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  • Foto del escritorMaría Palomares Tarí


Ever wanted to say something in English but couldn’t find the exact word? Maybe other languages have the answer!

Some languages from all around the globe have words and phrases to describe life situations English speakers never knew they needed.

Not convinced yet? Take a look at this curious list of funny expressions and their meanings with no exact English equivalent. They’re just worth it!

Age-otori -- Japanese

To look worse after a haircut. Almost all of us could use it at some point, right?

Utepils – Norwegian

The satisfaction and elation of enjoying the first beer with those closest to you while sitting outside on a warm and sunny day. What a feeling!

Schadenfreude – German

It is the experience of joyful feelings that take pleasure from watching someone fail. Quite wicked, isn’t it?

Zapoi – Russian

It describes two or more days of continuous intentional drunkenness where the first thing one does upon waking from a drunken stupor is to drink more. It usually involves waking up in an unexpected place.

Trepverter – Yiddish / L’esprit de l’escalier - French

Both refer to a commonplace: the witty riposte or comeback you think of only when it is too late to use. Who hasn’t been there at one time or another?

Arbejdsglæde – Danish

Maybe not that common as we would like… It literally means work happiness, the feeling of happiness provoked by a satisfying job.

Voorpret – Dutch

The pleasure feeling of anticipation one might have before an exciting event, like a vacation or a festival. It would basically mean something like pre-fun. Such a cool term, right?

Gigil – Filipino

Ever seen a baby or a puppy so adorable that you feel an irresistible urge to squeeze it? Gigil describes the urge to pinch or squeeze something that is unbearably cute.

Sobremesa – Spanish

Not just a word, but quite a tradition, it refers to the time Spaniards spend after a meal with friends or family just chatting and laughing before they even clean or leave the table.

Minestra riscaldata – Italian

Literally reheated soup, it describes the attempt – usually quite hopeless, let’s say - to revive an old romantic relationship. As Italians say “Minestra riscaldata non è mai buona” (Reheated soup is never good).

And last but not least... Our name itself! Yoko Meshi - Japanese

"The peculiar stress of speaking in a foreign language." This Japanese expression means literally 'horizontal' 'boiled rice', which combined is 'a meal eaten sideways'. This is how the Japanese define the stress of speaking a foreign language: yoko is a humorous reference to the fact that Japanese is normally written vertically, whereas most languages are written horizontally. 

What unique words does your language have?


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