Monday, 9 May 2011

A bit of randomness: I have Lexical Gustatory Synaesthesia

I'm letting you all know of a very strange condition I have. It is called lexical gustatory synaesthesia (LGS). It is a very bizarre condition, and I did not even know I had it until my boyfriend called me up one day. I thought everyone had it, but I remember reading somewhere that it is extremely rare: only 1 in 50 000 people have it. The convo went a little something like this:

BF: "Hey, you know that weird thing you have?"

Me: "Ugh.. I'm short?"

BF: "Not that."

Me: "Well then..."

BF: "You taste words when you hear them. Or see them."

Me: "And you don't?"

BF: "You have lexical gustatory synaesthesia. What does the word synaesthesia taste like to you?"

Me: "Salt! And you?"

BF: "Nothing."

So that's pretty much it! I actually taste words when I hear them. Some words even have textures. Here's a short list of words I hear and their taste (not a comprehensive list, but just to give you an idea):

  • words with a heavy "s" sound = salty
  • words with "puh" sounds = apple sauce
  • earwax = the worst taste of all
  • chocolate = deep watery word that tastes like chocolate
  • words with "ju" sounds, like "jub jub" or "juice" = jub jub candies
  • crackers = buttery saltiness
  • words with "ka" sounds = creamy
  • chicken = chicken 
The most distracting sound is the "s" sound. It is so common, and I always have a salty feeling on my tongue after hearing it. The most annoying sound is "chicken" as I am a vegetarian.

I also have another form of synaesthesia. Numbers always have colours, and some have personalities. 
  • 1 = black
  • 2 = blue
  • 3 = green
  • 4 = red (always angry)
  • 5 = blue 
  • 6 = brown
  • 7 = yellow (always happy)
  • 8 = black
  • 9 = green (angry, horrible number)
Bizarre, I know. But that is why I blog: to entertain you with strangeness.


  1. So cool!!!
    I just learned about this condition this year from a customer at my coffee shop who tasted in colour (when we switched brands, the coffee went from tasting like forest green to black).
    I never knew that about you!

    What does the word Awesome taste like? Because that's what you are.

    Also, have you read this comic-episode yet?


  2. Yeah, I thought everyone had this until my bf turned my world upside down lol!

    Awww thanks for calling me awesome :) I guess that means I taste like an ice slushy. Because that is what the word awesome tastes/feels like to me hehe. You are buckets of awesome too!

    And thanks for the link! I feel so fortunate know to know of one other person with synaesthesia. It may be odd, but I like to think the world is a bit more sensory for us :)

  3. I would love to experience it! I am a bit jealous... I do agree that the world must be more sensory for you. Writing poetic descriptive language must be so interesting, since the words can literally have those tastes and colours to them...


  4. Ah! But remember, it's involuntary and can be quite annoying at times. For instance, when you are eating food you have the option to evade tasting unwanted foods. When you taste words, just the sound of it will trigger a response and you have to deal with it. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want my synaesthesia to go away! But, sometimes it can be irritating as well :)

  5. it must help with studying too!
    I wish I could taste words and numbers! apparently there are paintings that are colours of words that sees it due to synaesthesia.

    Is your boy friend in health-care?

    1. Thank you for the comment. I wish it helped! But it's actually very distracting. The taste association, not the colour one. I'm actually good at math and I think the colours help.

      My boyfriend is not in healthcare, though he's had a lot of exposure to health as there are a lot of health care professionals in his family.


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