There’s a word for that?! by Elvin Widjaja

Have you ever wished that a situation had a word to describe it? Like that time you felt like you actually looked worse after a haircut, or had the urge to pinch something that is incredibly cute? Well, those are (respectively) “age-tori” in Japanese and “gigil” in Filipino! Here are some other words from around the world that do not have an equivalent English word.




Cavoli riscaldati (Italian)

Pronounciation: cavohlee riskaldahtee

Meaning: Literally translated to “reheated cabbage”, this word means an attempt to revive a dead love affair. The term reheated cabbage might come from the culinary sense that the result of reheated cabbage is usually distasteful and messy.


L’appel du vide (French)

Pronounciation: la-pell do veed

Meaning: This word describes that inclination to turn your steering wheel towards incoming traffic or jump off a very high cliff. “L’appel du vide” means “the call of the void”.


Need drachenfutter?

Need drachenfutter?

Drachenfutter (German)

Pronounciation: drachenfooter

Meaning: Literally translated to “dragon fodder”, “drachenfutter” refers to the gifts that are bought by German husbands or boyfriends for their wives or girlfriends to calm their anger.

“I forgot our anniversary date yesterday so I’m going to buy some “drachenfutter” for my wife.”


Fond de l’air (French)

Pronounciation: fond-do-layer

Meaning: Literally translated to “Minnesota weather” “the bottom of air”, it describes the weather where it looks sunny and makes you think that it is warm outside, when in fact the air is very cold.


There's always room for dessert!

There’s always room for dessert!

Betsubara (Japanese)

Pronounciation: betsoo-bahrah

Meaning: Roughly translated to “extra stomach”, this word describes a person (usually female) who always has room for dessert.

“She said she is full but is now eating a cheesecake. She must have a “betsubara”.”


Backpfeifengesicht (German)

Pronounciation: back-fye-fen-guh-sicked

Meaning: Have you heard of someone saying “some people needs a high five, in the face, with a chair”? You probably can think of someone like that at this moment! Well, that person has a “backpfeifengesicht”, meaning a face that really needs to be punched / hit / slapped.


Sobremesa (Spanish)

Pronounciation: so-brae-may-sah

Meaning: Literally meaning “over the table”, sobremesa is the conversation that you have with your friends or family around the dinner table after a meal. So when you are sitting around the table after a meal, conversing with people you ate with, you are enjoying sobremesa.


THAT's what I should've said!

THAT’s what I should’ve said!


L’esprit d’escalier (French)

Pronounciation: les-pree dis-kay-lee-yea

Meaning: Literally translated to “the wit of the staircase”, this word describes the situation where you think of the perfect comeback too late (when you are already walking down the stairs).


Colek (Indonesian)

Pronounciation: cho-lack

Meaning: This is what you do when you try to fool someone by tapping them lightly on one shoulder and dodge to the other side.


I am sure that there are many more words from around the world that doesn’t translate directly to English, so if you know one or two, feel free to post them on the comment section below!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s