Random link: 20 Obsolete English Words that Should Make a Comeback. This is best printed and enjoyed upon the toilet, because it’s just great (faves: “freck” and “brabble”, but I can’t wait to use ’em all!). As much as I liked that, it pales beside 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Worlds from Around the World. Their pages over at Matador are kinda slow and weird, so this is the list:
1. Toska: Russian – Vladmir Nabokov describes it best: “No single word in English renders all the shades of toska. At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning. In particular cases it may be the desire for somebody of something specific, nostalgia, love-sickness. At the lowest level it grades into ennui, boredom.”
2. Mamihlapinatapei; Yagan (indigenous language of Tierra del Fuego) – “the wordless, yet meaningful look shared by two people who both desire to initiate something but are both reluctant to start” (Altalang.com)
3. Jayus; Indonesian – “A joke so poorly told and so unfunny that one cannot help but laugh” (Altalang.com)
4. Iktsuarpok; Inuit – “To go outside to check if anyone is coming.” (Altalang.com)
5. Litost; Czech – Milan Kundera, author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being, remarked that “As for the meaning of this word, I have looked in vain in other languages for an equivalent, though I find it difficult to imagine how anyone can understand the human soul without it.” The closest definition is a state of agony and torment created by the sudden sight of one’s own misery.
6. Kyoikumama; Japanese – “A mother who relentlessly pushes her children toward academic achievement” (Altalang.com)
7. Tartle; Scottish – The act of hestitating while introducing someone because you’ve forgotten their name. (Altalang.com)
8. Ilunga; Tshiluba (Southwest Congo) – A word famous for its untranslatability, most professional translators pinpoint it as the stature of a person “who is ready to forgive and forget any first abuse, tolerate it the second time, but never forgive nor tolerate on the third offense.” (Altalang.com)
9. Prozvonit; Czech – This word means to call a mobile phone and let it ring once so that the other person will call back, saving the first caller money. In Spanish, the phrase for this is “Dar un toque,” or, “To give a touch.” (Altalang.com)
10. Cafuné; Brazilian Portuguese – “The act of tenderly running one’s fingers through someone’s hair.” (Altalang.com)
I think ‘natsukashi’ would have made a better choice than ‘kyoiku-mama’ for Japanese, but man. What beats ‘Jayus‘? And I can’t wait to use ‘tartle‘!!!! Wooo-hooo! Cool new words to use!
Moving on, a not-so-random link: handicapable dolls. Get outta here, right?! I could NOT believe this. Dolls with hearing aids??? Missing limbs??? The Down syndrome doll?? I thought it was all some kind of bad joke but then I read what she wrote, really looked at the dolls and took it all back. Back, back, gone. This is good stuff. She makes dolls so that kids have a little someone to play with who looks like they do, the very same reason they make dolls in all shades of skin. While I don’t feel the pull to have a doll with sewn-on doo-dads, or to buy my babygirl a doll that looks like she’s got a little extra too, good for the people who do. And good for that lady, making what she does.
Moving on with another random- we are loving Yertle the Turtle. The Munchkingling loves it so much that he knows big chunks by heart. Loves it so much that when we went to the Oakland Zoo, we spent a very, very, very (VERY) long time hanging out with “Yertle! Yertle! Yertle the Turtle! King of them All, King before Fall!”
Yertle finally wandered off and got into the pond (without Mack). We went frog-hopping
And fun as that was, it was no match to the petting zoo and the GOATS!!!
I am still dissolving. What’s the word for ‘relishing-this-precious-moment-because-it’s-this-very-moment-and-not-going-to-come-again‘? Or ‘wrangling-every-luscious-drop-from-each-exquisite-minute’?
Yep. That’s it. That’s what I’m trying to do.