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Hawaiian contributes a word (ho'oponopono) here that means "solving a problem by talking it out"; Japanese, a term (kyoikumama) for a "mother who pushes her children into academic achievement"; Indonesian, a word (kekaku) meaning "to awaken from a nightmare"; and Mayan (some things, it seems, are universal), a concise way to say "stupid in-laws" (bol). While it is the Asian and obscure linguistic groups that seem to come up with the most "powerful" ideas, German wins for packing a whole sentence's worth of meaning into one (albeit long) word. How much happier Strunk and White would rest if we could just say Torschlüsspanik when discussing "the frantic anxiety experienced by unmarried women as they race against the 'biological clock'"; Treppenwitz when referring to the "clever remark that comes to mind when it is too late to utter it"; and Schlimmbesserung when lamenting "a so-called improvement that makes things worse." --Jane Steinberg
There is no better book for an appreciation of the ways in which different languages convey meaning! Light-hearted, but substantivel. There is nobody who would not enjoy this book! Read morePublished 8 months ago by Theda
the Russian word RAZBLIUTO doesn;t exist in Russian..I can;t understand where the author took it from..Published 16 months ago by olgatolochko
I bought this for Christmas because my daughter, a Spanish teacher, loves linguistics. Turns out she had it already, but was glad to get another copy since she gave her other copy... Read morePublished 23 months ago by mamahobbit
I picked this book up at at an antique and used bookshop, and had a fun time reading it (I found myself exclaiming over all the phrases I wish I had already known). Read morePublished on August 26, 2006
For all those that think that English is a rich language, comes this fun little book that shows us how other cultures have developed words to express "just that"--a situation, and... Read morePublished on May 2, 2006 by Talia Carner
A fun book about interesting words. Coul dbe used to increase one's vocabulary when wanting to make a point. A useful reference to keep around.Published on January 7, 2006 by William D. Tompkins
I am not a native speaker of any language except English, so I cannot evaluate the veracity of these words. The entries look interesting, though often verbose. Read morePublished on March 10, 2004 by Joseph Biskup