A List of Words for Fellow Nerds – By @chlo_gray
By Chloe Gray
A List of Words for Fellow Nerds
I’ve always been a nerd for words. The English language is stunning and versatile, and learning to master it is a lifelong love affair. But it’s not the be all and end all of communication. There are thousands of words from other languages that describe the human experience so succinctly that they don’t have a direct translation in English. I love them because I think they give a glimpse into the culture of the country they are used in. Here is a list of some of my favourite ones:
- Komorebi / 木漏れ日 (Japanese) – the way sunlight filters through the leaves of trees.
- Sobremesa (Spanish) – the time spent after a meal, socialising with the people you shared it with.
- Mångata (Swedish) – the road-like reflection of the moon on the water.
- Saudade (Portuguese) – the feeling of longing for something or someone you love that is lost. It’s a bittersweet, empty feeling of missing. The love that remains after someone is gone.
- Kilig (Tagalog) – the thrilling feeling of butterflies in your stomach when something romantic happens. Catching your crush’s eye for the first time or watching a marriage proposal.
- Schlimmbesserung (German) – a so-called improvement that makes things worse.
- Mamihlapinatapei (Yaghan) – the wordless, meaningful look shared by two people who both want to initiate something but are reluctant to do so. An unspoken but private moment between two people where each person knows the other understands and agrees with what is being expressed.
- Flâner (French) – the art of leisurely strolling the streets of Paris without any goal or destination, simply for the pleasure of soaking up the city.
- Ya’aburnee (Arabic) – a declaration of hope that your loved one will outlive you because of how unbearable it would be to live without them. It is a gorgeous, painful expression of desire to spare yourself the pain of a life without a person you love.
- Ré nao / 热闹 (Chinese) – a place or situation that is ré nao is not only fun and lively, but also has a special vibe that makes everyone want to be there. A lively, special bar or club may be ré nao, but so might a university class or meeting with friends.
- Jijivisha (Hindi) – the strong, eternal desire to live and to continue living. It is usually used to talk about a person who loves life and always has intense emotions and desires to live and thrive.
- Zapoi (Russian) – two or more days of drunkenness usually involving a journey or waking up in an unexpected place.
- Gattara (Italian) – a woman, often old and lonely, who devotes herself to stray cats.
- Pana Po’o (Hawaiian) – the act of scratching your head to help you remember something.
- Merak (Serbian) – a feeling of bliss and the sense of oneness with the universe that comes from the simplest of pleasures. It is the pursuit of small, daily pleasures that all add up to a great sense of happiness and fulfillment.