

At times the demarcation is artificial, as the déjà experience can
coexist in more than one of the above categories. Moreover, there are
several other common kinds of déjà experience that have not yet been
categorized. Neppe (in conjunction with Prof BG Rogers, Professor of
French, University of the Witwatersrand) in 1981 suggested the
following additional terms:
déjà arrivé already happened
déjà connu already known (personal knowing)
déjà dit already said/spoken (content of speech)
déjà gouté already tasted
déjà lu already read
déjà parlé already spoken (act of speech)
déjà pressenti already 'sensed'
déjà rencontré already met
déjà revé already dreamt
déjà visité already visited
Déjà rencontré appears preferable to déjà trouvé for the already met
experience because it specifically relates to interpersonal
Pacific Neuropsychiatric Institute

* * * * 

"There are variations of the déjà vu experience, and they are
sometimes given separate labels. Déjà entendu, ("already heard") is
the term applied to the experience when one feels strongly that one
has at some earlier time already heard what is currently being said,
even though this is extremely unlikely or impossible. Déjà pensé
("already thought") is that form of déjà vu in which a person has the
strong conviction of having previously had the same thought that he or
she is having at the moment, despite knowing that that is highly
improbable or even impossible. Sometimes a distinction is drawn
between the experience of having seen the same place before (déjà vu)
and the experience of having performed the same actions before (déjà
fait). In each of these several variations, however, there is a common
theme: a strong sense of familiarity with a situation that one knows
should be unfamiliar. Déjà gôuté refers to a situation where a
particular taste evokes the experience of inappropriate familiarity.
"Pseudo-presentiment" refers to the feeling that as one experiences
something, one knew just an instant before what was about to happen -
for example, just as the telephone rings, an individual has the
feeling that she knew it was going to ring. All of these variations
can be subsumed under the rubric of déjà vu, although if one were to
be true to the literal meaning of the French phrase, this term
strictly speaking should only apply to situations where visual stimuli
elicit the inappropriate recognition. Déjà vécu ("already
experienced") is the more appropriate French term, although only
rarely it is used in English.

Another experience, jamais vu, is the contrary of déjà vu in that the
individual encounters a situation which he or she does not recognize
as familiar, despite the knowledge that it should be. Were you to walk
into your house and, while "knowing" it to be your house, you not only
do not recognize it as such, but experience the strong feeling that
you have never seen it before, this would be an instance of jamais vu.
This appears at most very rarely in normal individuals, but is not
uncommon as a feature of some types of epilepsy."

Alcock, J.E. (1996). Deja vu. In Stein, G. (Ed.) Encyclopedia of the
paranormal (pp. 215-222). Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books:

* * * *

"Some folk are susceptible to different types of distortion regarding
their memory recall. Here is a list of several forms: (Kaplan &
Sadock, 1991, Synopsis of Psychiatry)

Fausse reconnaissance: false recognition

Retrospective falsification: memory becomes unintentionally
(unconsciously) distorted by being filtered through a person's present
emotional, cognitive, and experiential state

Cofabulation: unconscious filling of gaps in memory by imagined or
untrue experiences that a person believes but that have no basis in
fact; most often associated with organic pathology

Déjà vu: illusion of visual recognition in which a new situation is
incorrectly regarded as a repetition of a previous memory

Déjà entendu: illusion of auditory recognition

Déjà pensé: illusion that a new thought is recognized as a thought
previously felt or expressed

Jamais vu: false feeling of unfamiliarity with a real situation one
has experienced"

Mind Surf with the Skeptic

* * * *

Déjà entendu 
Déjà eprouvé 
Déjà fait 
Déjà pensé 
Déjà raconté 
Déjà voulu
Déjà vu 

all in the Database of Human Development

* * * *

Déjà vu - illusion or recognition of a situation

Déjà pensé - illusion of recognition of a new thought

Glossary of Psychiatric terms

* * * *

"Déjà Raconté: the patient's illusion of already having said or done
something in the therapist's presence when this did not really occur.
The patient indeed had the impulse, but didn't act on it."

A Glossary of Freudian Terms

* * * *

The pages you link to in your question refer to Arthur Funkhouser,
Ph.D., of Bern, Switzerland, who proposed using:

1. Déjà vecu (already experienced or lived through)
2. Déjà senti ('already felt')
3. Déjà visite ('already visited')

". . . the term 'déjà vu' has become encrusted, over the years, with a
number of unfortunate associations, ranging from reincarnation to
temporal lobe epilepsy, which hinder further research. These
'explanations' along with others such as delayed intra-hemisphere
transmission over the corpus callosum as well as an astonishing array
of psychoanalytical theories lead people to believe that all that one
needs to know about such experiences is already known and that there
is nothing of interest still to be done.

I believe the time has come, therefore, for our terminology,
especially in educated discourse, to become more differentiated (in
fact, if I had my way, we would get rid of 'déjà vu' altogether as
over-worked and entitled to a well-deserved rest). To this end, I
would like to draw attention to three forms of 'déjà' experience,
defining each as we go along, and plea that these be used when
discussing the experiences they refer to. Upon reflection, readers may
come up with other, better terms for these experiences or propose
terms for other, related experiences which are not the same as the
ones described in the following. Since French scientists and thinkers
were the first to investigate these phenomena, it seems fitting to
retain French names for these intriguing experiences. "

Three Types of Déjà Vu
This article originally appeared in the Scientific and Medical Network
Review, 57:20 - 22, 1995

* * * *

"Jamais vu

An abnormal experience where an individual feels that a routine or
familiar event has never happened before. (See Dejà vu)."

Glossary On-Line: Psychiatry

* * * *

"Presque vu means 'almost seen'. Not scientifically recognized, it is
the sense that one is on the verge of a large mental breakthrough,
almost seeing the absolute truth about something but not quite getting

Deja Vu


English abstract of a dissertation in German:

"Déjà Vu – Aberrations of Cultural Memory" by Peter Krapp

[This dissertation] historicizes and theorizes déjà vu, from the first
sustained discussions in the late 19th century to its latest cultural
effects at the end of the 20th century. Early theories on
mnemopathology between philosophy and psychology yield a pre-Freudian
logic of the cover-up, and later, media theories and cultural history
screen each other over in turn. The French expression déjà vu was
popularized in the pages of the Revue philosophique at the end of the
19th century. The psychological descriptions debated there ultimately
prove insufficient for a full account of the cultural effects of déjà
vu, as do the philosophical theories of memory and forgetting offered
by Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Henri Bergson, or Maurice
Halbwachs. Yet each contributed considerations that guide the
development of the discourse of déjà vu over the course of a century.
This book traces it in the thought of Sigmund Freud and Walter
Benjamin, in the art of Heiner Müller and Andy Warhol, in the politics
of cinematic violence, and in the high expectations raised by the
Internet. Right in the middle of those hundred years of déjà vu,
dictionaries mark a historical revaluation of the French phrase, which
is borrowed in German as well as in English: a shift occurs in our
ordinary language, from an uncanny experience of reduplicating or
foreboding unfamiliarity to a sense of the overly familiar, the
tediously repetitive, the already known, the always present. It is no
coincidence that this discontinuity in the history of an
untranslatable phenomenon occurs after the world wars released new
media technologies of mass distraction. "Déjà Vu – Aberrations of
Cultural Memory" outlines what neither the dictionaries nor the
history of media technology show: the cultural effect of déjà vu as
well as that of its explanations.

* * * *

There's an interesting looking article on "Déjà Entendu" by Peter
Matussek, but it would take me some hard work with a dictionary to
read it properly. As well as citing articles on how the déjà concept
developed, he makes the point that a visual element was nothing to do
with the first discussions of false memory experiences. He also quotes
John Hughlings-Jackson in 1889 describing an epileptic patient who
told him "The recollection is always started by another person's
voice, or by my own verbalized thought, or by what I am reading and
mentally verbalize; and I […] feel strongly that they resemble what I
have felt before under similar abnormal conditions.""

Déjà entendu.Zur historischen Anthropologiedes erinnernden Hörens

* * * *

Other references:

Revue Philosophique
First published in 1876, nowadays online at:

The German dissertation I mentioned on the history of paramnesia:
Vorgeschichte der Gedächtnisstörung. Eine Wiederholung.

Ludovic Dugas - initiated medical idea of 'depersonalization'
"The word 'depersonnalisation, derived from a usage in Amiel's Journal
intime, was first used in a technical sense by Ludovic Dugas. "

Freud, Sigmund: „Fausse reconnaissance (déjà raconté) in der
psychoanalytischen Behandlung“, Gesammelte Werke X, 116-123.  (1914?)

Henri Bergson, « Le souvenir du présent et la fausse reconnaissance »
Revue philosophique, décembre 1908, repris in L’Énergie spirituelle,
P.U.F. Paris, 1919, p. 140.

Le phénomène du « déjà vu » et la fin de l’Histoire

That's this Bergson:
"French philosopher who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in
1927. Bergson argued that the intuition is deeper than the intellect.
His Creative Evolution (1907) and Matter and Memory (1896) attempted
to integrate the findings of biological science with a theory of
consciousness. Bergson's work was considered the main challenge to the
mechanistic view of nature."

Who is Vernon Neppe?

DUGAS L., Un cas de dépersonnalisation, Revue Philosophique XIV, 1898,

déjà visité and déjà senti

* * * *

And a quick peek at the 'clair' words you mentioned. I've only found
the basic three: clairvoyance, clairaudience and clairsentience. The
last is the most general (though one definition I saw linked it to
smell); the other two are to do with "clear" seeing or hearing of that
which cannot be seen or heard in the usual way.

"Clairvoyance (literally 'clear-seeing')
A subset of ESP covering apparent information transmission as though
it were the result of visual perception. The perception can appear
externally - either replacing the normal visual scene (as in visions)
or being incorporated into it (as could be the case with apparitions)
- or internally, in the form of mental imagery and intuition. It is
also used more generally to mean paranormal acquisition of any
information directly from a physical source and not from the mind of
another person (cf. telepathy).
Auditory form of Clairvoyance. 
A general term covering clairvoyance, clairaudience, etc. where
information is thought to be gained directly from the physical

Glossary of Parapsychological Terms

If you want some particular part of this followed up, please let me
know. It would be a pleasure.


various déjà phrases, sometimes combined with 'philosophy' or
'psychology' or 'paramnesia'
then searching on names or other terms that came up as I researched
badabing-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $25.00
oh lovely Leli, this is *exactly* the info granny was looking for and
easily  worth $100 tip.  if I could only pay you guys what you're
worth.  this answer was truly an amazing piece of research and I'm
only up to "mind surf with the skeptic."  would love to read that 1991
Kaplan & Sadock study if you have any suggestions.  way *WAY* above
and beyond, girlfriend.  granny is *SO* pleased!  thank you so very
much and I hope this proved an interesting project for you.

Subject: Re: a French feeling
From: pinkfreud-ga on 22 May 2003 18:39 PDT
Let's not forget déjà boo, the feeling that one has worn a certain
Halloween mask before. :-D
Subject: Re: a French feeling
From: aceresearcher-ga on 22 May 2003 21:55 PDT
... and déjà shoe, the feeling that one has worn a certain pair of
shoes before, even though they are brand new...
Subject: Re: a French feeling
From: leli-ga on 23 May 2003 03:12 PDT
Thank-you very much for such an enthusiastic response. I'm really glad
I could help and thoroughly enjoyed the research. Thank-you, too, for
the tip and the stars!

Kaplan & Sadock are not hard to find, but expensive.
Here's the current edition of Kaplan & Sadock's Synopsis:

The used copies start around $15. Perhaps a library would have it? It
looks as if it's a standard textbook.
But the website reference says 1991, which is the year they published
a glossary. I wonder if the mind-surfing skeptics meant to refer to

List of their books:

One of their textbooks includes a study by Neppe, who is a regular
writer on déjà vu. (The Pacific Neuropsychiatric Institute guy):
Neppe VM, Tucker, GJ: (1989). Atypical, unusual and cultural
psychoses, In: Kaplan HI, Sadock, BJ, eds. Comprehensive Textbook of
Psychiatry, Fifth Edition. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins;: 842-852,
Ch 10.

Current edition of that book:

I do hope you have a good library handy.
Enjoy your researches into déjà experiences and related phenomena!

Subject: Re: a French feeling
From: ddelphi-ga on 23 May 2003 08:07 PDT
ever have the feeling of Vujà dé?  It's that strange feeling that none
of this has ever happened before - then suddenly it's gone.

- ddelphi
Subject: Re: a French feeling
From: badabing-ga on 23 May 2003 08:30 PDT
nope, but I've experienced sa da tay, a feeling that I've married
Pootie Tang before.
Subject: Re: a French feeling
From: jem-ga on 23 May 2003 09:45 PDT
...and of course, deja emu, the feeling that one has already owned an
an exotic bird before......

:) jem-ga
Subject: Re: a French feeling
From: intotravel-ga on 23 May 2003 11:28 PDT
On a quest for:

"similar words ... to describe sense phenomena" and 
"something that sounds exotic like (déjà vu, jamais vu),"

I did a search for 

phenomenology experiences feelings terms 

and found one new feeling word, "pagan yelp" -- 
Introduces words like naive realism ("the view that we can know things
in the world directly without taking into account our uncertainties
and doubts"), paralogy ("a stimulating conversation that generates
ideas without necessarily resulting in consensus...."), and pagan yelp
("a kind of  'ouch' reflex when something seems unfair or hurtful ....
not a judgment based on rules, simply an expression of the heart").

Paralogy is cool, because it's the kind of conversation I love, and
thanks to Google Answers and all of the contributors for making that

- -                  * * * * * 

A search on these terms -- phenomenology feel feelings terms
schadenfreude, brings up the word, ressentiment:
ressentiment - "first developed systematically by Nietzsche in his
account of the historical emergence of ... 'slave morality'".
Nietzsche sees it as a "moral perversion". 

" ... a state of repressed feeling and desire which becomes generative
of values ....
"While it infects the heart of the individual, it is rooted in our
relatedness with others. On the one hand, ressentiment is a dark,
personal secret, which most of us would never reveal to others even if
we could acknowledge it ourselves. On the other hand, ressentiment has
an undeniably public face...."

- -                  * * * * * 

Other words in use are:
-  samadhi        ...  a feeling of bliss, which can arise from
meditation. I guess there are more exotic feeling-words contained in
-  cri de coeur   ...  cry of the heart. I guess a "pagan yelp" could
be seen as a form of cri de coeur.
-  nostalgie de la boue ... "The French have a deliciously helpful
phrase for just about everything, and one of the best is nostalgie de
la boue. Nostalgia for the mud, roughly meaning an artist's or a
reader's fondness for slime, muck, sewage, degradation, treachery and
perversion. It's a specialty of the comfy bourgeoisie, who yearn for
the real and the raw as experienced through the lens of literature or
cinema. As far as actually, ick, touching the mud ... no thank you."

The search term "Nostalgie de " brings up:

Nostalgie de l'Inconnu (Nostalgia of the Unknown)

and reminds me of that great novel of nostalgia, Le Grand Meaulnes
(that's its English title) ... Also referred to as The Big Moan or Le
Grand Moan. Or by as "a novel of wistful enchantment".

Better stop here, before this gets too long. Best wishes,

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