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25 Words That Don’t Exist In The English Language

October 20, 2012 | 8 Comments » | Topics: main

words that don't exist in english

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)

6 Duende (Spanish): a climactic show of spirit in a performance or work of art, which might be fulfilled in flamenco dancing, or bull-fighting, etc.

7 Forelsket (Norwegian): The euphoria you experience when you are first falling in love

8 Gigil (pronounced Gheegle; Filipino): The urge to pinch or squeeze something that is unbearably cute

9 Guanxi (Mandarin): in traditional Chinese society, you would build up good guanxi by giving gifts to people, taking them to dinner, or doing them a favor, but you can also use up your gianxi by asking for a favor to be repaid

10 Ilunga (Tshiluba, Congo): A person who is ready to forgive any abuse for the first time, to tolerate it a second time, but never a third time

11 L’esprit de l’escalier (French): usually translated as “staircase wit,” is the act of thinking of a clever comeback when it is too late to deliver it

12 Litost (Czech): a state of torment created by the sudden sight of one’s own misery

13 Mamihlapinatapai (Yaghan): A look between two people that suggests an unspoken, shared desire

14 Manja (Malay): “to pamper”, it describes gooey, childlike and coquettish behavior by women designed to elicit sympathy or pampering by men. “His girlfriend is a damn manja. Hearing her speak can cause diabetes.”

15 Meraki (pronounced may-rah-kee; Greek): Doing something with soul, creativity, or love. It’s when you put something of yourself into what you’re doing

16 Nunchi (Korean): the subtle art of listening and gauging another’s mood. In Western culture, nunchi could be described as the concept of emotional intelligence. Knowing what to say or do, or what not to say or do, in a given situation. A socially clumsy person can be described as ‘nunchi eoptta’, meaning “absent of nunchi”

17 Pena ajena (Mexican Spanish): The embarrassment you feel watching someone else’s humiliation

18 Pochemuchka (Russian): a person who asks a lot of questions

19 Schadenfreude (German): the pleasure derived from someone else’s pain

20 Sgriob (Gaelic): The itchiness that overcomes the upper lip just before taking a sip of whisky

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

22 Tatemae and Honne (Japanese): What you pretend to believe and what you actually believe, respectively

23 Tingo (Pascuense language of Easter Island): to borrow objects one by one from a neighbor’s house until there is nothing left

24 Waldeinsamkeit (German): The feeling of being alone in the woods

25 Yoko meshi (Japanese): literally ‘a meal eaten sideways,’ referring to the peculiar stress induced by speaking a foreign language

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  • Mushu

    There are called “Expressions”.

  • Rj

    Hi, I’m Spanish (Spain) and the #17 is incorrect, “Pena ajena”. Pena is used in Spanish with the meaning of Sadness. The correct form is “Vergüenza Ajena”. Vergüenza is that feeling of embarrassment you feel when someone is humiliated near you and Ajena is a reference to these person.

    I hope it help. Best wishes from Spain!!!

    • Zelu

      I am spanish too, in mexican-spanish pena=vergüenza.

  • Allan

    Forelsket is Danish word, not Norwegian.

    • Einar

      Most Norwegian words in “bokmål” (one of the official Norwegian languages) come from Danish. So “Forelsket” is a Danish and a Norwegian word.

  • Zer0FiveSeven

    2 Arigata-meiwaku (Japanese): Douchebag
    3 Backpfeifengesicht (German): Bro
    5 Desenrascanço (Portuguese): Lie

    6 Duende (Spanish): Wrestling

    7 Forelsket (Norwegian): Lust

    8 Gigil (pronounced Gheegle; Filipino): Hug

    9 Guanxi (Mandarin): Karma

    10 Ilunga (Tshiluba, Congo): Self-Confidence

    12 Litost (Czech): Depression

    13 Mamihlapinatapai (Yaghan): Lust (can be one word because it’s shared between between two people, and you both know it)

    14 Manja (Malay): Manipulative

    15 Meraki (pronounced may-rah-kee; Greek): Art

    16 Nunchi (Korean): Empathy

    17 Pena ajena (Mexican Spanish): Empathy

    18 Pochemuchka (Russian): Child

    21 Taarradhin (Arabic): (you said it yourself) Compromise

    22 Tatemae and Honne (Japanese): Lie

    25 Yoko meshi (Japanese): American (and yes, I am American)

  • Sean Malloy

    19. Schadenfreude, which is ‘epicaricacy’ in English.

  • tony

    “To MacGyver it” … seems legit 😉