Top 10 Useful Words For Which English Has No Equivalent
The latest Top 10 is in The Independent on Sunday today.
A few contributions were too late for me to include. Judy Keiner sent me her top 10:
Chutzpah; Machismo/macho; Schadenfreude; Apparatchik; Nomenklatura; Jihad/ jihadi; Mañana; Ummah; Schmaltz(y); Omerta.
Adam Standring wrote:
When people ask for untranslatable words in Portuguese, ’saudade’ is nearly always mentioned first. This describes a nostalgic longing which is allegedly evident in the Portuguese psyche.
A more appropriate and useful word (for the Portguese and others) is ‘desenrascanço’ which means to get out of a spot of trouble at the last minute. Particularly apt for the lack of forward planning that goes on here.
The picture above is the first that comes up when you put desenrascanço into Google Images.
And Vivian Brumpton sent me two more useful borrowings from German:
Übermorgen: day after tomorrow; vorgestern: day before yesterday.
Finally, Kieran writes, about prozvonit:
I have always used the phrase ‘drop calling’ to describe this exact scenario. I am not the only one; most people here would know what I meant if I said it, maybe it’s just a Northern Ireland thing.
Thanks to all. Let me have your suggestions for the Top 10 Most Over-Rated Sixties Bands, forthcoming, and for future Top 10s.Tagged in: top10
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