Favorite Words

I tend to wander the internet, collecting words with no English equivalent and then posting them on Twitter. And since it’s been a popular little series, I decided to keep a running list of my favorite foreign words here for you all to see.

FERNWEH. German. The opposite of homesickness. Akin to wanderlust.

YUPUTKA. Ulwa. The phantom sensation of something crawling on your skin.

BOKETTO. Japanese. The act of gazing vacantly into the distance without thinking.

TARTLE. Scots. That panicky hesitation just before you have to introduce someone whose name you can’t quite remember.

KUMMERSPECK. German. The weight gained from emotional overeating. “Grief bacon/lard.”

CAFUNE. Brazilian Portuguese. Tenderly running your fingers through your lover’s hair.

KAEILLING. Danish. A woman who stands in a public place, berating her children.

LUFTMENSCH. Yiddish. German. An impractical dreamer with no business sense.

VERSCHLIMMBESSERUNG. German. A supposed improvement that makes things worse.

BRICOLEUR. French. Someone who starts building something with no clear plan, cobbling it together while flying by the seat of their pants.

One thought on “Favorite Words

  1. Julie Israel says:

    Beautiful. I especially love ‘bricoleur!’

    Here’s a fave I filed away long ago (now pasted from the internet):
    Retrouvailles (French): The happiness of meeting again after a long time.

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