Better Words

There are so may feelings and situations for which there are no words in  English.

1. What about the feeling when you want to kill your ex-husband? I have that right now.

2. What  about  that tingle you get when you swallow some LSD – a mixter of anticipation and “Oh no, 8 hours of madness up ahead!”

3. How about the feeling you get when you know  someone  is lying to you but you can call them on it?

4. Or what about a word for when you ate all the ice cream   you vowed not to eat, plus 3 more  servings?

5. The frisson of irritation when characters on TV gratuitously   say ‘vagina’ every fifteen minutes?

The list is endless.  Submissions  or suggestions?

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30 Responses to Better Words

  1. Sam says:

    A word to describe someone who thinks every one else is stupid.

  2. patuxxa says:

    Very nice to see “saudade”, which can also be used for the slightly less final and depressing meaning of “missing someone” who is far away.

    Alas, all my other entries are… German words:

    Schadenfreude: that evil, evil feeling of glee when something bad happens to bad people and/or people who annoy you

    Wanderlust: the desire to get on a plane and travel endlessly and never ever have to hear the voice of your boss or co-workers again (alas, impossible unless your rich great-uncle dies and leaves you a fortune, or you win the state lottery).

  3. court says:

    what’s the word to describe bombing in a crowded room….”awkard, party of 1? your table is ready”

  4. Dru says:

    What’s the word to describe disgust at the use of age-inappropriate language?

    (or the one to describe the urge to slaughter bad writers who use said age-inappropriate- i.e. fit for teenagers only- language in their writing?)

  5. Cat says:

    Pena ajena is quite general spanish and not just specific to Mexico.

    L’esprit d’escalier. YES. We need that in every damn language!

    As for the feeling of wanting to kill your ex, while I cannot offer you a word or expression, a song immediately comes to mind. “Rata de dos Patas” which means ” Two legged Rat”. Actually, is there a word in English for legs but that is exclusive to animals? In spanish there is: Patas! and it is quite insulting to use on humans so there you go!

  6. Its true in other languages there are so many wonderful words like Spanish .. Cabron.. I think it is spelt this way xx

  7. I’ve always wanted the English equivalent to hwyl which conveys ones mood usually a high, lifting of the spirits but with passion and a sense of belonging.
    It is very creative in its essence.

    Your list is wonderful.

  8. CR says:

    “forelsket” does have an English equivalent . . . “limerence”

  9. MG says:

    I want to know a word for widespread idiocy. It’s a freaking epidemic. We need a new plague.

  10. Hammie says:

    You are a goddess of words!

    I’m in love with Schadenfreude – my second favourite german word (my first is mitteschmutts- middle of the month uterine cramps)

    I should offer “craic” – good fun, good conversation, jokes, a good atmosphere. “the craic was 90” – =we had a good time.

    It also means story/situation = “what’s the craic with Obama only coming to Ireland for 5 hours?”

    My own country has “Fair Dinkum” – to be genuine, honest, not making something up or to describe a trustworthy person. It is actually gold fields Chinese which is even better- I like language that interbreeds.


  11. Hammie says:

    I forgot my favourite invented word “gorevidalism” – when one of your friend’s succeeds and a little piece of you dies.

  12. sisty says:

    I think “l’esprit d’escalier” is translated as “the wit of the staircase,” which I think captures the godammit feeling you get when you think of your witty retort only when you’re on your way out, and it’s too late.

    I don’t speak any other languages, so I can’t contribute anything new.

  13. Lara says:

    I’d like a word for the combined feeling of frustration and guilt you feel when you’re sacrificing yourself to do something you know you should do for someone you love but it’s breaking your heart and soul to do it.

  14. danno says:

    A case where someone is asked a question to which they do not know the answer BUT before admitting ignorance someone else quickly answers the question correctly allowing the original douche to concur thus hopefully projecting the facade of intelligence?

  15. Erika says:

    Yes mg glad I am not alone in this today.

    What is the term to describe disillusion with modern society Or finding one outside of popular culture ? Is it ennui or middle age ? I think I am experiencing both.

  16. Sister Wolf says:

    Erika – I’m struggling with this feeling as well. Let’s think it over. It’s almost “weltschmerz”, but more specific.

  17. Sister Wolf says:

    Lara – Shit, I’m not sure I’ve had that feeling. Sounds bad though.

  18. Andra says:

    So many great words. I love it.
    When I kill my ex-husband we will call it Petercide.

  19. Andra says:

    Are you sure this is a topic for polite conversation (which is us people, yes?)

  20. I could do with some better words in my vocabulary. Like the idea of l’esprit de escalier – that’s something I do all the time.

  21. Faux Fuchsia says:

    Off topic but do you watch the Tudors? It’s all about the life and loves of Henry the 8th. I’m addicted. Run Don’t Walk. x

  22. ali says:

    enhatche- Costa Rican slang for the prolonged surly-stink eye. First Costa Rican slang I ever learned because apparently at my first day of highschool thats the look I gave (when really I think they just misinterpreted a face full of complete terror) (there should be a word for that i guess…misinterpreted facial expressions?)

  23. carrie says:

    I posted this on Facebook and got a few wonderful responses:

    Gezellig: (Dutch)
    1. Having company with a pleasant, friendly ambience
    2. Cozy atmosphere
    3. An upbeat feeling about the surroundings


    “We say, “far away”; the Zulu has a sentence-word instead that means: “where one cries, ‘Mother, I am lost.’” And the Fuegian [indigenous inhabitant of Tierra del Fuego] surpasses our analytical wisdom with a sentence-word of seven syllables that literally means: “they look at each other, each waiting for the other to offer to do that which both desire but neither wishes to do.”
    That Fuegian word is Mamihluapinatapai.

  24. Dexter VanDango says:

    Here’s a word I think most of us need

    To Memorlies.. the act of remembering incidents differently or more positively than they actually occurred… in order to enhance your own self-esteem.

  25. Elaine says:

    The complicated explanation/justification/reasoning behind an activity you do that confuses, horrifies or causes a person to make a snap judgment

  26. Countersign says:

    Shouldawouldacoulda the feeling you get, sometimes, when you look back on your life.

  27. Laetice says:

    I love that in spanish we have two words for love.

    Querer = To love, but applied to a lesser degree of love. Platonic, not romantic love. There is an expression: ‘Querer como quien quiere al perro’ which means: To love as one loves the dog. Indicating a lower, more trivial kind of love.

    Amar = To love with passion, to adore, as one loves its lover, or children. The romantic and inevitable kind of love when the other person means everything to you.

  28. Alice says:

    I always loved the Japanese word “aware,” which can mean sorrowfulness or melancholy, but which I had described to me as “the sort of nostalgic sadness that one only feels when looking at newly-fallen snow.”

  29. Swi says:

    Don’t want to sound like a pompous jerk. But gheegle isn’t how you spell it. It’s gigil.

    Yeah, alright. :]

  30. Add schadenfreude to the list (pleasure derived from the misfortune of others).

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