14 words with no English equivalent

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
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#1
1. Shemomedjamo (Georgian)
You know when you're really full, but your meal is just so delicious, you can't stop eating it? The Georgians feel your pain. This word means, "I accidentally ate the whole thing."

2. Pelinti (Buli, Ghana)
Your friend bites into a piece of piping hot pizza, then opens his mouth and sort of tilts his head around while making an "aaaarrrahh" noise. The Ghanaians have a word for that. More specifically, it means "to move hot food around in your mouth."

3. Layogenic (Tagalog)
Remember in Clueless when Cher describes someone as "a full-on Monet... from far away, it's OK, but up close it's a big old mess"? That's exactly what this word means.

4. Rhwe (Tsonga, South Africa)
College kids, relax. There's actually a word for "to sleep on the floor without a mat, while drunk and naked."

5. Zeg (Georgian)
It means "the day after tomorrow." Seriously, why don't we have a word for that in English?

6. Pålegg (Norweigian)
Sandwich Artists unite! The Norwegians have a non-specific descriptor for anything — ham, cheese, jam, Nutella, mustard, herring, pickles, Doritos, you name it — you might consider putting into a sandwich.

7. Lagom (Swedish)
Maybe Goldilocks was Swedish? This slippery little word is hard to define, but means something like, "Not too much, and not too little, but juuuuust right."

8. Tartle (Scots)
The nearly onomatopoeic word for that panicky hesitation just before you have to introduce someone whose name you can't quite remember.

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

10. Mamihlapinatapai (Yaghan language of Tierra del Fuego)
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.

11. Fremdschämen (German); Myötähäpeä (Finnish)
The kinder, gentler cousins of Schadenfreude, both these words mean something akin to "vicarious embarrassment." Or, in other words, that-feeling-you-get-when-you-watch-Meet the Parents.

12. Cafune (Brazilian Portuguese)
Leave it to the Brazilians to come up with a word for "tenderly running your fingers through your lover's hair."

13. Greng-jai (Thai)
That feeling you get when you don't want someone to do something for you because it would be a pain for them.

14. Kaelling (Danish)
You know that woman who stands on her doorstep (or in line at the supermarket, or at the park, or in a restaurant) cursing at her children? The Danes know her, too.
http://theweek.com/article/index/238751/14-wonderful-words-with-no-english-equivalent#
 

Don the Radio Guy

G-Bb-A-D
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Mar 30, 2006
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#2
Call in now with your English equivalents for these words! Two breaks, easy.
 

Mags

LDAR, bitch.
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Oct 22, 2004
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Ill Repute
#4
13. Greng-jai (Thai)
That feeling you get when you don't want someone to do something for you because it would be a pain for them.
feelingcunty (American English)
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
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#5
I've been too drunk to Rhwe.
 

DeltaPin

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Feb 17, 2005
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#6
The equivalent to several of them is just plain "Fuck!"
 

Atomic Fireball

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Jul 26, 2005
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#7
There's no sub-Saharan African word for "work".

Conversely India has 23 synonyms for "filth", each with a slightly different connotation.
 

Foggy

I'm wasting my life here
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Dec 18, 2012
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#13
"Waldeinsamkeit" is just two words in one: "wald" means forest and "einsamkeit" is loneliness. English isn't as ingenious as German in the sense that we can't always just add words together and have it make sense, rather we have to spend time phrasing sentences to describe a situation.
 

gleet

What's black and white and red all over?
Jul 24, 2005
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#14
"Waldeinsamkeit" is just two words in one: "wald" means forest and "einsamkeit" is loneliness. English isn't as ingenious as German in the sense that we can't always just add words together and have it make sense, rather we have to spend time phrasing sentences to describe a situation.
Bullshit.
 

whiskeyguy

PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy.
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Jan 12, 2010
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#16
Isn't the feeling of being alone in the woods simply how you feel when you're actually alone in the woods? I would never use that phrase to describe a situation where I wasn't alone in the woods. I don't understand why anyone would need it to be a word/phrase.

For example, if someone said "I had the feeling I was being watched"... that can easily describe a situation where no one is actually watching you, but it felt like it. I've never been sitting on my couch watching TV and felt like I was alone in the woods. It just seems like a redundant way of explaining a real situation someone was in. "I was backpacking through the wilderness, and man did I feel like I was alone in the woods".