Jul 10th 2013

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Another 5 words needed in the English Language

Do you find yourself tongue-tied trying to describe the “spare tire” of weight that you gained after your recent breakup? Are you always rushing out the door to check if the friend you are waiting for has arrived and wish you could describe the feeling of tense anticipation? Here is our third list of words that are needed in the English language. 

 

1. Backpfeifengesicht back-fifen-gazisht (German)
A face badly in need of a fist. We have all met one of these annoying creatures who knowingly goes around offending people, who proudly crosses all lines of decency and constantly infuriates those surrounding them. The Germans came up with a word for them: backpfeifengesicht.

2. Hikikomori hikiko-moree (Japanese)
Literally means “pulling inward, being confined” or “acute social withdrawal.” It is a Japanese term to refer to the phenomenon of reclusive adolescents or young adults who completely withdraw from social life. It is estimated that 1% of Japan (1,000,000 people) are living a hikikomori lifestyle and most of them are middle-class and supported by their parents. Could we classify the people sit alone in their basements playing 1000’s of hours of video games as Hikikomori?

3. Walla! wa-alla! (Hebrew/Arabic)
Like many words in Chinese, this expressive word used in contemporary Hebrew/Arabic has a meaning that depends entirely on intonation. Walla can mean really, wow, are you serious, and even more. This versatile word can describe astonishment and surprise when spoken slowly and softly. When walla is spoken quickly with a high pitched intonation at the end it can mean are you kidding me/are you serious?

4. Iktsuarpok ick-saar-pock (Inuit)
Iktsuarpok is the word for the tense anticipation that you feel when you are waiting for someone to arrive. It’s the feeling that forces you to check outside often to see if your visitor is close by. Now we just need a word for watching a pot of water boil.

5. Kummerspeck kumar-shpeck (German)
The Germans vocabulary is quite expressive isn’t it? Kummerspeck is the word for the weight gained after excessive emotional overeating. The sobbing person sitting on the couch eating an entire bucket of ice-cream is a common sight after a tough breakup and now we know which word to use to describe the unfortunate aftereffects.

Do you have any words in your native language that need an English equivalent? Leave them in the comments below!

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