The Many Emotions For Which English Has No Words

Posted by Tina on January 23, 2013

WORDS! Take a look at this awesome infographic from Pei-Ying Lin, via PopSci.

“Few of us use all–or even most–of the 3,000 English-language words available to us for describing our emotions, but even if we did, most of us would still experience feelings for which there are, apparently, no words. That sort of painful, sort of bittersweet, sort of wistful feeling you get looking out the window or driving at night or listening to a far-off train whistle? There’s a word for that in Japanese.”

Read the full article here. A few examples below for your reading pleasure.

Age-otori (Japanese): To look worse after a haircut

Arigata-meiwaku (Japanese): An act someone does for you that you didn’t want to have them do and tried to avoid having them do, but they went ahead anyway, determined to do you a favor, and then things went wrong and caused you a lot of trouble, yet in the end social conventions required you to express gratitude

Backpfeifengesicht (German): A face badly in need of a fist

Forelsket (Norwegian): The euphoria you experience when you are first falling in love

Gigil (pronounced Gheegle; Filipino): The urge to pinch or squeeze something that is unbearably cute

Litost (Czech): A state of torment created by the sudden sight of one’s own misery

Manja (Malay): “To pamper,” it describes gooey, childlike, and coquettish behavior by women designed to elicit sympathy or pampering by men

Pena ajena (Mexican Spanish): The embarrassment you feel watching someone else’s humiliation

Sgriob (Gaelic): The itchiness that overcomes the upper lip just before taking a sip of whisky

Tatemae and Honne (Japanese): What you pretend to believe and what you actually believe, respectively

Tingo (Pascuense language of Easter Island): To borrow objects one by one from a neighbor’s house until there is nothing left

Waldeinsamkeit (German): The feeling of being alone in the woods

Source: The Atlantic.