Okay, so my readers may be shocked (shocked!) to know that I love words. Looove words. Message strategy was my favorite part of my advertising curriculum in college, because it was all about using the right words in the right way to get your point across to the right people. I hate the phrase "it's just semantics," because using the right word is so important. I've got a list of about a dozen languages that I really want to learn because I'm just that into words.
Here are some new ones:
- In Japan, a bakku-shan is a girl who appears pretty from behind but not from the front.
- The German word for me to remember is Kummerspeck, the word that describes weight gain from emotional eating (oh, those wacky, oddly specific Germans!). Literally, "grief bacon."
- Albanians have 27 different words for "moustache," each describing a specific kind, from the madh (bushy moustache) to the posht (a moustache hanging down at the ends) and the fshes (a long broom-like moustache with bristly hairs).
- If your cat goes missing in Russia, you might want to track down your local koshatnik, who fences stolen cats.
- On Easter Island, a tingo is when that schmuck neighbor "borrow[s] objects from a friend's house, one by one, until there's nothing left."
The word that won Doug's heart? Backpfeifengesicht - a face that cries out for a fist in it.
Here are some more foreign words for you (translations available on request):
1. Cibo Matto, "Le Pain Perdu"
2. J.S. Bach, “Dein blut, der edle saft”
3. Serge Gainsbourg, “Dieu Est Un Fumeur De Havanes" (with Catherine Deneuve)
4. Franz Schubert, “Die Taubenpost”
5. Giuseppe Verdi, “La donna é mobile”
6. Jacques Brel, “Les vieux amants”
7. Carmen Consoli, “Confusa e felice”
8. Giacomo Puccini, “Nessun dorma”
9. MC Solaar, “L'aigle ne chasse pas les mouches”
10. Serge Gainsbourg, “La Gadoue”
Your Ten, in any language, and your favorite foreign words go in comments.