Leading and Caring for Children

Emotion Vocabulary

Vocabulary of Emotions PDF

I spent some time with a dictionary and a thesaurus gathering words that represent in English a variety of emotions and feelings, and I put them all on one page.  I categorized them into these columns and divided them in to strong, medium, and light.

Happiness — Caring — Depression — Inadequacy — Fear — Confusion — Hurt — Anger — Loneliness — Remorse



I didn’t intend to list every English word, rather I wanted a reasonable sized set in each category, so people in the helping professions, especially teachers of very young children, would be able to take a quick glance at a chart on the wall to scan for a word that might match what a child is feeling at the moment. I found it invaluable for me. I had four of them up in different places in the classroom.

Mad Sad Angry Avoidance

Note that mad, sad, and angry are missing.
What do you do when you are mad? Scream and yell.
What do you do when you are sad? Cry.
What do you do when you are mad? Strike out.
What do you do when you are bewildered — or any of the other 480 words on this list? Communicate. Reflect. Ponder. 

As you can see from the image above, this document does not fit on a web page, so you have to download it as a PDF in order to see it. Vocabulary of Emotions PDF

The document is in the public domain. Feel free to use it. I understand teachers of English in other countries find it helpful.


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