Nine foreign words the English language desperately needs

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Nine foreign words the English language desperately needs

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:08 pm

An article on Cracked caught my eye today. It highlights nine foreign words for which there is no exact English equivalent and which it might therefore be useful to incorporate into English. They are:

• Kummerspeck: A German word that means ‘grief bacon’ – in other words, ‘excess weight gained from emotional overeating’.
• Iktsuarpok: An Inuit word that means ‘to go outside again and again and again to check if the person you're expecting has arrived’.
• Pochemuchka: "What does this mean? Where is it from? Can I start using it?" It's Russian, and means 'a person who asks too many questions'.
• Pilkunnussija: This Finnish word means ‘comma fucker’ (roughly but not exactly equivalent to ‘grammar Nazi’) – in other words, one of those people who make it their mission to strike down errant apostrophes at every opportunity. (Why, some of Wordwizard’s most devoted followers and aficionados are, ahem...)

Also on the list:

Shemomedjamo (Georgian): Literally translated as ‘I accidentally ate the whole thing’, this signifies ‘to eat past the point of being full just because the food tastes good’.
Hikikomori (Japanese): A teenager or 20-something who has withdrawn from social life, often obsessed with TV and video games.
Gadrii nombor shulen jongu (Tibetan): Giving an answer that is unrelated to the question (literally, ‘giving a green answer to a blue question’).
Kælling (Danish): A miserable, unpleasant woman who yells obscenities at her kids.
Neidbau (German): A building (often of little or no value to its owner) constructed with the sole purpose of harassing or inconveniencing one’s neighbour in some way.

Click on the link at the top of this posting to read a fuller discussion.

Disclaimer: The accuracy of these terms and their descriptions is assumed, but not guaranteed.
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Re: Nine foreign words the English language desperately needs

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:53 am

The Grammar Nazis adopted the German Volkswagen as vanfare for the commer comma man.
They invented a machine to rationalise the enigmas of English grammar. Their defeat was inevitable.
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Re: Nine foreign words the English language desperately needs

Post by Erik_Kowal » Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:57 am

Well, there's a fine Audi-you-do!
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Re: Nine foreign words the English language desperately needs

Post by zmjezhd » Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:28 pm

Finnish Pilkunnussija is closer to the English nit-picker or pedant in meaning, which is a wider category than grammar nazi. It is similar to the French term enculeur des mouches 'fly-bugger'.
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