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the words English is missing

  • 09-01-2013 12:43am
    Closed Accounts Posts: 4,408 ✭✭✭ clairefontaine

    A design student came up with a chart, connecting and borrowing words from different languages that express different emotions. These words do not exist in English. It's a great little chart. And further down, there is another chart specific to the internet age for which there are no words yet, . Have a look, some are marvelous.

    There are some other good ones in this blog So Bad So Good too.

    "25 Handy Words That Simply Don’t Exist In English
    ALEX WAIN APRIL 29, 2012 83

    Approximately 375 million people speak English as their first language, in fact it’s the 3rd most commonly spoken language in the world (after Mandarin Chinese and Spanish). Interestingly enough it’s the number 1 second language used worldwide – which is why the total number of people who speak English, outnumber those of any other.

    But whilst it’s the most widely spoken language, there’s still a few areas it falls down on (strange and bizarre punctuation rules aside). We look at 25 words that simply don’t exist in the English langauge (and yet after reading this list, you’ll wish they did!)

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

    2 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

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

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

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

    21 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"

    Please delete anything that might be copyright infringement. I have no clue what's ok on message boards to quote or not quote.


  • 4 and 21 are 'butterface' and 'win/win' respectively.

    Is 6 not the same as 'pizzazz', 'flair' or 'flamboyance'? (edit: apparently it doesn't really mean what they've quoted it as meaning)

    I've been waiting for an excuse to use 'Mamihlapinatapai' since I heard it a couple of months ago. I think it was voted one of the most succinct words in any living language.

    Schadenfreude surely exists in English. Just because it's not translated doesn't mean it's not part of the language.

    Pena ajena = scarleh' :D

    'Mauvaise foi' should be in there.

  • A bad haircut (#1) - to lose a fight with a lawnmower? :)
    To "unfúck" could be used for #5
    I would sometimes use "attention whoring" for #14 (in terms of eliciting sympathy).

  • 'Mauvaise foi' should be in there.

    Along with coup de coeur and l'esprit d'escalier.

  • Along with coup de coeur and l'esprit d'escalier.

    It's at number 11.

    Not sure about the need for an equivalent to 'coup de coeur'. Most of the uses of it I can think of have a short English phrase with the same meaning - "editor's pick", "impulse", "whim", "favourite"... I might be missing some.

  • It's at number 11.

    Not sure about the need for an equivalent to 'coup de coeur'. Most of the uses of it I can think of have a short English phrase with the same meaning - "editor's pick", "impulse", "whim", "favourite"... I might be missing some.

    I think of it a bit differently - to fall in love instantly with something [not necessarily a person, could be a pair of mittens even], literally your heart is captured.

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  • You're s-mitten? :pac:

  • Oh gosh, fozzy bear is on boards!

  • I think that we have filled in a gap in the English language with our use of the word bollocks.
    Someone you dislike can be;
    A bollocks.
    A slight touch of a bollocks
    A bit of bollocks.
    A complete and utter bollocks.
    An out and out bollocks.
    The middle and both ends of a bollocks
    And; "If you were stuck for a bollocks he would easily make two".

    A very usefull and descriptive word and should be in the Greater Oxford, in my opinion!
    In Hiberno English it fills nicely our need for colour crossed with our innate begrudgery.

  • Bollocks is a great word - it's so versatile
    A noun
    a less than nice person - "What a bollocks"
    a less than veracious statement - "What a load of bollocks"
    a less than good performance of a task - "You made a bollocks out of that"

    An adjective

    A verb
    "Don't bollocks that up"
    "I got a good bollocking for making a bollocks out of that task"