Omphaloskepsis

Omphaloskepsis

ˌɒmfəloʊˈskɛpsɪs

Noun

  • Contemplation of or meditation upon one’s navel; navel-gazing.
  • (Figuratively) Ratiocination to the point of self-absorption.

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Example Sentences

“If the committee gets bogged down with omphaloskepsis, we’ll never get to a vote.” 

“I could spend all weekend lost in omphaloskepsis if I don’t make a plan.”

“He’s guilty of omphaloskepsis when it comes to making little decisions, but he has no problem with the big ones.”

Word Origin

Greek, 1920s

Why this word?

The layman’s translation of “omphaloskepsis” is “navel-gazing,” a term coined to describe a fixation with oneself, or with just one issue instead of a larger picture at hand. From the Greek, “omphalós” means “navel” and “sképsis” means “perception, reflection.” Navel-gazing is mostly used negatively, as the gazer often doesn’t act on their reflections, but “omphaloskepsis” is just the kind of over-the-top word needed to add some levity to the observation. “I need to quit my omphaloskepsis and start the laundry!”

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