Word of the Week: PANDICULATION

Written by Science

It’s four in the morning and you’re 6 cups of coffee down. This assignment is really getting to you and the deadlines tomorrow! Tired from sitting for so long only exercising your digits you decide to stretch. Sweet relief. Arms up, back arched. But what’s this? A yawn, AHHHH! Now it all doesn’t seem so bad.


You’ve just pandiculated. Pandiculation is the act of stretching and yawning at the same time. It was dreamt up in the 1600s from the latin “pandere”: to stretch oneself.

But why does it occur? Stretching has been shown to wake us up and yawning is a reflex that opens our airways in response to altered chemicals in our brains. It’s not surprising that it happens in the middle of an all-nighter!

Last modified: 7th December 2015

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