Friday, October 07, 2005

For Word Lovers

No, not MS Word. Just words.

I found an article today about Weird and wonderful vocabulary from around the world.

Apparently, this guy, Adam Jacot de Boinod, wrote this book - The Meaning of Tingo: And Other Extraordinary Words from Around the World where he collected words that have no direct translation in English. Some of them very culturally specific and some are just specific. For example: tingo--from the Pascuense language of Easter Island--means "to borrow objects from a friend's house, one by one, until there's nothing left".

Some of my favourites:


  • KOSHATNIK Russian - A dealer in stolen cats.
  • BUZ-BAZ Ancient Persian - A showman who makes a goat and monkey dance together.
  • GRILAGEM Brazilian Portuguese - The practice of putting a live cricket into a box of newly faked documents, until the insect's excrement makes the paper look convincingly old.
  • SEIGNEUR-TERRASSE French - Someone who spends time, but not money, at a café.
  • NYLENTIK Indonesian - To flick someone with the middle finger on the ear.
  • LATAH Indonesian - Uncontrollable habit of saying embarrassing things.
  • DESIR Malay - The sound of sand driven by the wind (isn't that poetic?)
Now if only someone could write a story using the above words...

Update: Trée actually used all these words in a reply to my comment in his FNF: East and West post. You have to check it out. I couldn't stop laughing.

Update 2: Eric started a new blog called Teh Blog Father in which he reviewed this post. Go here.
Anyone is welcome to submit to Teh Blog Father to be reviewed. Don't wait - go check it out and submit your post!

Categories: ,

18 comments:

Maciej said...

thats so funny...haha...great blog!

Pat Kirby said...

Pretty cool. While I doubt I'd use the actual words, it definitely adds another dimension in world building.

melly said...

Thanks Maciej :)

Pat, isn't it cool?
They have such interesting words for such specific things that it could definitely make you think and add a new dimension to world building/language things etc.
(I've been known to invent a few words in my life, and not just in writing ;)

Gina said...

I didn't know there was such a market for stolen cats that it needed it's own word!

Trée said...

Melly, I love words and that is such a wonderful refreshing list.

Melly said...

Gina, neither did I :)
Like I said, some of these are very cultural.

Trée, glad you enjoyed it. This was of course just a sampler.

ME Strauss said...

Hi Melly,
What fun these words are. My only hope is that Eric doesn't see this list. He'll be combining them before you know it.

Melly said...

Actually, that was my plan ;)
You notice the line at the end. I'm so devious... *witchy laugh* while rubbing my hands together.

Trée said...

Melly, I've used a few of these words in my reply to your comment on the FNF: East and West posting. ;-) I think I got them all in there although I may have stretched the usage just a tad. All in good fun. Have a great weekend.

Melly said...

Trée, I had no idea you were so talented. I'm still laughing :)

Eveybody - you must go check it out! Even if this doesn't interest you that much, the pictures will. Promise!

Terry said...

Thats hilarious. Thanks Melly!

Melly said...

You're welcome :)

I'm so glad everybody's enjoying it.

dog1net said...

Melly:
This looks like great fun. To actually think there would be a word for someone who deals in stolen cats.

Melly said...

Thanks dog1net, doesn't it?
It's crazy some of the words they've got. I did love the poetic words like Desir - the sound of sand in the wind.

Eric Mutta said...

Hey Melly, Teh Blog Father has done a review for this post as you requested. Your fact was pretty cool ;-)

melly said...

Wow, thanks Eric.
That was pretty cool.

(I thought you'd like the fact ;)

Eric Mutta said...

I did, and thanks for that second update on your post. You are the very first person to join Teh Blog Father's family ;-)

melly said...

Yes !

:)