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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

  • 4
    Stretch (one's arms ((and legs)). – green_ideas May 26 '17 at 6:28
  • 2
    i always call it a morning stretch – SovereignSun May 26 '17 at 8:19
  • Personally, the term I use is "stretch before whacking alarm clock". – Peter May 27 '17 at 0:05
19

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.

  • 1
    ngram suggests it is essentially defunct since the 19th century, even if it was ever widely used. – Francis Davey May 26 '17 at 12:39
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    Ho hum. No one actually says this but it is amusing. – Lambie May 26 '17 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 '17 at 15:02
  • Choosing this answer as rest all like stretching...flexing...relaxing...etc I certainly knew! – Maulik V May 27 '17 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 '17 at 5:43
23

Are you looking for something more specific than stretch?

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

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.

  • 5
    In Russian we have a special word for that - потягушечки. – SovereignSun May 26 '17 at 7:23
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    That's interesting. Google returns a lot of kittens! – Em. May 26 '17 at 8:09
  • You are looking in wrong place ru.wiktionary.org/wiki/… – SovereignSun May 26 '17 at 8:13
  • So, she got up with a morning stretch goes well? – Maulik V May 26 '17 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 '17 at 9:06

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