A Way with Words


You know that feeling you get when you’re waiting for someone to come over to your house and you’re so excited so you keep looking out the window to see if they’re there yet? Believe it or not, there’s a word for that! In Inuit, you would say “iktsuarpok”.

No matter where you’re from you’re likely to have been in a situation where you’ve needed to describe a feeling, but haven’t quite had the words. With over 171,400 English words currently in use today, and even more being added, one would think that every feeling or activity would be easily defined. Well, as we know, this isn’t always the case. But luckily, our friends from around the world feel our pain and have developed words that can help us out. Read on for a list of words that describe the human experience perfectly.

  1. Saudade (Portuguese): a melancholic nostalgia for someone or something
  2. Forelsket (Norwegian):  the euphoria you experience when you fall in love
  3. Gigil (Filipino):  the urge to pinch or squeeze something adorable
  4. Hygge (Danish):  the pleasure, comfort, or warmth that comes from sitting around a dinner table with family, feeling the warm glow of candlelight, or spending time around a fire with friends
  5. Gumusservi (Turkish):  moonlight shining on water
  6. Meraki (Greek):  doing something with soul, creativity, or love. When you put yourself into what you’re doing
  7. Pochemuchka (Russian):  a person who asks a lot of questions
  8. Yoko meshi (Japanese): the stress induced by speaking a foreign language – literal translation is “a meal eaten sideways”
  9. Voorpret (Dutch):  the excitement and anticipation you feel before an event takes place – translates to “pre-fun”
  10.  Opohmelka/ опохмелка (Russian):  a word for the phrase “the hair of the dog that bit you”
  11. Mencolek (Indonesian):  the trick where you tap someone on their opposite shoulder and fool them when they turn around
  12. Greng-jai (Thai):  the feeling of not wanting someone to do something for you because it would be an inconvenience to them
  13. Culaccino (Italian):  the mark left on a table by a cold glass
  14. Sobremesa (Spanish): the time you spend talking after finishing a meal
  15. Jayus (Indonesian): a joke so bad that you cannot help but laugh
  16. Fernweh (German):  feeling homesick for a place you’ve never been
  17. Utepils (Norwegian): to sit in the sun and enjoy a beer

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