The Culture of Words

There’s that much used cliché that there are dozens of Icelandic words for the subtleties of snow, and from personal experience I can vouch that there is a similar thing in Ireland with rain. My favourite, and one that I remember my Granddad in particular using, is ‘teaming’. And, after my other half walked home in the rain recently, I discovered a new related word: gulgin (hopefully spelt correctly), for when you are absolutely wet through.

In this vein, today I stumbled upon two blog posts about foreign words with a certain je ne sais quoi that you can’t find in English. Read first post here and and second post here.

Do these say something about a national character? That an arguably laid-back Hawaiian trait led them to formulate pano po’o for when they are trying to remember something they’ve forgotten? Or that our Teutonic cousins are masters of social awkwardness with words like schadenfreude and fremdschämen?

Lesley-Anne Crooks, Sales & Digital Manager

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