[Overton]This checklist is based on:

 The Word Finding Referral Checklist by Diane German, PhD



The more of these behaviors that an individual exhibits, the more likely it is that there is a word finding problem.



  1. Has difficulty remembering names of people, places or objects


  1. Gives the function of the word ("cutting" for scissors)


  1. Describes the word (“the brown one" for penny)


  1. Says a word that sounds like the word ("custard" for mustard; "geophy" for geography)


  1. Uses vague words (stuff, thing, watch-a-ma-call-it) frequently


  1. Says the wrong word and then self-corrects (“basketball, no football”)


  1. Has long delays when trying to think of words (“Give me the .........video")


  1. Repeats words and phrases when relating experiences ("We were, ... We were going shopping")


  1. Makes false starts and revises when relating experiences ("We were ...Bob and I went to the game")


  1. Uses gestures that indicate frustration (hand waving, finger snapping) or mime the target word


  1. Uses filler words when trying to think of a word ("um, ...er, … ah … computer") 


  1. States "I know that word, but I can't think of it"






German, D. (1983). I know it but I can’t think of it: Word Retrieval Difficulties.  Academic Therapy 18:5, 539-545.

If you have questions or need more information you can contact me at:

Overton Speech & Language Center, Inc.
Fort Worth, TX
(817) 294-8408


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Last revised: November 10, 2010