Saturday, November 24, 2007

Why Don’t We Have a Word for That?

Americans excel at inventing colorful expressions and slang, but it turns out other countries are pretty good at it, too. Here are a list of useful words from around the world that should’ve been invented for the English language:

Kummerspeck (Germany): "Grief bacon" - the weight that you gain by overeating when you’re worried about something.

Attaccabottoni (Italy): A "buttonholer" - someone who corners casual acquaintances or even complete strangers for the purpose of telling them their miserable life stories.

Modré Pondeli (Czech): "Blue Monday" - When you skip coming in to work to give yourself a three-day weekend.

Razbliuto (Russia): The feeling you have for a person you used to love, but don’t anymore.

Shitta (Iran): Leftover dinner that’s eaten for breakfast.

Tartle (Scotland): To momentarily forget the name of the person you’re talking to. The word helps reduce the social embarrassment of such situations: "I’m sorry, I tartled there for a moment."

Pana po’o (Hawaii): To scratch your head in an attempt to remember something you’ve forgotten.

Ngaobera (Easter Island): A sore throat caused by too much screaming.

Backpfeifengesicht (Germany): A face that’s just begging for somebody to put their fist in it.

Papierkrieg (Germany): "Paper war" - bureaucratic paperwork whose only purpose is to block you from getting the refund, insurance payment, or other benefit that you have coming.

Rujuk (Indonesia): To remarry your ex-wife.

Mokita (New Guinea): The truth that everyone knows, but no one will speak about.

Gorrero (Spain, Central America): Someone who never picks up the check.

Fucha (Poland): Using your employer’s time and resources for your own purposes. (Uncle John had never heard of such a thing and wanted to ask around the office if anyone else had, but everyone is still out to lunch.)

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