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from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The theory that certain inanimate objects hate humans.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • As a devout believer in resistentialism, I can empathize with this man trying to do his job in the middle of a silent and hostile army of objects intent on hurting him at every opportunity. (via Arbroath)

    Boing Boing 2008

  • Their third theory is that disappearing teaspoons are an example of “counterphenomenological resistentialism,” a.k.a. “things are against us.”

    Archive 2006-01-08 Edward Willett 2006

  • This would be 4 teh lolthings and mabye called “i can has resburger”, with “res” being Latin for “things” as in “resistentialism”, teh theery that inanimate objects has negative attitudes twords hyoomins.

    Angry BBQ - Lolcats 'n' Funny Pictures of Cats - I Can Has Cheezburger? 2008

  • Sadly, it concludes “People have no control over teaspoon migration; escape to a spoonoid planet and resistentialism are equally plausible explanations.”

    Rambles at » Blog Archive » The case of the disappearing teaspoons 2007

  • Another new word of the week was "resistentialism."

    2 favourite words hanya27 2004

  • (Partridge might well have glossed this by observing that Murphy's Law first appeared after WW II, whereas Macpherson's Principle was known as far south as Cambridge by the mid-30s, as it forms the basis of Clark-Thrimble's classic experiment in resistentialism.)

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol V No 1 1987


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  • Seemingly spiteful behaviour manifested by inanimate objects.

    May 11, 2008

  • Now this is a word I need!

    May 11, 2008

  • Resistentialism is a jocular theory in which inanimate objects display hostile desires towards human beings

    December 5, 2008

  • The idea that common inanimate objects can be working against you. E.g., constantly losing one's keys and blaming it on the keys themselves or thinking the traffic lights are conspiring against you.

    June 15, 2009



    resistentialism (ri-zis-TEN-shul-iz-um) noun

    The theory that inanimate objects demonstrate hostile behavior toward us.

    Coined by humorist Paul Jennings as a blend of the Latin res (thing) + French resister (to resist) + existentialism (a kind of philosophy).

    "Resistentialism has long been used in our family to explain the inexplicable: Why light switches, fixed in place in daylight hours, elude groping hands in darkness. Why shoestrings break when we are in a hurry... The explanation for these and many more daily occurrences is that there is no such thing as an inanimate object. Seemingly inanimate objects actually resist those they are intended to serve."

    Myron A. Marty; Hostile Inanimate Objects Have Their Murphy's Law; St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Missouri); Sep 15, 1996.

    September 29, 2009

  • Resistentialism smote me last week, when my laptop crashed at a client-site.

    February 11, 2010

  • To learn more about this wonderful word, I invite you to read my "On Language" guest column about it at

    — The Orthoepist

    June 15, 2010

  • Is there such a thing as .. inanimated objects, perhaps they just do not have souls, but they certainly have a body!

    October 20, 2010

  • I an a resistentialist! This philosophy has developed over time, and I suspect that, as more humans age, they, too, will come to embrace it!

    June 7, 2013