What term do we use to describe the gesture that we find when someone wakes up and flexes her arms?

Here is the picture. Woman waking up in the morning

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    Stretch (one's arms ((and legs)). May 26, 2017 at 6:28
  • 2
    i always call it a morning stretch May 26, 2017 at 8:19
  • Personally, the term I use is "stretch before whacking alarm clock".
    – Peter
    May 27, 2017 at 0:05

2 Answers 2


The technical term for this is pandiculation

A stretching and stiffening of the trunk and extremities, as when fatigued and drowsy or on waking, often accompanied by yawning. Wiktionary

However, this would not be understood by most speakers, and it would normally be refered to as just stretching.

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    ngram suggests it is essentially defunct since the 19th century, even if it was ever widely used. May 26, 2017 at 12:39
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    Ho hum. No one actually says this but it is amusing.
    – Lambie
    May 26, 2017 at 14:55
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    I had forgotten all about this word! I have heard it before, but you're right, no one ever uses it. Still, it belongs in this conversation.
    – J.R.
    May 26, 2017 at 15:02
  • Choosing this answer as rest all like stretching...flexing...relaxing...etc I certainly knew!
    – Maulik V
    May 27, 2017 at 5:41
  • In fact, this was 'word of the day' on MW recently. Worth listening the clip that exactly talks about it!
    – Maulik V
    May 27, 2017 at 5:43

Are you looking for something more specific than stretch?

1 : to extend (one's limbs, one's body, etc.) in a reclining position

You could call it a morning stretch or a wake-up stretch, but I don't how common those are, and either could easily mean a yoga-like stretch intended as light exercise done after waking up.

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    In Russian we have a special word for that - потягушечки. May 26, 2017 at 7:23
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    That's interesting. Google returns a lot of kittens!
    – Em.
    May 26, 2017 at 8:09
  • You are looking in wrong place ru.wiktionary.org/wiki/… May 26, 2017 at 8:13
  • So, she got up with a morning stretch goes well?
    – Maulik V
    May 26, 2017 at 8:54
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    @MaulikV That seems okay. I honestly can't think of a good way to phrase this. I would simply say she stretched after waking, she stretched her arms arfter waking up, she got up and stretched her arms out, or some variation of the those. I'm less inclined to say this but she (got up and) did a morning stretch seems okay too.
    – Em.
    May 26, 2017 at 9:06

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