Do you suffer from matutolypea?

If you do, then you are in a bad mood and easily annoyed, especially in the morning, or ill-humoured and downright obnoxious first thing in the morning [source].

An example of how to use it: “The secret is not to talk to him at all until he’s been awake for at least an hour. Wait till the matutolypea subsides.” [source]

Matutolypea comes from the Latin Mātūta, the Roman goddess of morning or dawn [source] (pictured above), and the Greek λῠ́πη – lúpē (sadness, suffering, affliction) [source], so could also be translated as “dawn saddness”.

I learnt this word from an episode of the podcast Something Rhymes with Purple.

Those you suffer from matutolypea might be said to have got up on the wrong side of the bed or woken on the wrong side of the bed. According to a superstition that dates back to the Romans, the wrong side of the bed is the left side, as the left is associated with bad luck and is decidely sinister in Latin. The Roman emperor Augustus Caeser apparently always got up on the right side of bed beacuse of this superstition [source].

According to the Grammar Monster, “an ancient superstition that evil spirits lay on a certain side of the bed. A person who wakes up and gets out the “wrong” side of the bed disturbs the evil spirits and attracts their wrath, putting the person in a foul mood.”

Even though I get up on the left side of my bed every morning, as the right side is against a wall, I rarely suffer from matutolypea.

Are there any words, phrases or sayings in other languages about being miserable in the morning?

4 thoughts on “Matutolypea

  1. In Finnish, it is nousta [sängystä/vuoteesta] väärällä jalalla (‘to get out of bed using the wrong foot’). The part in the brackets is two different ways to say ‘out of bed’, and it can also be left out of the phrase. I don’t know which foot is the right one for us Finns, but apparently according to feng shui you should get out of bed using the left foot.

  2. @Rauli:
    German speakers disregard the teachings of fengshui: Ich bin mit dem falschen Fuß aufgestanden (“I got up with the wrong foot”) and ich bin mit dem linken Fuß aufgestanden (“I got up with the/​my left foot”) are equivalent phrases.

    P.S.: I insist that fēngshuǐ is a single Chinese word and must be written as such. One of the reasons is that it has an alternative pronunciation as fēngshui, and since word-initial syllables can’t lose their tone, shui must be part of a longer word. See also for the official rules of Hanyu Pinyin orthography including word separation, hyphenation, capitalisation etc.

  3. In German a person who suffers from matutolypea is called a Morgenmuffel > morning grump.

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