I am a lover of language and languages, from the time I was very young and listened to the sound of my Oma speaking German with my father. It amazed me to hear my dad speaking another language. I wanted, needed to learn. So I did. And now I am fluent too. I can also get by with Spanish and French. While I was doing my undergraduate degree, I took a course in linguistic anthropology as an elective and was fascinated. I loved that course and still remember specific lectures. The professor was amazing. If I didn’t end up going the geographical route, I would surely have stuck with anthropology.
While scanning through Arts & Letters Daily
, I came across this article, from The Independent
. We all know that the Inuit have numerous words for snow, but there are strange and amazing words for items we, in the English speaking world, would never have imagined. So here I am selecting a few for all of you, for your enjoyment.
Chloe; I think you should use this word today. From Portuguese FUCHA, meaning to use company time and resources for one's own purposes.
Michelle; I know you do this, because your photos are among the best I have seen. From Chinese QIANG JINGTOU, meaning the fight by a cameraman to get a better vantage point.
Lois; This one’s for you. Maybe your kids can try it out. From Brazilian Portuguese GRILAGEM, meaning 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.
Heidi; Do we share this trait? (sorry, I don't mean to embarrass you...). From Indonesian LATAH, the uncontrollable habit of saying embarrassing things.
Jase; Since awhile ago you said that you could. From Indonesia, DESUS, the quiet, smooth sound of somebody farting but not very loudly.
MomyBlogR; I think this word would apply to us if we were together. From Japanese KUSUKUSU, the suppressed giggling and tittering of a group of women.
Vani; This might actually be useful because soon you’ll have three. From Samoan. FAAMITI , to make a squeaking noise by sucking air past the lips in order to gain the attention of a dog or a child.
Romani; Think of this while you’re walking through Hooterville. From Malay, KERTEK, the sound of dry leaves or twigs being trodden underfoot.
BerlinBound; Because I’m sure you’re doing this with your big move this week. From Hawaiian, PANA PO'O, to scratch your head in order to help you to remember something you've forgotten.
Christina; Don’t let this happen to you from those yoga pants. From Tulu Indian, KARELU, the mark left on the skin by wearing anything tight.
Marel; As your young ones are starting to talk. From Chinese, YUYIN, the remnants of sound that stay in the ears of the hearer.
Angel; Beware what you think you see. From Japanese, BAKKU-SHAN, a girl who looks as though she might be pretty when seen from behind, but isn't when seen from the front.
Ruthie; Because you assisted your mom, and you are keeping the light. From Danish, FYRASSISTENT, an assistant lighthouse keeper.
Dr. Deb; Because I think you could co-ordinate pretty much anything. From Italian, CAPOCLAQUE, someone who co-ordinates a group of clappers.
Sarah; Please tell me you’re not. From Russian, KOSHATNIK, a dealer in stolen cats.
MissB; Tell me you haven’t done this to your nice friend in the video. From the Pascuense language, Easter Island, TINGO, borrowing things from a friend's house, one by one, until he has nothing left.
RiskyBiz; Do you do this with your co-workers when the peckerhead boss is around? From Hawaiian, 'A'AMA, someone who speaks rapidly, hiding their meaning from one person while communicating it to another.
Nancy; Because you’re on the west coast, and stereotypically so many do, never feel the pressure to do this. From Chinese, ZHENGRONG, to improve one's looks by plastic surgery.
Would you like one too? My sincere apologies for leaving anyone out. If so, it was completely unintended, and the babe is waking.
(But for those of you visiting, but not commenting, are you a BUZ-BAZ ?)