Ten Nifty Words With No English Equivalent

Ten Nifty Words With No English Equivalent

Apr 21, 2020|Where we travel| by administrator

If you've ever tried to describe something and found yourself at a loss for words, this is the list for you. Although these eloquent words from around the world don't exist in English, we all know what they mean.

1. Iktsuarpok (Inuit)

Remember the feeling of anticipation you felt as a child awaiting the arrival of a friend? The Inuit created a word for this looking-out-the window reflex.

2. Pelinti (Buli, Ghana)

If you've ever tried to eat a pizza roll straight from the oven, you should be familiar with this word. Meaning, "to move hot food around in your mouth," this word describes the panicked movements and noises one makes after consuming a piping-hot morsel.

3. Bilita Mpash (Bantu)

The opposite of a nightmare. A dream so wonderful, it deserves to be called more than just "good."

4. Mamihlapinatapai (Yaghan, Tierra del Fuego)

The look between two people who want the other to do something neither wants to initiate. I call this the "secret admirer" gaze.

5. Yuputka (Ulwa, Nicaragua)

Similar to the creepy crawlies, this word describes the feeling of something crawling on your skin when there is nothing there.

6. Pana Po'o (Hawaiian)

Winnie the Pooh would be a fan of this phrase. It's the action of scratching your head to try to remember something you forgot. Oh bother.

7. Cafune (Brazilian Portuguese)

True to the sensual nature of the romantic Brazilian culture, this word for "tenderly running your fingers through your lover's hair" takes the language of love to a whole new level.

8. Ilunga (Tshiluba, Southwest Congo)

This notoriously untranslatable word describes the body language of one who is ready to forgive and forget an abuse -- and even tolerate it a second time -- but neither forgive nor tolerate a third offense.

9. Sobremesa (Spanish)

You know that time after a meal spent conversing at the table? Well, the Spanish have a word for that.

10. Tingo (Pascuense, Easter Island)

Do not covet your neighbor's goods? Ok, I'll borrow them instead! This word refers to the act of taking desired objects from a friend's house by gradually "borrowing" them all. Now you'll always know just what to say! Go impress your friends with your newfound knowledge.