A terrific resource for word lovers

Sometimes my daily email from StumbleUpon really delivers. Today was one of those days! This website is a collection of wonderful phrases and words, for which there is no exact equivalent in English. Those of us for whom English is our native tongue are poorer for not having these words and phrases available to us.

If you’ll do as I do and simply shove aside completely and ignore the psycho-babble with which the pages are laced, there are some fantastic and eye-opening things to be learned here from other cultures.

Reflect for a moment, upon the beauty of the Huron world view captured in their word, “orenda”, meaning “the power of the human will to change the world in the face of powerful forces such as fate.”

Or how about this word, “desenrascanço”, from Portuguese, meaning “to artfully disentangle oneself from a troublesome situation.” I’m formally adopting that word, because it perfectly describes how my wife and I were able to gracefully leave the ranch we lived on for nearly 20 years with our integrity intact, after the other ranch owners decided to take the ranch in a direction we could not support.

The website contains many, many words from other languages worth studying to become familiar with the concepts they have refined and encapsulated, most of which are at least partly missing from English.

To end with an upbeat, there’s “mbuki-mvuki”, a Bantu verb which means “to shed clothes to dance uninhibited.”

And the next time some punster dazzles you with irresponsible word play, label him/her a “pihentagyú”, the Hungarian word literally meaning “with a relaxed brain”. It describes quick-witted people who can come up with sophisticated jokes or solutions. If that doesn’t stop them in their tracks, nothing will!

Now that this post is finished I’ve achieved a modest amount of “yuan bei” (from Chinese) – “a sense of complete and perfect accomplishment.”

Here’s wishing you much mbuki-mvuki and yuan bei….

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