Sunday, May 13, 2012

Obscure Words from Around the World

The modern English language has about 171,476 words (according to the current Oxford English Dictionary), but we're still missing a few.
Here's a look at a some words from various cultures and languages that could be useful in our vocabularies.

Zeg (Georgian)
The day after tomorrow. We really should have a word for this.

Tartle (Scottish)
That panicky hesitation just before you have to introduce someone whose name you can’t quite remember.

Stammkneipe (German)
The local bar or pub that you frequent. Your regular table at your stammkneipe is your stammtisch.

Koi No Yokan (Japanese)
The sense upon first meeting a person that the two of you are going to fall into love.

Wapatuli (Wisconsin)
A homemade alcoholic drink with any combination of hard liquors or other beverages—Mountain Dew, white wine and vodka, for instance. A wapatuli can also refer to the occasion at which that jungle juice is consumed.

Layogenic (Tagalog)
Remember in Clueless when Cher says “She's a full-on Monet…from far away, it’s OK, but up close it’s a big old mess”? That’s layogenic.

Cafune (Brazilian Portuguese)
To tenderly run your fingers through your lover's hair.

Slatchy (Nantucket)
This lovely word describes the sky during a fleeting moment of sunshine or blue sky in the middle of a storm. The noun version, slatch, refers to that moment itself.

Mamihlapinatapai (Yaghan language of Tierra del Fuego, Argentina)
This word captures that special look shared between two people, when both are wishing that the other would do something that they both want, but neither want to do.

Rhwe (Tsonga, South Africa)
To sleep on the floor without a mat, while drunk and naked. In other words, "college".

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