Cultural experiences and funny musings by two twenty-somethings living abroad

10 Great Words The English Language Really Needs


How many times have you had something you wanted to say on the tip of your tongue but you couldn’t quite manage to express yourself the way you wanted? With over 6000 languages in existence, there are always going to be words for things you never really thought about in your own native tongue. So we thought it would be a good idea to introduce some more words into our already heavily influenced language and start using some more of these creative words as well!

1. Donaudampschifffahrtgesellschaftskapitänsmützeherstellerlieferer (German) – because why not? (Translation: the supplier for the manufacturer of captains’ caps for the society of steam powered boats on the Danube)

2. Backpfeifengesicht – (German) a face in desperate need of a punch

3. Bakku-Shan (Japanese) – someone who only looks good from behind

4. Gattara (Italian) – a nice way of calling someone a crazy old cat lady

5. Kaapshljmurslis (Latvian) – the horrible feeling of being cramped on public transport during rush hour

6. Saudade (Portuguese) – the deep feeling of nostalgia and sadness you have for something you miss and have lost forever

7. Sisu (Finnish) – the courage and bravery you show when faced against the odds

8. Pochemuchka (Russian) – a person who asks too many questions

9. Verschlimmbessern (German) – when you try to improve a situation but end up making it worse

10. Tingo (Pascuense, Easter Island) – Taking objects you want from a person’s house by gradually borrowing all of them.

Imagine what you might say to your friend when describing your weekend..

“It was Saturday morning and I was travelling on the train after having done a bit of tingo, but I had a terrible feeling of kaapshljmurslis, which wasn’t helped by the fact I was sat next to a gattara on one side and a load of bakku-shans on the other. Eventually when I got off the train, I bumped into my pochemuchka of a friend who wanted to know absolutely everything I was doing. Feeling guilty after having done so much tingo, I accidentally verschlimmbesserted the situation by telling what her what I had done, only for her to tell me that I’ve got a proper Backpfeifengesicht as she stormed off. Oh the saudade I feel knowing I lost my pochemuchka friend. I have to muster up a lot of sisu and see whether I can make it up to her by buying us a ticket for a river cruise, from my long time pal, the Donaudampschifffahrtgesellschaftskapitänsmützeherstellerlieferer.

Have any of you come across any words, that you wish we had in English? Let us know in the comments below!


2 comments on “10 Great Words The English Language Really Needs

  1. belleofthecarnival
    November 19, 2014

    I love this list! And number 2 is a great word! If only I could pronounce it.


    • hmsies
      November 19, 2014

      Haha yeah it’s a great word! There are quite a few funny words in German 🙂 a lot of them quite useful too!

      Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on November 13, 2014 by in Things that make us go 'hmmmm' and tagged , , , , .
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