+
upworthy
Education & Information

14 awesome words we don't have in the English language but that we definitely need

14 awesome words we don't have in the English language but that we definitely need

Do you ever notice that there is beauty to be found in the imperfections of life? That the changes that come with the natural process of growth and decay are something that we should embrace, or even celebrate, instead of fight?

The Japanese have a term for that idea—wabi sabi. A concept that takes a couple dozen words to explain English is summed up in just four syllables in Japanese.

The diversity of human languages can be fun to explore, especially when you come across words or phrases that don't translate directly or that take far more words to describe in your own tongue. There are some things that are named in other languages that we just don't have words for in English.

For instance, here are 14 awesome words that would come in super handy sometimes.


(Note: pronunciations are using English phonetics, which don't perfectly reflect the way they sound in the original languages.)


Arbejdsglæde (Danish)

Pronounced [ah-bites-gleh-the]

The satisfaction, fulfillment, or happiness you get from a job that you love. Literally and simply "job joy" (though no one ever seems to use that phrase in the U.S.).


Backpfeifengesicht (German)

Pronounced [back-fifen-ge-zisht]

A person whose face is just begging to be slapped really hard. Such a useful term.


Cafuné (Brazilian Portuguese)

Pronounced [KAH-foo-neh]
The act of tenderly running your fingers through a loved one's hair. Awww.

Fernweh (German)

(pronounced "feirn-vey")

Literally means "far sick." Homesickness for a place you've never been before. A deeper feeling than simple wanderlust.


Fisselig (German)

Pronounced [fi-sel-ig]

Being flustered to the point of being unable to function. Been there.


Fuubutsushi (Japanese)

Pronounced [foo-boot-soo-shee]

Something—a feeling, scent, or image—that reminds you of or makes you yearn for a particular season. (Pumpkin spice, for example.)


Gezelligheid (Dutch)

Pronounced [ge-zel-lig-hide]

That warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you're hanging out with friends or family whose company you truly enjoy. Something we all missed during lockdowns.


Hyppytyynytyydytys (Finnish)

Pronounced [hyp-ya-teyrna-teyrna-dish]

Seriously the best word ever with the best meaning ever. It means the pleasure and satisfaction you get from sitting on a bouncy cushion. Ha!


Iktsuarpok (Inuit)

Pronounced [Ikt-soo-ar-poke]

The feeling of anticipation when you're waiting for someone to arrive and keep checking the door to see if they're there. A universal phenomenon.


Jijivisha (Hindi)

Pronounced [ji-ji-vi-sha]

The intense desire to live life to its fullest, to continuously live in the highest state of being. Nice.

Kummerspeck (German)

Pronounced [koo-mer--speck]

The weight you gain from emotional overeating. Literally—and fittingly—translates as "grief bacon."


Meraki (Greek)

Pronounced [murr-ahh-key]

Pouring yourself so wholeheartedly into something with soul, creativity, or love that you leave a piece of yourself in your work.


Shemomedjamo (Georgian)

Pronounced [sheh–mo–med–JAH–mo]

That feeling when a food tastes so good you can't stop eating it. Literally translates to "I accidentally ate the whole thing." Perfect.


Tsundoku (Japanese)

Pronounced [Tsoon-doh-koo]

Buying a bunch of books or other reading material and letting them pile up, unread. Now I just feel like Japan is spying on me.


There are countless words like this in various languages around the world, terms that don't simply translate over into English without a whole explanation. But some might be surprised to find that we have words for things in English that we simply don't use all that often. For example, did you know there's a word for that amazing smell that accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather? It's called petrichor. There's also a word for the appealing, wistful mysteriousness of old bookshops—vellichor.

Or how about ultracrepidarian—a person who expresses opinions on matters outside the scope of their knowledge or expertise? We could have used that term about a hundred thousand times this year.

While we're adding these cool foreign words to our lexicon, maybe we should dig a little deeper into English to find words we didn't even know existed. (Then perhaps we can get to work choosing a universal language we can all learn along with our native tongues so we can easily communicate with each other everywhere we go while still retaining our beautiful cultural expressions. Wouldn't that make life on Earth so much easier?)


Family

Dad takes 7-week paternity leave after his second child is born and is stunned by the results

"These past seven weeks really opened up my eyes on how the household has actually ran, and 110% of that is because of my wife."

@ustheremingtons/TikTok

There's a lot to be gleaned from this.

Participating in paternity leave offers fathers so much more than an opportunity to bond with their new kids. It also allows them to help around the house and take on domestic responsibilities that many new mothers have to face alone…while also tending to a newborn.

All in all, it enables couples to handle the daunting new chapter as a team, making it less stressful on both parties. Or at least equally stressful on both parties. Democracy!

TikTok creator and dad Caleb Remington, from the popular account @ustheremingtons, confesses that for baby number one, he wasn’t able to take a “single day of paternity leave.”

This time around, for baby number two, Remington had the privilege of taking seven weeks off (to be clear—his employer offered four weeks, and he used an additional three weeks of PTO).

The time off changed Remington’s entire outlook on parenting, and his insights are something all parents could probably use.

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by Bambi Corro on Unsplash

Can flying to college twice a week really be cheaper than renting?

Some students choose to live at home while they go to college to save money on living expenses, but that's generally only an option for families who live in college towns or cities with large universities where a student can easily commute.

For University of British Columbia student Tim Chen, that "easy commute" is more than 400 miles each way.

Twice a week, Chen hops on a flight from his home city of Calgary, flies a little more than an hour to Vancouver to attend his classes, then flies back home the same night. And though it's hard to believe, this routine actually saves him approximately $1,000 a month.

Keep ReadingShow less
Image from Pixabay.

Under the sea...

True
The Wilderness Society


You're probably familiar with the literary classic "Moby-Dick."

But in case you're not, here's the gist: Moby Dick is the name of a huge albino sperm whale.

(Get your mind outta the gutter.)

Keep ReadingShow less
Internet

Man goes out of his way to leave tip for a server after realizing he grabbed the wrong receipt

Instead of just brushing it off and moving on, the man wrote out a note explaining what happened with a sincere apology along with a $20 cash tip and delivered it to the restaurant.

Man goes out of his way to leave forgotten tip for server

Being in the service industry can be hard. People have to spend long hours on their feet, deal with repetitive movements that can create pain and sometimes interact with not so nice customers. When you rely on tips for survival on top of everything else, it can feel like a bit of a gut punch when someone decides not to leave you one despite how good your service was.

One customer must've realized the disappointment that can occur after not receiving a tip when serving tables because he went out of his way to give one. In a post shared on Reddit, a customer revealed in a letter that he realized he took the wrong receipt after leaving. Instead of taking the blank one, he took the merchant's copy which holds the tip amount and his signature.

The error was discovered when he was checking his bank account and saw the amount taken off of his card was not the amount he expected. That's when he decided to check the receipt from that day and saw the error.

Keep ReadingShow less

Tony Trapani discovers a letter his wife hid from him since 1959.

Tony Trapani and his wife were married for 50 years despite the heartache of being unable to have children. "She wanted children,” Trapani told Fox 17. "She couldn't have any. She tried and tried." Even though they endured the pain of infertility, Tony's love for his wife never wavered and he cherished every moment they spent together.

After his wife passed away when Tony was 81 years old, he undertook the heartbreaking task of sorting out all of her belongings. That’s when he stumbled upon a carefully concealed letter in a filing cabinet hidden for over half a century.

The letter was addressed to Tony and dated March 1959, but this was the first time he had seen it. His wife must have opened it, read it and hid it from him. The letter came from Shirley Childress, a woman Tony had once been close with before his marriage. She reached out, reminiscing about their past and revealing a secret that would change Tony's world forever.

Keep ReadingShow less
Science

Scientists have finally figured out how whales are able to 'sing' underwater

The physical mechanism they use has been a mystery until now.

Baleen whales include blue, humpback, gray, fin, sei, minke whales and more.

We've long known that baleen whales sing underwater and that males sing in tropical waters to attract females for mating. What we haven't known is how they're able to do it.

When humans make sound underwater, we expel air over through our vocal chords and the air we release rises to the surface as bubbles. But baleen whales don't have vocal chords, and they don't create bubbles when they vocalize. Toothed whales, such as sperm whales, beaked whales, dolphins and porpoises, have an organ in their nasal passages that allows them to vocalize, but baleen whales such as humpback, gray and blue whales don't.

Whales are notoriously difficult to study because of their size and the environment they require, which is why the mechanism behind whale song has remained a mystery for so long. It's not like scientists can just pluck a whale out of the ocean and stick it in an x-ray machine while it's singing to see what's happening inside its body to create the sound. Scientists had theories, but no one really knew how baleen whales sing.

Now, thanks to researchers at the University of Denmark, that mystery has been solved.

Keep ReadingShow less