Words that don't exist in the English language

Wednesday, October 6, 2010
I stumbled upon this via emma c. and thought it was quite an interesting little find.
Words that don't exist in the English language
Aren't these little words so neat?! It's like someone thought of a word for every circumstance... like who knew there was a word for the embarrassment you feel watching someone else's humiliation? Or the feeling one gets when realizing something one once had is lost and can never be had again? Sometimes I wish the English language had better words to describe things... Like in the Hebrew language, there are four different main ways to say love (amongst others, i believe) and they all represent different degrees of love (ie. i love my shoes vs. i love her). We English-speaking folks just cannot compete!

34 comments on "Words that don't exist in the English language"

britni @ Antika Moda on October 6, 2010 at 7:35 AM said...

I'm pretty sure gheegle is my favorite! :) Why is it that you want to squeeze things that are cute? lol

thelayeredpancake on October 6, 2010 at 8:03 AM said...

love this. i like "meraki". it sounds so sweet.
english is such a technical functional language, theres very little room for beauty. i sometimes try to translate a bit of urdu into english, but I fail completely because words like that don't exist in english.
but functionality is beautiful too in its own way.

sara on October 6, 2010 at 8:10 AM said...

this is amazing, these are all beautiful words.

Anonymous said...

I'm from Germany and never heard of Waldeinsamkeit... it's pretty!

Alkyoni on October 6, 2010 at 10:05 AM said...

Ah. Meraki. The pain I have to go through to explain it to my friends from other countries. There really ought to be more words like these in the English language. It makes it hard for us the Greeks to translate some things in English...

Daughter Earth on October 6, 2010 at 10:25 AM said...

These are great. Thanks for sharing. I have def. wanted words to describe a few of those situations before!

curious constellation on October 6, 2010 at 10:41 AM said...

What a delightful find! I've saved that picture and I shall definitely be reading these over and over again. If it can't be said in English I'm just going to have to learn how to say it in another language!

Amber Blue Bird on October 6, 2010 at 10:57 AM said...

What an interesting list. I guess we need to update our language

Marloes on October 6, 2010 at 11:30 AM said...

I know another one 'Gezelligheid'(Dutch) it's like having a good time together, hav e fun, a good talk, nice drink. Mostly translated as cosy

Anonymous said...

Hello all!
I´m from Argentina (spanish speaking country) and find this post lovely. There is a word that doesn´t exist in english, PUDOR, which is usually translated as shame but it names a way of showing that something related in a vague way to moral and very intimate feelings is embarrasing someone.
I´m a linguist and at the University I remember knowing (can´t recall it properly now) that english lost many of its original richness when germans (guttemberg disciples) got the oral language written; and that happened because they asimilate the sound of each word to a german "concept" and in this process, meaning and polisemia got injured.

daniela
danielainesgutierrez@gmail.com

emma-kate on October 6, 2010 at 12:40 PM said...

the Oxford Dictionary should just steal these words. or a famous poet should include them in a poem. or coca cola should use them in an ad.

17andalwaysdreaming.blogspot.com

annie on October 6, 2010 at 1:02 PM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tate on October 6, 2010 at 1:46 PM said...

What a lovely post! Forelsket is possibly my new favourite word right now.
Just a small comment: saudade is not necessarily felt for something that can never be had again. You can feel saudade for a lover that is very far away, or for a friend that you haven't seen in a long time (but that you still have a chance of seeing again some day)
(I'm brazilian btw):)

bonjourbohemian on October 6, 2010 at 1:54 PM said...

hmm, I never heard of the German word "Waldeinsamkeit". I think it's no real used word here - I think it's actually a title from a poem and/or song. WHATEVER: LOVE THOSE WORDS :)

balletslippers on October 6, 2010 at 1:58 PM said...

Such a lovely list! My favourite must be forelsket.
By the way, there ist also a word for the embarrassment you feel when watching someone elso do something humiliating in german: fremdschämen. It is a relatively "new" word though.

Blackbird Fly on October 6, 2010 at 2:15 PM said...

this is so lovely.
thanks for sharing!

XXXX
-Morgan (Blackbird Fly)
Blackbird Fly

Katherine on October 6, 2010 at 2:45 PM said...

Oh, I love little facts like this! :) By the way, I doubt it is in the dictionary, but a commonly used equivalent of pena ajena is second-hand embarrassment.

Nicola on October 6, 2010 at 3:18 PM said...

Don't forget 'schadenfreude'! I kind of like that there's a word for such a nasty little feeling. Language is vicious.

'Saudade' sounded so sad, but now that Tate has clarified its meaning it's got a hopeful tinge to it. I'm feeling saudade for my best friend who is currently living half the world away!

rosanguyen on October 6, 2010 at 5:13 PM said...

They must be included in our language asap. How do people include words into the dictionary anyway.

Kate on October 6, 2010 at 8:44 PM said...

Very interesting! Great post.
xx

NISSY ♥ IncognitoGlam on October 7, 2010 at 12:00 AM said...

Hi, I'm from Manila. "Gheegle" is actually spelled "gigil" and you kinda have to say it with gritted teeth, especially if what you want to pinch is too excruciatingly cute :)

http://incognitoglam.blogspot.com

Benedikte Mongokid :3 on October 7, 2010 at 1:19 AM said...

Haha, I am now proud of being a Norwegian!
I love your blog, it's so cute.

Ann M. on October 7, 2010 at 2:21 AM said...

These are fantastic. I hope you won't mind me linking back to this post in my weekly summary on my blog :)

SimoneV on October 7, 2010 at 4:12 AM said...

Wow.

All of those words are juts beautiful, and how goodness I wish they were a part of the english language. I will have to learn these to memory, as I do believe I can use them all in my own diary and blog very often!

Where did you find these?

mylifereinvented on October 7, 2010 at 7:52 AM said...

I could use I esprit de escalier, gheegle. and pena ajena in my life and more of meraki.

Bhakti Omwoods on October 7, 2010 at 4:01 PM said...

Wow this was interesting. I've thought about this often - living in the US as a Finnish native - a million times I wanted to express something specific but had to go with a more general term when there just isn't such detailed peculiar words in English.

I love this word: ihana [ee-hanah]. It's a combination of 'lovely', 'wonderful', 'amazing' and 'gorgeous', and none of those words could translate it properly alone.

Marinka on October 7, 2010 at 10:00 PM said...

that's nice thanks for sharing!

Yves on October 9, 2010 at 6:31 AM said...

I feel like English is so lacking now.

sophie on October 10, 2010 at 2:31 AM said...

lovely. thank you.

alaska said...

also the word "dor" in romanian doesn't exist in English. it is used to say you miss someone, like "i miss you", but it is not a verb, it's a noun. it can't be translated :)

Tiera on October 17, 2010 at 5:08 PM said...

I love this! And I seem to experience l'esprit de escalier all the time, lol! And gheegle is so adorable :)

Melissa on November 28, 2010 at 7:53 PM said...

My mom is Filipino and I asked her about 'gheegle', she is so cute. She started singing an old nursery rhyme about it.

I love this!

-plums

Lily on March 12, 2011 at 5:01 PM said...

One can even feel "saudade" of something you never had

Lily on March 12, 2011 at 5:08 PM said...

"Saudade" it's a nostalgic & smooth remembrance of distant people or things, or of past things & people. Longing, yearning. It's not a bad feeling, but it's intense and sometimes it overwhelms us to have or feel "Saudade". One can even feel saudade of something she/he didn't get to experience

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