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I'm a writer, a freelancer, a crafter, a nail polish mixatrix, a tea drinker, an unconventional life-liver, a journaling junkie, an introvert, a chronic-pain-sufferer, an idealist, a geek, a TV-lover. Welcome to my corner of the web!

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Wednesday Words: Words that don't exist in English

This is part of a weekly series of words that are interesting, need to be used more, or should be adapted into English! Click on the Wednesday Words tag to see more!


This week's words are themed! Since I've had a busy week and missed posting on the day everything is due, I'm giving you twice as many words (ten instead of the usual five!), and they're all linked by the fact that they are useful, but don't exist in English!

  1. Arigata-meiwaku (Japanese): An act someone does for you that you didn’t want to have them do and tried to avoid having them do, but they went ahead anyway, determined to do you a favor, and then things went wrong and caused you a lot of trouble, yet in the end social conventions required you to express gratitude
  2. Backpfeifengesicht (German): A face badly in need of a fist*
  3. Forelsket (Norwegian): The euphoria you experience when you are first falling in love
  4. Gigil (pronounced Gheegle; Filipino): The urge to pinch or squeeze something that is unbearably cute**
  5. Ilunga (Tshiluba, Congo): A person who is ready to forgive any abuse for the first time, to tolerate it a second time, but never a third time
  6. L’esprit de l’escalier (French): usually translated as “staircase wit,” is the act of thinking of a clever comeback when it is too late to deliver it***
  7. Manja (Malay): “to pamper”, it describes gooey, childlike and coquettish behavior by women designed to elicit sympathy or pampering by men. “His girlfriend is a damn manja. Hearing her speak can cause diabetes.”
  8. Meraki (pronounced may-rah-kee; Greek): Doing something with soul, creativity, or love. It’s when you put something of yourself into what you’re doing****
  9. Sgriob (Gaelic): The itchiness that overcomes the upper lip just before taking a sip of whisky
  10. Tingo (Pascuense language of Easter Island): to borrow objects one by one from a neighbor’s house until there is nothing left


*How very German to have a word for this!
**I need this one ALL THE TIME...
***This is me all over.
****I'm going to make this one my motto!

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