Jun 052012

Ahh, finally!   Great article from MentalFloss.

The Global Language Monitor estimates that there are currently 1,009,753  words in the English language. Despite this large lexicon, many nuances of human  experience still leave us tongue-tied. And that’s why sometimes it’s necessary  to turn to other languages to find le mot juste. Here are fifteen  foreign words with no direct English equivalent.

1. Zhaghzhagh (Persian) The chattering of teeth  from the cold or from rage.
2. Yuputka (Ulwa) A word  made for walking in the woods at night, it’s the phantom sensation of something  crawling on your skin.
3. Slampadato (Italian) Addicted to the UV glow of tanning salons? This word describes you.

4. Luftmensch (Yiddish) There are several Yiddish words  to describe social misfits. This one is for an impractical dreamer with no  business sense. Literally, air person.

5. Iktsuarpok (Inuit) You know that feeling of  anticipation when you’re waiting for someone to show up at your house and you  keep going outside to see if they’re there yet? This is the word for it.

6. Cotisuelto (Caribbean Spanish) A word that would aptly describe the prevailing fashion  trend among American men under 40, it means one who wears the shirt tail outside  of his trousers.

7. Pana Po’o (Hawaiian) “Hmm, now where did I leave  those keys?” he said, pana po’oing.  It means to scratch your head in order to  help you remember something you’ve forgotten.

8. Gumusservi (Turkish) Meteorologists can be poets in Turkey with words like this at their disposal. It  means moonlight shining on water.
9. Vybafnout (Czech)  A word tailor-made for annoying older brothers—it means to jump out  and say boo.
10. Mencolek (Indonesian) You know that  old trick where you tap someone lightly on the opposite shoulder from behind to  fool them? The Indonesians have a word for it.
11. Faamiti  (Samoan) To make a squeaking sound by sucking air past the lips in  order to gain the attention of a dog or child.

12. Glas wen (Welsh) A smile that is insincere or  mocking. Literally, a blue smile.

13. Bakku-shan (Japanese) The experience of seeing a  woman who appears pretty from behind but not from the front.

14. Boketto (Japanese) It’s nice to know that the  Japanese think enough of the act of gazing vacantly into the distance without  thinking to give it a name.

15. Kummerspeck (German) Excess weight gained from  emotional overeating. Literally, grief bacon.

Many of the words above can be found in BBC researcher Adam Jacot de  Boinod’s book ‘The  Meaning of Tingo and Other Extraordinary Words from Around the  World.’

Read the full text here:  http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/94828#ixzz1wsPJ7hdl –brought to you by mental_floss!


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