Is there currently a well known translation for brain-freeze? There doesn't seem to be a page for it on Vikipedio or Vikivortaro so there might not be a popular word for it yet, right? If not, does anyone have a good compound that could be used for it?

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    How about cerbfrosto? Dec 8, 2016 at 16:20
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    That's what I initially thought of, but the big problem with that compound is that it isn't logically deducible, it's just a loan translation from English. If I heard that word and didn't know the English word that it came from, I might think of snow particles from a preserved brain (or something like that) more than I'd think of a headache that you get from consuming something cold. Dec 8, 2016 at 18:09
  • In which case there is no choice but to paraphrase it like kapdoloro pro enstomakigi malvarma substanco -- in German there is no word for it either, so a native German speaker would need the full explanation and could not deduce the meaning from a single word. Dec 8, 2016 at 19:34
  • Why is the word "yet" in the question? Dec 9, 2016 at 13:45
  • Because I'm sure (or was, I'm becoming less so) that since this is a simple concept that most people have experienced, a word will be necessitated and created eventually. I wanted to know if there was already one however, since I haven't seen it and have become curious. It doesn't seem like there is an often used word yet, and since some natural languages don't have a word for it either, perhaps it isn't as necessary of a word to have as I first thought. I still think that it would be useful to have anyway, though. Dec 9, 2016 at 14:55

3 Answers 3


What about glacia kapdoloro? I’m sure most people have experienced this, so I don’t think we need to be overly pedantic in the explanation. :-) (Like ”promalvarmaĵglutada glacisento encerba”!)

I chewed an ice-cube and got an instant brain-freeze.

Mi maĉis glacikubon kaj ekhavis glacian kapdoloron.

Also note the alternative English wording Ice cream headache.

  • The principle of neceso kaj sufiĉo would suggest saying simply kapdoloro in your example. Further, glacia kapdoloro is an "icy headache". Also note that there's a difference between being detailed and pedantic. Dec 10, 2016 at 18:56
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    Have you ever experienced a brain-freeze? It sure is a headache, but also a very special kind of headache. Glacia specifies that it’s not just a normal headache. Yes, I’m aware being pedantic and detailed are two different things – sorry if anybody got upset. My point is that we depart from a very simple English expression (brain + freeze), and I don’t see the need of explaining it lengthily. Even if many cultures don’t have ice-cubes, all people have brains that react to the ingestion of very cold stuff. It’s a very human concept, and if ”Englishers” can describe it easily, so can we.
    – Bjørn
    Dec 11, 2016 at 10:28

How about sfenopalata ganglioneuralgio?

We could also coin a portmanteau pseudo-compound glacikranio (from glacio and hemikranio.)

Remember that Esperanto is supposed to make communication easier. The first question you should ask is whether "brain freeze" or "ice cream headache" is a universal concept. A little surprisingly, this discussion suggests that it might not be:


Maybe English speakers put more ice in their Coca Cola.

The Wikipedia article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_cream_headache) links to several national articles, most of which are described with phrases or compounds that would suggest using a descriptive compound or phrase in Esperanto:

  • Glaci-kapdoloro
  • Kapdoloro pro rapida trinkado de io malvarma.

The Italian translations (l'emicrania da gelato, mal di testa da gelato, o cervello ghiacciato) are interesting because they're so varied - and also make a reference to hemikranio which I did above, mostly as a scientific-sounding joke.

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    Saluton Tomaso: As far as I can tell, most languages don’t have a word for twerking. However, due to the global impact of American pop culture, (young) people all over the world know the English word. Why should we deny them an Esperantigo – isn’t that just making communication more difficult? Shakespeare, methinks, did not talk about ”brain-freeze”either – it’s a concept that’s been popularized through American tv serials etc. Even if there’s no word for it in Slovakian, I’m sure many youngsters on the streets of Bratislava are familiar with it, even if we don’t like the americanisation.
    – Bjørn
    Dec 10, 2016 at 7:52
  • I'm not sure what I said that could have been taken as a suggestion that we shouldn't have a way to say brain freeze in Esperanto. Indeed, I gave four different suggestions on how to say it. Dec 10, 2016 at 15:30
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    I’m sorry if I misunderstood you, then. Let me just point out that ”brain-freeze” is made of ordinary, everyday-English roots (’brain’ and ’freeze’). Your suggestions are not made of ordinary, everyday-Esperanto roots. Hence, I thought you were being sarcastic or ironic. An Esperantigo should, IMHO, be just as simple as the original. glacikranio could work, though – except that I think most people hearing it would think of a skull made of ice. ’brain-freeze’ is ”everyday-ish”, while your suggestions – with all respect –sound a bit more like scientific explanations.
    – Bjørn
    Dec 11, 2016 at 10:19

The way Stack Exchange is supposed to work, the best information gets voted to the top. In this case, glacia (icy) is clearly not the best way to express this, since the rules of Esperanto word-formation would require this to be a compound (glaci-kapdorloro) and not an adjective with a noun.

Therefore I posted this question to my personal Facebook page, and also to the group Lingva Konsultejo. What follows are the question I asked and the responses I received. The original public thread is here.


Kion oni nomas la kapdoloron kio sekvas la manĝado de malvarmaj aferoj. Iu proponis "glacia kapdoloro" sed laŭ mi la doloro ne estas glacia.

  • Krioalgio
  • frostiĝa kapdoloro
  • cerbnefunkcio
  • frostofrapo
  • proglacia kapdoloro
  • promalvarma kapdoloro
  • en Porto-Riko oni ne havas specifan vorton por tio.
  • Ankau ni ne (en Hispanujo)
  • glaciaĵ-kapdorloro
  • „ból głowy po szybkim zjedzeniu/wypiciu czegoś zimnego” („kapdoloro post rapida manĝo/trinko de io malvarma”).
  • Mi fakte ne sciis ke tio estas universala doloro
  • glaci-doloro (Sed la glacio ne de doloras min.)
  • Aspektas kultur-specifa nocio. Ne ĉiuj kulturoj rimarkas la fenomenon (se ĝi entute ekzistas). Ni povas diri "заморозишь мозги" (*zamoroziŝ mozgi', "vi frostigos la cerbon"), sed ne nomas la doloron iel aparte.
  • brejnfrizo ;-)
  • En la sveda oni povas nomi ĝin "isskalle" = glacikapo / glacikranio.
  • Cerbofrostiĝo
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    Dankon pro la laboro. :-) ”Frostofrapo” ege plaĉas al mi. Ĝi estas simile simpla kiel la Angla vorto.
    – Bjørn
    Dec 12, 2016 at 12:29
  • Glaci-doloro ankaŭ estas bona (laŭ mi).
    – Bjørn
    Dec 12, 2016 at 12:32
  • Ni samopinias pri frostofrapo. Dec 12, 2016 at 15:12

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