Are you going by way of one thing proper now that you just’re having bother placing into phrases? Feeling slightly je ne sais quoi, slightly pomme de terre? For those who’re unable to articulate what you’re experiencing, that doesn’t make your feelings invalid. It simply means it's essential to develop your vocabulary past the constraints of English. Dip your toes into different languages, and you'll perceive such ideas as…
Saudade: Empty Unhappiness for What Is Misplaced
English has the phrase “nostalgia” for emotions concerning the previous. “In Greek,” says one well-known scene from Mad Males, “nostalgia actually means the ache from an outdated wound.” That etymology is full bullshit, as befits something stated by that character, however nostalgia actually did initially check with an solely unhappy emotion. Docs would diagnose troopers with nostalgia once they missed life again house.
At the moment, you received’t have a lot luck referring to your melancholy as nostalgia. The phrase extra typically refers to happier reminiscing. Worse, it more and more refers back to the empty pleasures of seeing icons from the previous recreated. For those who inform individuals you’re feeling nostalgic, they’ll assume you wish to see the forged of Jersey Shore reunite for a Walmart industrial, moderately than that you just’re lonely and pining for the companionship of childhood.
To explain this disappointment of yours, English does provide a phrase, the phrase desiderium. We additionally recommend the Portuguese phrase saudade as a result of whereas just about no English audio system learn about desiderium, a whole lot of tens of millions of individuals world wide speak of saudade. Not like nostalgia, saudade speaks to a eager for one thing you’re certain to by no means expertise once more, which is a part of your disappointment it's essential to acknowledge. In reality, saudade may even cowl nostalgia for one thing that by no means actually existed. As a result of let’s be trustworthy — you could really feel incomplete now, however that earlier stage in your life you lengthy for wasn’t that nice both.
Ilunga: Finally Unforgiving
In 2004, linguists convened to vote on which phrase, in any language, is the toughest to translate. Third place was a Japanese phrase, naa. It registers settlement, however there’s extra to it than that, which we are able to’t simply clarify right here, as the identical phrase can each agree with what another person says or emphasize what you your self have simply stated. Second place went to a Yiddish phrase, shlimazl. It means a chronically unfortunate particular person, which doesn’t sound terribly complicated, however relaxation assured that it provides another subtleties as properly that nobody was in a position to translate.
The toughest phrase comes from the Tshiluba language from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The phrase is ilunga. An ilunga is an individual who “is able to forgive any abuse for the primary time, to tolerate it a second time, however by no means a 3rd time.” It might sound like an odd and obscure system of responding to offenses, however you need to get to know this idea should you stay in any of the handfuls of states which have three-strikes legal guidelines to crack down on repeat offenders. Three-strikes legal guidelines are unjust and fail at their goals, however we nonetheless want phrases to explain that angle.
Perendination: One Step Past Procrastination
For those who’re feeling lazy, you may resolve to procrastinate moderately than get right down to work. Procrastination, after all, means laying aside duties however extra particularly means laying aside duties until tomorrow. “Don’t postpone until tomorrow what you are able to do right now,” because the outdated saying goes. You’ll see this saying attributed to Benjamin Franklin, Mark Twain or varied different individuals whose names make recommendation sound smart.
We don’t actually know who first got here up the road (Thomas Jefferson is one other candidate). We do see one related adage within the writings of Mark Twain, wherein Twain attributed it to Franklin. Solely, he jokingly attributed it to Franklin, as a result of it was a chunk mocking Franklin’s sayings, and the adage was additionally a joke. Right here’s the phrase Twain wrote: “By no means postpone until tomorrow what you are able to do day after tomorrow simply as properly.”
In Latin, we've got a phrase for placing one thing off for the day after tomorrow. Whenever you try this, you perendinate, which is one step past procrastination. Procrastination is for amateurs. There are such a lot of days past tomorrow that may bear your workload.
Kummerspeck: Emotional Overeating
Whenever you’re unhappy — not simply from saudade, however for varied different causes, maybe ensuing out of your perendination or being an ilunga — the clichéd transfer is to seize a pint of ice cream and eat it, proper out of the container. In The Golden Women, they tended to interrupt out some cheesecake (as a result of it’s funnier and extra absurd to have a whole cheesecake useful), and if even ice cream requires an excessive amount of preparation for you, you may end up as a substitute turning to sleeves of cookies or to chip packets that burst open throughout your depressing torso.
In German, they've a phrase for this sort of binge: kummerspeck. The –speck refers to pork fats, so the cleanest translation into English is “grief bacon.” We suggest frying up some bacon if you’re feeling blue moderately than counting on readymade snacks as a result of the very act of standing and fascinating in productive work might inspire you. It certain beats partaking in additional literal kummerspeck, which might contain conserving a dish of exhausting pork fats within the fridge. Whenever you’re unhappy, you eat the fats chilly and not using a spoon.
Mudita: Pleasure in Others’ Pleasure
For those who have the benefit of another person’s struggling, we've got an English phrase for that: schadenfreude. Effectively, it’s not an English phrase precisely. It’s a German phrase, however we pulled it into our lexicon as a result of we discover it so helpful. How unusual then that we don’t have a phrase for feeling pleasure in another person’s pleasure, which seems like a a lot much less perverse intuition. We even have broader adjectives for labeling a spectrum of feelings as secondhand (“sympathetic,” “vicarious”), however we've got no single phrase for shared pleasure.
In Vietnamese, they name it hỷ. In Chinese language, they name it xǐ. In Japanese, they name it ki. A number of different languages name it mudita, which was initially a Sanskrit phrase and is an entire idea in Buddhism. So, subsequent time you are feeling joyful as a consequence of another person additionally feeling joyful, this doesn’t make you an anomaly experiencing some hitherto undocumented phenomenon. That’s simply mudita, and it reveals you’re not a psychopath.
Swaffelen: Penis Smacking
When a Dutch web site invited individuals in 2008 to select the phrase of the yr, all of the profitable phrases had English connections. Some individuals picked bankendomino, associated to banks falling like dominoes. Some picked wiien, which meant taking part in a sport on the Wii — we suppose the right noun Wii is Japanese, nevertheless it does exist in English.
The highest phrase of all, whereas not an English phrase, originated within the English-speaking components of the nation. The phrase was swaffelen, and it means swinging a penis round. Pull out a penis and wave it about, and that’s swaffelen. For those who bump it into somebody, that’s much more an instance of swaffelen.
Figuring out our readers, no less than 12 p.c of you might be partaking in swaffelen at this very second. When you've got no penis hooked up to your personal physique, that’s no impediment. You may borrow a buddy’s. With swaffelen, any penis will do.