20 Audiobook Terms That You Did Not Know...Because I Just Made Them Up

Estimated Reading Time: 3.5  minutes

For folks not in the know, June Is Audiobooks Month (#JIAM).  In past years for June, I've done a series on capturing the full experience of listening to audiobooks and also a series on my love of listening to literature.  This year, my focus will be on distinct aspects of listening to audiobooks that folks may or may not have experienced.  

In the last 25 years, I’ve listened to thousands of audiobooks and reviewed over a thousand.  I think and talk a lot about audiobooks as any friends and loved ones would readily admit.  During this time, I realized that there is an entire range of experiences around audiobooks that lack proper terminology and therefore, I have taken the time to provide them herein.  I am not a linguist, a philologist, or even a grammar nerd; so take all definitions with a grain of salt.  But please enjoy this guide to audiobook terms that you never knew you needed.  

Aubysmal: Adjective. How to describe an author’s voice when they do not sound nearly as cool and intriguing as their narrator.

Aunnounce: Verb. The act of judging people who don’t love audiobooks as much as the person judging might. 

Aural-antsy:  Noun. The feeling of getting to close to the end of an audiobook but not having another audiobook queued up on the device being used.  

Bud-fatigue: Noun.  The feeling of listening to an audiobook for so long that one’s ears are sore from the using earbuds or headphones.

Chimecanery: Noun. When an audiobook produces sound effects that are so skillfully deployed that the listener may be confused if they are in the audiobook or their surrounding settings.  

Delibe-rate:  Noun. The disorientation of listening to an audiobook at normal speed after listening to audiobooks at 1.5 speed or faster.  

Ego-Voice:  Adjective. When an author decides to narrate an audiobok but does poorly and should have just left it to the professionals.  

Gender-mander: Verb. When a narrator with a different gender is chosen for a book and it becomes evident because the gender of the author or the book's focus hinges on a gender different from the narrator.

Listkim: Verb. The art of being able to listen to audiobooks, miss passages, and still fully know what’s going on in audiobook.

Narbysmal: Adjective.  How to describe a narrator’s voice when they do not sound nearly as cool and intriguing as the author.

Narrafusion: Noun.  The state of visceral, even uncanny, confusion when a listener finally hears an author speak but was expecting to hear the narrator who has narrated nearly all of that author’s books.

Narra-mime: Verb. When a listener begins to speak the words aloud from the audiobook, believing they could totally do a great job a narrating.

Narra-realization: Noun. When one is narra-miming and recognizes how horrible they would be at narrating an audiobook.  

Reverdebate: Verb. The act of debating with anyone who says that listening to audiobooks is not “real” reading.

Reverdebator: Noun. One who actively seeks out opportunities to reverdebate.

Sad Ears: Noun: The devastation one experiences when initially excited to listen to an audiobook but the narrator fails to deliver anything enjoyable. 

Shift-distraction: Noun. When a listener’s attention is distracted from the content to wondering which version of a narrator is better, the voice preceding or the voice heard during a vocal shift.  

Starting blues: Noun. The disappointment when an author narrates the introduction and the listener grows to love their voice, only to find that the actual narrator isn't nearly as good.

Starting relief: Noun. The relief when an author narrates the introduction but the listener finds that the actual narrator actually knows what they are doing.

Vocal shift: Noun. A patch in an audiobook where it is clear that the narrator had to re-record a particular sentence. The new sentence is not narrated with the same delivery, quality and emphasis.

How many of these experiences are familiar to you?  What other terms would you add?

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