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28 Words That Don’t Exist in the English Language

April 10, 2012 | 1 Comment » | Topics: Uncategorized

8 words that

Age-otori (Japanese): To look worse after a haircut

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

Backpfeifengesicht (German): A face badly in need of a fist

Bakku-shan (Japanese): A beautiful girl… as long as she’s being viewed from behind

Desenrascanco (Portuguese): “to disentangle” yourself out of a bad situation (To MacGyver it)

Duende (Spanish): a climactic show of spirit in a performance or work of art, which might be fulfilled in flamenco dancing, or bull-fighting, etc.

Forelsket (Norwegian): The euphoria you experience when you are first falling in love

Gigil (pronounced Gheegle; Filipino): The urge to pinch or squeeze something that is unbearably cute

Guanxi (Mandarin): in traditional Chinese society, you would build up good guanxi by giving gifts to people, taking them to dinner, or doing them a favor, but you can also use up your gianxi by asking for a favor to be repaid

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

L’esprit de l’escalier (or l’esprit d’escalier): usually translated as “staircase wit,” is the act of thinking of a clever comeback when it is too late to deliver it

Litost (Czech): a state of torment created by the sudden sight of one’s own misery

Mamihlapinatapai (Yaghan): A look between two people that suggests an unspoken, shared desire

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.”

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

Nunchi (Korean): the subtle art of listening and gauging another’s mood. In Western culture, nunchi could be described as the concept of emotional intelligence. Knowing what to say or do, or what not to say or do, in a given situation. A socially clumsy person can be described as ‘nunchi eoptta’, meaning “absent of nunchi”

Pena ajena (Mexican Spanish): The embarrassment you feel watching someone else’s humiliation

Pochemuchka (Russian): a person who asks a lot of questions

Schadenfreude (German): the pleasure derived from someone else’s pain

Sgiomlaireachd (Scottish Gaelic): When people interrupt you at mealtime

Sgriob (Gaelic): The itchiness that overcomes the upper lip just before taking a sip of whisky

Shlimazl (Yiddish): Somebody who has nothing but bad luck

Stam (Hebrew): An agreement out of amusement and frustration that something doesn’t have a satisfactory answer among those talking

Taarradhin (Arabic): implies a happy solution for everyone, or “I win. You win.” It’s a way of reconciling without anyone losing face. Arabic has no word for “compromise,” in the sense of reaching an arrangement via struggle and disagreement

Tatemae and Honne (Japanese): What you pretend to believe and what you actually believe, respectively

Tingo (Pascuense language of Easter Island): to borrow objects one by one from a neighbor’s house until there is nothing left

Waldeinsamkeit (German): The feeling of being alone in the woods

Yoko meshi (Japanese): literally ‘a meal eaten sideways,’ referring to the peculiar stress induced by speaking a foreign language

(via)



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  • Angebunden

    “Pena ajena (Mexican Spanish): The embarrassment you feel watching someone else’s humiliation”

    In German it is “Fremdschämen” ^^ From fremd (foreign) an Scham (shame)




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