What's the word for when you can't think of the word?

No mention was made of the French, dammit, and you know they have a phrase for it: ‘presque vu.’

source: “Gravity’s Rainbow” by Thomas Pynchon

Here’s the link to the column: http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a961213.html

I don’t think “presque vu” fits. “Presque vu” translates as “almost seen” and refers to the phenomemon, familiar to most college students, where, during a lecture by some pedantic buffoon on some excruciatingly-obscure-but-infinitesimally-useless concept, you finally almost “get it” but it slips away before you can fully grasp it. (Brings to mind the course I took in Discrete Structures, for you CompSci folks.) Related to the “deja vu” and “jamais vu” phenoms.

Not the same as the “tip-of-the-tongue” phenom.

IMHO, of course.