Ever find yourself in a situation you can’t quite describe, despite spending a little too much time trying to find the right word? It might actually exist – just in a different language. From that “who gets the last chocolate?” dilemma at a dinner party to that desire to simply laze around the house with a glass of wine, here are 10 foreign words we could really use an equivalent for in English.
1. Kalsarikännit (Finnish) – That feeling when you can’t be bothered going out, so instead you simply get comfortable (read: strip down to your undies) and have a drink at home.
2. Trivselbit (Swedish) – The name for that awkward moment at a group meal when there’s one last piece of food on a share plate and you really, really want it. But, this happens to you while in Sweden, heed this warning – never, ever take that last piece.
3. Fremdschämen (German) – If you’ve ever felt embarrassed on behalf of someone else, you’ve experienced fremdschämen.
4. Gigil (Filipino/Tagalog) – You know that moment when you see a puppy or a baby that’s just so cute that you want to squeeze it? Almost to the point of compulsion? That’s gigil.
5. Tartle (Scots) – You’re introducing someone to a friend, when you realise you’ve forgotten their name and hesitate a little. You’ve just experienced tartle.
6. Gluckschmerz (German) – While schadenfreude is taking pleasure in others’ pain, gluckschmerz is that feeling of disappointment or anger at the joy of another.
7. Ya’arburnee (Arabic) – The word for when you love someone so much and so deeply, that you hope you will die before them so you never have to live without them.
8. L’espirit de l’escalier (French) – Have you ever been walking away from an argument with someone only to think of the perfect comeback just that little bit too late? You’ve just been the victim of l’espirit de l’escalier (stairwell wit). Its German equivalent is “trappenwitz”.
9. Yūgen (Japanese) – “a profound, mysterious sense of the beauty of the universe […] and the sad beauty of human suffering.”
10. Pochemuchka (Russian) – Someone who asks too many questions.
Do you have any other words to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below.