There is an Italian word ‘Culaccino’ that describes the water ring left on a table by a cold glass. It derives from culaccio + -ino, derived from culo (“bottom”), the same versatile word can also mean the remaining bit of water in the glass itself, or the end of a salami or loaf of bread.
Category: Interesting facts
In light of the recent St. Patrick’s day celebrations, it is interesting to reflect on how rich and descriptive the Irish language is. One example of this is the variety of words there are for a bat.
A bat can be called an ‘ialtóg’, ‘bás dorcha’ (“dark death”) and sciathán leathair (“leather wing”).
There is an Italian word “trepidazione” which does not quite mean “trepidation” but is a mix of positive expectation and nervousness, like just before one’s own birthday party, or before a first date. Can you think of an equivalent in English or in your language?
The Spanish word “Arrebolar” literally translates ‘to turn red or crimson’. It is often used to describe when a part of a landscape turns red by the effect of sun rays. You might say the dawn is “arrebolado”.
Interesting Fact : Spain
Duende is a Spanish word that means “soul”, and thus can be used to refer to spirits or ghosts – but just like the English word “spirit” it also means emotional / mental energy, and it’s used in Spain when referring to Flamenco dancers. Flamenco is a form of dance in which “soul” is perhaps more important than sheer technique, a bit like in soul music!
Interestinig Fact: Sweden
There is a Swedish word “Lagom” which refers to when something is just the right amount.
It is attested to come from the plural dative form of lag (“law”), so literally “with the laws”. Folk etymology claims that it derives from a phrase used in Viking times: “laget om”, which means ‘to the whole team’. It’s allegedly used to describe how much mead or soup one should drink when passing the bowl around a group, to make sure that everyone received a sufficient portion. It speaks to the idea of equity and balance.
Interesting Fact : Forests
Waldeinsamkeit is a German word that describes the feeling of solitude and interdependence with nature when being alone in a forest. It is a compound word made of ‘der Wald’ (forest) and ‘die Einsamkeit’ (loneliness).
Similarly, there is the word “Waldbaden” (forest bathing), in which people connect with the forest through the senses. This concept actually originates from the Japanese term ‘Shinrin-Yoku’. Shinrin means “forest,” and yoku means “bath.” So shinrin-yoku means bathing in the forest atmosphere, or taking in the forest through our senses.
Pancake Tuesday, otherwise known as Shrove Tuesday, is a tradition that’s been around for over 1000 years. The word ‘shrove’ originates from the word ‘shrive’.
Historically, shriving is a Christian ritual in which you confess your sins prior to receiving absolution for your sins. This process is done in preparation for Lent, a six-week period of fasting. Shrove Tuesday always falls 47 days before Easter Sunday.
In addition to this, Shrove Tuesday is known as Mardi Gras (“Fat Tuesday”) in many countries. It is the day before the beginning of Lent, and the last day of the Carnival, a period when the usual restrictions of daily life are temporarily lifted. In cities such as New Orleans (U.S.), Rio Janeiro (Brazil), and Venice (Italy), there are week-long festivals leading up to Mardi Gras.
Interesting Fact : Hygge
The well-known Danish word “Hygge” (pronounced hue-guh) suggests a very strong feeling of cosiness, of a special moment, alone or with friends, where you feel utterly content, reassured, comforted, and even connected if you’re among loved ones. Interestingly, it is much more common to use this term in the month of November.
There are around 14 words that express “love” in the Arabic language. Each word for “love” describes specific stages of falling in love. For example, “Al-Hawa” describes the initial attraction towards someone, “Al-Shaghaf” when love begins to surface within, “Al-Huyum” the insanity that follows falling in love, and “Al-Istikana” a blind desire.