Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fun Words

Ran across a great word today, en français.

un vide-grenier, or a garage sale (or yard sale, or car boot sale, depending on your dialect)...literally an 'empty attic'.

Very cool. Descriptive (a directive almost, one might say), rather than, uh, locational.

Another great turn of (international) phrase that's always been a favourite of mine is dar a luz, Spanish for 'give birth' ...literally, to 'give to the light'.

Any out there for you folks?



PJ said...

I love finding words that have no English equivalent.

Shibui (Japanese) -- a kind of beauty that only time can reveal. Understated, never obvious, deceptively simple yet actually complex. It never proclaims itself but waits for its depths to be discovered. It can apply to a piece of wood that only becomes beautiful after two hundred years.

Schadenfreude (German) - the secret, malicious joy we feel at the misfortune of someone else.

Amaeru (Japanese) - to pretend that one is less mature, more dependent, more spoiled than one really is, in order to be treated as a dependent.

Radfahrer (German) - one who flatters superiors and browbeats subordinates.

Fucha (Polish) - using company time and resources for your own ends.

Lori said...

Portuguese has some good 'uns as well:

madrugada is essentially the wee hours of the morning

saudades is a longing or yearning that is romantic, nostalgic, etc.


azahar said...

Madrugada means the same in Spanish too.

And cranky, nasty people are referred to as having 'mala leche' (bad milk).

Metro said...

How about English words without English opposites?

nursemyra said...

oh I love new words. I know one or two people who "fucha"

the rest of them just boondoggle

Lori said...

Here's a link to a whole whack of them.