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Have you ever tried to describe something and been unable to find the right words for it?
Of course you have-that’s a natural part of learning any language.
Sometimes you even end up using a horribly wrong word or two.
It happens in your native language too, though, doesn’t it? Sometimes your language isn’t capable of describing a specific situation or item without using ten million extra words.
One of the great things about learning Spanish is that, the more you learn, the more you expand your mind.
For instance, there are numerous words that exist in Spanish that don’t have a direct English translation. That means that if you type them into Google for an English equivalent, chances are you’ll come up with a smattering of different words or sentences strung together to get the idea across.
That’s the point. For some, there’s simply not an easy translation. For others, the words may mean something direct in English (literally) but they mean something completely different when spoken in Spanish (context). All in all, you’ll be giving your brain tons of new ways to express ideas.
So, now it’s time to expand your vocabulary and expand your mind. Here are some wonderfully unique Spanish words that’ll introduce you to a world of new ideas and expressions.
Just a quick note: Remember not to simply learn words in isolation! Put these words into sentences, use them in everyday conversations and watch authentic videos to remember them.
One great way to hear authentic Spanish speech is with FluentU.
Some of the first things we teach our children are their colors right? Red, purple, black and so forth.
Have you ever seen a car that isn’t quite gray but it isn’t quite brown either? I have one, actually, and whenever English-speaking people ask me what color my car is I just shrug. When Spanish-speaking people ask me, I’ve got an answer.
Pardo – the color between gray and brown.
I have a friend who looks like he’s twelve even though he’s in his thirties. He doesn’t really have substantial facial hair, can’t grow a beard and has evidently found the fountain of youth.
I think we can all agree that we know someone or have seen someone like this. Maybe you can envision a boy in your middle school who was so proud of that one little whisker on his chin.
Lampiño – Hairless, but more specifically a man who cannot grow facial hair or has very thin facial hair.
It’s interesting that we don’t have this word in the English vocabulary. We have words that come close, but most of them are derogatory.
Manco – A one-armed man.
Apparently the Spanish-speakers of the world are much better at describing people’s physical features. I feel like having a word like this in English would make it much easier to describe pirates.
Tuerto – A one-eyed man.
Have you ever heard of the website People Of Walmart?
If not, you should hop on over there once you’re done reading this post. It’s full of pictures of people who decided to go to Walmart with no shame. Some of them are in pajamas. Most are wearing clothes that are too tight, inappropriate or downright scary.
Or, if that’s not ringing a bell, have you seen the TV show “What Not To Wear?” All episodes feature hidden camera footage of someone walking down the street clearly unaware of how ridiculous or frumpy they look. Of course, you can’t say anything if you see something like this in real life. Instead, you just shake your head.
Vergüenza Ajena – To feel embarrassed for someone even if they don’t feel embarrassed themselves. This is sometimes referred to as “secondhand embarrassment.”
Do you love Tim Burton? Or the sight of blood? Maybe you enjoyed reading “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe. You have a love for something dark and you aren’t sure why because, let’s be honest, it’s a little creepy or gross.
Morbo – A morbid fascination.
This one doesn’t happen to me very often because my sweet tooth is out of control. On a rare occasion, I’ll take a bite of dark chocolate cake with decadent chocolate frosting and think to myself, “Wow! That’s sweet!” Then a minute or two later I’ll regret that chocolate cake because my head is pulsing from sweetness overload.
Have you ever felt a little nauseated after seeing a couple being overly affectionate with each other, perhaps smothering each other in kisses on the street corner? This verb works for that, too.
Empalagar – When something’s sickening or nauseating because it’s too sweet.
Everyone is waiting for the quincena!
That’s the bi-monthly payment that many employees receive in the Spanish-speaking world: Once on the 15th of the month, and once at the end of the month. It’s almost like saying “a fortnight,” but they use 15 days as a marker instead of 14.
For people awaiting paychecks, that first payment of the month always falls on the 15th. Apparently 15 is more significant in Spanish than in English in general!
Quincena – A period of 15 days.
It’s sometimes argued that this is the most difficult Spanish word to translate into English. Why? In Spanish literature, especially poetry, this word is used very often to describe how a person feels about nature. However, especially in Spain, it can be used to describe an indescribable charm or magic that isn’t limited to nature. You might hear about the duende of flamenco singing, for example.
Duende – The feeling of awe and inspiration had, especially when standing in nature. The overwhelming sense of beauty and magic.
I have two daughters that are under the age of two. Naturally, my house is always a mess. I’m always a day behind and a dollar short.
This is a feeling I’m incredibly familiar with, but there’s no real way to describe it in English. Another time I often felt this way was when I was in college and I had two papers, an exam, a project and twenty pages of reading due the next day. Maybe I wouldn’t feel this so often if I were more organized…
We can also use this verb when we hear a piece of news that dumbfounds us or stuns us, leaving us speechless and/or bothered.
Aturdir – When something overwhelms, bewilders, or stuns you to the point that you’re unable to focus and think straight.
While we’re on the subject of my daughters, my oldest daughter becomes very frantic when I leave her. Whether I’m leaving for work or just leaving the room, oftentimes she’ll panic. Even if her dad is still in the room with her, she’ll stress when I’m not with her.
Enmadrarse – When a child is very attached (emotionally) to their mother.
This summer my husband was shadowing a doctor to learn more about his practice. When people asked how we knew the doctor it became really confusing really fast. If only concuñado were a word in English.
Concuñado – The husband of your spouse’s sister or the husband of your sister-in-law.
Another word about family that would solve a lot of confusing explanations.
My daughter has two sets of grandparents, my parents and my husband’s parents. We can clearly explain the relationship of both sets of grandparents to my daughter, to me and to my husband (mom and dad and the in-laws). But what are they to each other?
Consuegro – The relationship between two sets of in-laws. My parents and my husband’s parents are consuegros.
Have you ever held a mirror in your hand, caught the sun’s glare just right and shined it in your older brother’s eyes? Let’s be honest, who hasn’t?
Resol – The reflection of the sun off of a surface or the glare of the sun.
You’ve been sitting on the porch enjoying the evening. But now the sun has set. The yawns are starting to set in. The evening’s coming to an end and you all decide to go indoors.
Recogerse – To go indoors in the evening once the day is over or to go home to rest or go to bed.
After you go shopping, you’re beyond excited to wear your new clothes for the first time. At least, that’s how I always feel. Sometimes I’ll even wait until I know that I’ll be around a lot of people so I can show off my new digs.
Estrenar – To wear something for the first time or to break something in.
In English we often call this “going out for coffee.” But that’s very limiting to just getting coffee. Merendar widens that idea up quite a bit.
Merendar – Going out to have a snack, coffee, brunch or some other small meal.
While living in Argentina, my family loved to go out to eat at the local restaurants. The atmosphere was incredibly different from any restaurant I’ve been to in the United States.
Once the meal is over in the United States, the waiter usually will bring you the check, you’ll pay immediately and you’ll leave. In many Spanish cultures, it’s very common to stay at the table for hours after the meal is over and just talk over a cup of coffee.
Sobremesa – The conversation that takes place at the dinner table after the meal is over.
Much like sobremesa, puente speaks to the Spanish culture. Now, puente does mean bridge but, in some cases, it’s a very specific (and abstract) bridge that we don’t talk about much in English.
Puente – When Thursday is a holiday and you take off Friday to bridge the holiday to the weekend, or, likewise, when Tuesday is a holiday and you take off Monday to extend your weekend.
Technically this word can be translated directly into English, but it’s a lengthy, wordy phrase. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a single word?
Antier – The day before yesterday.
Antier is a bit antiquated, and anteayer is the more common phrase in modern day.
My neighbor’s mom was in town staying with her for a few days. Overall, the weather was pretty nice and sunny. Then all of a sudden it started snowing. She came downstairs and told her daughter, “There’s a flight leaving in an hour, I’m out of here!”
Friolento – Someone who’s sensitive to the cold. The cold can refer to the weather, drinks or food.
We’ve all had those nights when we’ve tossed and turned and tried to sleep but just couldn’t convince the sandman to stop at our mattress.
Desvelado – Unable to sleep or sleep-deprived.
You’re in a new relationship. You’re really starting to fall for this guy/girl. You like them as more than a friend, but jumping from friend to “I love you” is like trying to jump across a wide lake. If only you had a stepping stone.
Te Quiero – More than “I like you,” but not quite “I love you.”
Usted versus tú is a confusing concept for someone who’s just learning Spanish or for someone who speaks no Spanish at all. We don’t have a formal and an informal speech in English.
Tutear – When you speak to someone in the informal tú form.
While I was living in Argentina, I’d have friends ask me about my nationality. “I’m American,” I’d reply. “North American or South American?” “North American…I’m from the States…” would be my unsure reply to that follow-up question.
If only I’d known that Spanish has a more specific word for this than English does!
Estadounidense – Someone who’s from the United States.
Do you remember Bert and Ernie from “Sesame Street”? Bert had that fabulous unibrow which was really a fuzzy line across his puppet face. He didn’t have an entrecejo.
Entrecejo – The space between your eyebrows.
Have you ever seen a car that’s literally being held together by zip ties and duct tape? Or maybe someone has made a cake and it looks awful?
Chapuza – A lousy job, a shabby piece of work. When something’s put together poorly.
Dar Un Toque
This phrase was probably more applicable before texting was so widely used. But it’s still something that I find myself doing when I want someone to call me back and I know they won’t answer my initial call.
Dar Un Toque – Calling someone, letting it ring once, then hanging up so the person knows to call you back.
Perhaps it’s a good thing that in English we haven’t needed this word. It makes sense that, with as much political unrest as there has been in Spanish-speaking countries, there would be a specific Spanish word for someone like Franco.
Golpista – The leader of a military coup.
We all know that person who loves hugs and kisses and affection in general. They may even like to be fussed over. We could be talking about our grandma who loves hugging and kissing us, or our cat who wants your constant attention and petting.
Mimoso – Someone who enjoys being given affection or wants to give affection in the form of physical contact.
Sometimes, the mimosos in our lives enjoy pavonearse.
Pavonearse – Strutting around like a peacock, acting like they own the place.
Everyone does this a million times a day without even realizing it. Tying our shoes. Washing our hands a certain way. Pouring our cereal first then the milk.
Soler – Doing something out of habit, doing something that you’re used to doing.
Maybe if we had a fun word in English like this, children would stop being annoyed when someone else has the same name as them.
Tocayo – Someone who has the same name as you.
This isn’t a concept that’s uncommon in any culture worldwide. However, Spanish has consolidated another wordy English phrase into a single elegant word.
Amigovio(a) – Friend with benefits.
Well, there you have it!
Next time you can’t find the word in English, just drop the Spanish word casually.
“Oh your name’s Jessica? My name’s Jessica. We’re totally tocayas. “
Try it out!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you’ll love FluentU, the best way to learn Spanish with real-world videos.
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16 Unique English Words That’Ll Make You Sound Like A Genius
Have you ever heard someone say an English word you didn’t understand?
A word that left you flummoxed?
If you have, you’re not alone!
English has a ton of unique words that you may not be familiar with yet.
But, don’t let strange-looking words thwart your efforts at learning English!
Go grab your eyeglasses if you’re myopic, and let’s look at a list of unique English words that you can learn to pronounce and spell.
Oh, and be sure to clear the phlegm from your throat too because you’re going to want to say these words out loud.
When we’re done, we’ll go and celebrate with spinach and chicken phyllo pie, okay?
Alright, I have the list ready and I’m sure you’re going to enjoy learning these unusual English words and adding them to your vocabulary list.
But before that, let’s take a quick look at what makes a word unique and why it’s great to have unique English words in our vocabulary!
What Makes an English Word Unique?
English is a language with words that originate from many different cultures and languages.
Don’t be surprised if you come across English words that look and sound like words in your native language. Stop here for a moment and see if you can think of any!
So, what exactly makes an English word unique?
To explain this very simply, a unique word is one that’s unusual or different in some way. It might have a complicated history or interesting connections to another language.
But, primarily what makes an English word interesting is its unusual spelling, pronunciation or meaning.
Why Learn Unique English Words?
Because unique and unusual words are so interesting, they can be both good fun and challenging to learn.
When you look at a unique English word, you may be puzzled about how to pronounce it, or you may wonder why it’s spelled the way it is.
Finally, because unusual English words are used less often, using them will make you sound smart.
Are you wondering how you can keep practicing these unique English words after reading this list?
FluentU takes real-world videos -like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks-and turns them into personalized language learning opportunities.
You’ll gain access to countless videos and audio, which you can use to see these unique words and more English vocabulary used in real-life situations.
For example, when you tap on the word “brought,” you see this:
You can start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, by downloading the app from the iTunes or Google Play stores.
And now, here are 16 unique English words to add to your vocabulary!
When you read this word, does it jump out and make you a little confused?
If so, you were right to be confused and puzzled! That’s exactly what flummox (verb) means.
Whenever you see an unusual English word, you’re likely to be flummoxed for a bit until you check your dictionary and find out that its meaning is really quite simple.
This word looks simple but it’s unique in that it’s a pretty old word that’s not used often these days.
Dowdy (adjective) is used to describe something that’s old and shabby, not modern or stylish.
Maybe she’s having a bad day. I’ve never seen her wearing anything so dowdy before.
This word rhymes with the previous word but means something completely different.
Howdy is a casual greeting that is not commonly used, but can add some flavor to your English.
For an engaging example of the word howdy, check out this sample video from Creativa’s Mastering Business Video Calls in English course, which has tips for expressing yourself effectively:
By the way, if you like that video, you’ll love Creativa.
Creativa provides premium, highly produced videos for learning English and business communication skills. Creativa provides entertaining videos, useful but unexpected tips, and goes beyond just English to teach you body language, intonation and specific pronunciation tips. Creativa is a new product from the FluentU team.
Here’s a word that not only looks funny but sounds funny too when you say it out loud. Try it!
What’s even funnier is that nincompoop (noun) means a silly person and is sometimes used jokingly to refer to someone who is not very smart.
My house is just down the road from the bus stop. I don’t understand how those nincompoops managed to lose their way.
Notice the unusual spelling and pronunciation of this word, which came into use some 80 years ago, according to Merriam-Webster.
Muesli (noun) is a cereal consisting of rolled oats, fruits and nuts. It’s a popular breakfast food in Switzerland.
Eating a bowl of muesli in the morning is a healthy way to start your day.
This word is unusual in that its spelling doesn’t reflect how it’s pronounced.
Phlegm (noun) is the viscous (thick) fluid that blocks your nose and throat when you have the flu.
Phlegm and a runny nose can really make you feel uncomfortable, so it’s best to take the day off and stay home till you feel better.
Do you know what this word means? Hint: It has nothing to do with balloons. According to Merriam-Webster, it was first used almost 100 years ago.
Baloney (noun) simply means nonsense and is often used when you disagree with someone.
That’s baloney! Don’t believe a word of what he says!
You may find this word unique because of its unusual spelling.
Myopic (adjective) is the scientific word for nearsightedness, an eye condition in which you’re unable to see objects or images that are far away from you.
I’m myopic. I really need my eyeglasses. I can’t see without them.
According to Merriam-Webster, this word was first used around 300 years ago. That’s really old! Any idea what it means? Hint: It has nothing to do with bamboo.
To bamboozle (verb) someone means to trick or confuse them.
I went to buy a TV that was on sale but ended up being bamboozled into buying a more expensive unit.
Now, this is a pretty unique word not only because of the way it’s spelled but also because of how it’s pronounced.
Phyllo (noun) is a very thin dough that pastry chefs layer together to form a flaky pastry.
The orange-pecan baklava pie I had yesterday was made with phyllo pastry. Yummy!
According to TheFreeDictionary, this word dates back to the 13th century. Indeed, its spelling is similar to how some old English words are spelled, and it’s unique because it’s still being used quite often today.
To thwart (verb) means to ruin (spoil) someone’s efforts or to prevent a plan from becoming successful.
We spent months preparing to climb Mount Everest. Who knew the weather would thwart our plans at the last minute?
Now here’s an old-fashioned, informal word, according to the Cambridge Dictionary, with a funny pronunciation too. Are you laughing now? I bet you are. Ha-ha!
Brouhaha (noun) simply means an uproar (upset) or a lot of anger and complaining.
What’s with all that brouhaha? I think he did the right thing by resigning from his position.
Words that begin with the letter “z” are always interesting. This one is also unique because, as Merriam-Webster tells us, it comes from Latin and Greek and was first used in the 14th century.
Zeal (noun) refers to a strong interest or eagerness in pursuing something.
Her zeal for handmade designer shoes and handbags has made her the talk of the town.
Does this word look unusual to you? I believe it’s because of its spelling. It’s not common for the letter “p” to be followed by “n.”
Pneumatic (adjective) is used to describe something that’s filled with air or gas or that uses air pressure.
Can you think of an example of something that’s pneumatic? That’s right. Car tires, bicycle pumps and vacuum cleaners are all pneumatic.
Words with the letter “x” are also quite interesting. Note the pronunciation of this word, as it’s not usually how you would pronounce the letter “x.”
Noxious (adjective) often refers to something that’s dangerous, harmful or destructive to living things.
You shouldn’t be standing behind that bus and breathing in all those noxious fumes. It’s bad for your health.
Now here’s a cute and funny word that’s been around since the 16th century, according to Merriam-Webster. Can you guess its meaning?
Flimflam (noun) refers to a trick or a ploy to deceive someone.
If you’re going to buy a used car online, you must be able to separate the flimflam from the facts.
So there you have it-a list of unique English words you can add to your vocabulary!
I hope you’re no longer bamboozled and that you’re all set to practice using these words with zeal. Look for opportunities to use them as often as you can.
Remember, practice makes perfect.
So, go out there, have fun and impress everyone!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you’ll love FluentU, the best way to learn English with real-world videos.
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54+ Untranslatable, Beautiful Japanese Words &Amp; Phrases
Learning Japanese and want to learn some beautiful Japanese words in the process?
Well, you’re in luck.
Japanese is chock full of words and phrases that are not immediately translatable into English. Words that don’t have an English counterpart and require explanation.
In this guide, you’ll learn 50+ words and phrases. Many are untranslatable. Some are. All are beautiful – in sound or meaning.
So, let’s jump in.
1. 木枯らし Cold, Wintry Wind
“Kogarashi” is a chilly, cold, wintry wind. It lets you know of the arrival of winter. You know, the kind that sends the shivers down your spine and gives you goosebumps.
When sunlight filters through the tree leaves and produces rays. You know that 木 stands for tree, 漏れ/もれ means leakage and the 日 kanji stands for the sun. So, tree leakage (of the) sun.
物/Mono means “thing.” And, “aware” looks like the English word, but it doesn’t have the same meaning or pronunciation. It means pity, sorrow or grief. So this refers to the “bittersweetness of fading beauty” – the acknowledged but appreciated, sad transience of things. Kind of like the last day of summer or the cherry blossoms – which don’t last long.
Literally it means “subtle grace” or “mysterious profundity.” This word has different meanings depending on context. But most of the time, it refers to a profound awareness of the nature of the universe – the oneness of all things – to the point where it affects you emotionally.
5. 和 Harmony
This word means peace or harmony. It implies the importance to of avoiding conflict – so as to maintain the (Wa) harmony. And it refers to Japan and the Japanese way itself.
Literally, it means change for better. Whether one time or continuously – this is not implied or intended. It’s not until later that it become continuous improvement by the Japanese business world. Toyota kicked it off.
So, now, it’s just a word (used by businesses) to describe the process of “always improving” and getting better.
Yes, the color purple. Why did it make the list of beautiful Japanese words?
Simply because of how it sounds to the ear. Say it with me – murasaki! Okay, there’s more. Back in the old, old days- say around the year 1400 – this color was the color of the upper class and only high level officials and Imperial family could wear it. So, this color is a pretty big deal and a pretty beautiful Japanese word, in my opinion.
So, 森林/shinrin means forest and 浴/yoku stands for bathing. And this refers to being immersed in a forest or talking a walk through the woods. It’s something to do to relax, reduce your stress and improve your health.
And studies confirm that this indeed lowers blood pressure and cortisol.
This is a word that can describe things that are strange or odd. For example, if you suddenly received an anonymous letter, you could use “kimyou.” It can also be used to describe creepy locations like forests, cemeteries, or houses.
Now, this isn’t a recent term and you won’t hear it much. It’s rooted in Japan’s history. It literally does mean “浮 – float” and “世 – world/society.” Although it can also be interpreted as “transient world” or “fleeting life.” Basically, this word was used to describe Japanese life-style in Edo-period Japan, where normal people escaped the pressures of the samurai state to entertainment/pleasure districts (whether theater, tea-houses, etc.).
You won’t hear it much in everyday life.
花 means flower, petal (or cherry blossom) and 吹雪 means blizzard or snowstorm. However, this typically refers to Cherry Blossoms (Sakura) and how their petals come floating down, slowly, en-mass, as if a snow storm or blizzard.
12. 風花 Flurry of Snow in a Clear Sky
13. 生き甲斐 Reason for Being
As the Japanese say, everyone has an ikigai. It’s what gets you up in the morning. It’s what moves you. What makes your life worthwhile. Work. Hobbies. Goals. Taking care of kids. Learning Japanese. It’s probably why I’m writing this at 3:17AM on a Saturday morning! Knowing your ikigai might require a lot of introspection and search. Now, let’s break it down:
生き – Iki – Meaning: living or being alive
甲斐 – kai (though it’s changed to gai) – meaning: worth or use
This is actually a Japanese proverb; a Zen Buddhist one.
Literally, it means – one time, one meeting. Usually, it’s translated as “one chance in a lifetime.” But the BEST translation is: Treasure every encounter, for it will never recur. So, that meeting you had with a friend or someone… that EXACT moment and everything that happened will never, ever happen again in this life. It was one of a kind and hence it’s worth treasuring.
15. 恋の予感 Premonition of Love
This is sort of like love at first sight but not really. There’s more. It’s not a sappy, head-over-heels, heart-pounding, butterflies-in-stomach “love.” It’s a sense you get when first meeting a person – that it’s INEVITABLE that you are going to be in love in the future. Even if you feel no love right now.
恋 – koi – love
予感 – yokan – premonition
Wabisabi describes a way of looking at the world. It’s about accepting the transcience and imperfection of things. And thus, for the time we have left, seeing beauty in the things around us. For example, take a rough, cracked, asymmetrical, simple piece of pottery – seeing beauty in that is wabisabi.
This would be a hard concept to accept for people that like new, shiny and perfect things.
It can be the reflection of the moonlight on the river. Or, it can be the gleam of light on the river during dusk. Here, 川/kawa means river and 明かり/akari means light.
This is the spirit of hospitality and friendliness to strangers.
And more importantly, you go from strangers to brothers or sisters. That kind of hospitality!
Also known as kintsukuroi. This is the art of repairing pottery with gold or silver and making something broken beautiful – usually pottery. This is an example of wabisabi where something imperfect is still beautiful!
So with kintsugi, the big point is… you can take something imperfect or broken, and make it EVEN more beautiful than ever.
Both, a flower in the mirror and a moon’s reflection on water can’t be touched. So this Japanese phrase refers to something that’s visible but can’t be touched. Something you can feel (for example, beauty or an emotion) but can’t describe in words.
Literally, this means 高嶺/high peak and 花/flower. What it TRULY means is a “goal that’s unattainable.” Something beyond your reach, like a flower!
So, anything – feelings, scents, images – that bring memories, thoughts or anticipation of a particular season. Kind of like when you smell that crisp/burning-like scent in the air, long before snow starts falling, and you know winter is coming. The Japanese love their seasons so there are different foods, different fruit (that are grown) products and decorations for different seasons.
You know how you add too many shows and movies to your Netflix queue without watching? Or buy too many vegetables that you never eat? The Japanese have a word for this, except with books. Any book lover knows this. They have books they want to read. They want some other books. And with the overwhelm, they don’t get around to any and let them pile up.
Tsundoku is a combination of the verb 積む (tsumu – to pile up), and 読 (doku – reading.)
This is one of the beautiful Japanese words that I can relate with.
This word is used to describe you when you flake out on the person at your doorstep. They ring the doorbell. *Ding-dong.* And you, suddenly grow very, very quiet, turn off the lights and hope they go away.
This word is a noun and literally means “pretending to be out.”
Literally, this word means “nostalgic” and is an adjective. But, this carries a lot more meaning and emotion to the Japanese. People don’t normally blurt out “oh, how nostalgic” in English, because no-one likes nostalgia. It’s seen as negative. For the Japanese, it’s something that brings back memories and warms the heart.
Let’s break the phrase apart. Kui (食い) means to eat and 倒れ (daore) is a bad debt or collapse. It also comes from the verb 倒れる (daoreru) which means to go bankrupt. How is the word used? It applies to foodies and people that love going out to eat.
This is a very common and a very Japanese expression. When is it used? People use it as “I can’t do anything about it. I give up.” So, it’s used when things are out of your control (and sometimes when you just don’t want to try hard.)
As much as is this an interesting Japanese phrase, it’s also disliked by others due to the overall “I won’t even try” spirit it carries.
Interestingly, this word sounds like “break.” And indeed, it is a break. This word represents a situation where you can speak freely, act freely and most importantly, enjoy yourself without worrying about your social status, relation to others, pressure or authority.
This happens at Japanese company drink-outings where the workers and their bosses get drunk and honest with each other.
Politeness and maintaining harmony is important in Japan. So, when someone does something nice. for someone else… Japanese people are compelled to return the favor. Even if they didn’t ask for the nice thing. This phrase captures that mix of needing to repay the favor as well as the annoyance of having to do it.
Old school cool like Frank Sinatra, Al Capone, disposable . However, this can also have a negative connotation; “stuff only old people like.”
Given this word’s vagueness, it’s also used as a way to say no or be vague about things. “Hey girl, Can I see you tomorrow?” “Well, it’s a bimyou…”
This is a word used to describe someone that’s a recluse and stays in. Beautiful Japanese words aside, it’s quite an issue in Japan. This word refers to adults or adolescents who have willingly pulled out of social life, interaction and live in extreme isolation. No friends. No contacts. The Japanese Ministry of Health designates this word for anyone that hasn’t left their home in over 6 months.
Let’s break this word in half. “Wasure” means “forget” and “mono” means thing. So, it literally represents items that are forgotten and list
Anywhere else, if you call someone diligent, hardworking and dedicated to a goal, there’s a negative flipside to it. They’re seen as party poopers that won’t have any fun. In Japan, “Majime” carries positive meaning.
This word is a “kakegoe” or saying of encouragement to yourself or others. In fact, it’s more so an interjection than anything. Kind of like.. “Alright…” “Well…” “Let’s do this” and such… depending on the context.
You’ll often hear Japanese people say it to themselves before they start work. You will also hear it when people plop down into a chair or couch after coming home from work. Mostly, it’s said before or just as something is about to be done – before you lift something heavy or as you sit down after a long day. It varies.
This is one of the most interesting “beautiful Japanese words” here. It’s a combination of 2 words. First, the English word “back.” Second, the German word, “schön,” which means beautiful. So, beautiful from the back.
So, the word means useless. Where do the snake and legs come from? The first character, 蛇, represents snake and the second one, 足, is legs. When you want to say something is useless or redundant, use this.
Literally, this means “mouth lonely.” And this is in regards to food. So, this is when you eat when you’re not hungry but because you have nothing better to do.
If you’re thinking that this has to be a samurai sword word, you’re right. When one buys a new car, they take it for a drive. Bed? They take it for a nap. And a sword? Well, you do what swords are designed to do. If you were a samurai back in the day, where else would you find another person? While passing them by on the street!
So, tsuji means street or crossroad and the second part, kiri, is to slice or kill.
Definitely one of the more “fun” beautiful Japanese words here.
The first character means “crimson” or “red” and the second one means “leaves.” But, in general, this term is known as the changing of colors of leaves in Autumn. In Japan, this is a pretty big deal as well, akin to admiring the cherry blossoms in the Spring.
I mean, who doesn’t want to receive food? The Japanese say “itadakimasu” before they eat. This is what’s known as a Japanese set phrase – a phrase used with certain occasions… like eating! But, as with all beautiful Japanese words, this one has more nuance to it. It also includes thanks and gratefulness to everyone who was responsible in making the food. Farmers growing the veggies. Those that have delivered it to the city. And your cook as well.
This word also goes back to the Buddhist concept of being respectful to all things.
You’ll normally see this translated as “bon appetit” but translations won’t get the meaning and feeling right.
43. おじゃまします I will disturb you in your home
Jama means disturbance. Shimasu means to do. It just means “I will bother you.” However, you use this when you enter someone’s home. It’s a sign of respect for the person you are visiting and their home.
This is another Japanese set phrase.
Like the 2 words above, this one also is a native Japanese saying and cannot be translated with one or two words alone. Otsukare is often used at the end of the day to others, like coworkers, team players or students where both of you literally worked hard.
It’s a parting greeting but is also used to acknowledge that “you have worked hard.”
While this first and foremost is used to express regret over waste – like food, there are other uses too. You can use it to say that there’s too much of something, and thus it’s a waste. Or, you can use it to say you are “mottainai” in the event that someone is too good for you.
Actually, this is a common way to say “it’s not you, ‘it’s me” as a way to reject someone in Japanese.
The real meaning of this word is just a “dislike for super hot foods and drinks.” But, for some reason, it’s made of 2 characters. The first one means cat. The second is tongue. While we have no proof that cats hate hot/warm food, that’s the way the phrase goes. So, if you can’t handle that, you’re said to have a cat’s tongue.
This is another fall-themed word. Why is it on my list of beautiful Japanese words? Well, in English, it takes 2 words to express it. In Japanese, it’s just one. And because it’s one, it carries a stronger image of autumn, fallen leaves and the atmosphere.
Hanami is literally translated as “flower viewing.” But, it is mostly used for going to see the Cherry Blossoms (also known as Sakura). This is a Japanese tradition where many Japanese head out to see the Sakura in their full bloom.
Just like there’s a “cherry blossom viewing,” there’s also a moon viewing. When does this happen? Usually in September or October when there’s a full moon.
You heard of cherry blossom viewing. You heard of moon viewing.
Well, then there is “Yukimi” which means snow viewing… and watching the snow come down. For the Japanese, this is preferably done while in a warm onsen bath/hot spring resort with a view.
Pick apart the characters and this just means “crimson” and “leaves.” However, say this word out loud. Momiji. It’s nice sounding word and hence made it on the list!
This means “feigned innocence or naïveté.” In other words, the person is pretending to be dumb and innocent, like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. However, the Japanese word here is totally different. If you pick apart the words, it means “to put on a cat.” Why cat? Well, know how cats decide to whack items off tables and look at you like they’ve done nothing wrong?
That’s where it comes from.
This word comes from ぼけとする/boketosuru – to daydream. Boke, interestingly enough, also means fool. But, don’t let that tarnish this word. It’s nice not to think sometimes. Some things are not worth thinking too much about!
You’re wondering – how in the WORLD did a wasp land on the list of beautiful Japanese words?
Well, this article is sweet like honey and it just buzzed over here.
I know, I know. No deep profound meaning. No sexy message that will send shivers down your spine. Okay, fine. But, say it with me… out loud… jiga-bachi. I think it’s a pretty nice sounding word. It feels powerful! JIGA. BACHI. Okay, it’s a personal favorite, so I stuck it last.
So… here’s my question to you:
Do you have any favorite beautiful Japanese words? Any phrases that I missed or that you want me to add to the list?
Want to learn even more words and learn Japanese? Check out my other posts:
– written by the Main Junkie
30 Common Bad Words In Spanish
Every country has its set of vulgar language phrases, and you will encounter them in daily life. The Spanish language has a rich vocabulary of cursing phrases and swear words, and incorporating them into your casual conversations with friends can make your chats more lively and creative.
In this article, we will share with you bad words in Spanish, mainly swear words and curses. However, we would wish to caution that if you are easily offended by vulgar terms or you are a minor; then you better stay away from this post. Some of the words here – in fact, most of them – can be offensive to some people. This whole article, starting from this point, has explicit language.
For those of you who are not easily offended by vulgar terms, keep reading to learn some Spanish swear words.
Before we narrow down to this list of curse words in Spanish language, here are a few reminders;
It is essential to learn the words and understand where you can use them appropriately; however, use them sparingly. Otherwise, you would be in for trouble if you use them in the wrong settings.
Just like anywhere in the world, cursing can be very insulting and offensive. However, when you use these words in your casual talks with friends, it can be fine and make your conversation funnier.
Learning about how Spanish people curse, can give you a peek into their minds and give you insights about what they find offensive.
With that in mind, lets now get into the real business of the day;
Here are the 30 most common bad words in Spanish!
If you ever wondered how to say “Fuck you” in Spanish, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s our list of the most common Spanish cuss words, swear words and rude phrases.
Spanish Swear Words and Phrases
Spanish Curse Words and Phrases
MotherfuckerSpanish Translation: La madre que te parióThis is a frequently used curse by Spaniards. In fact, according to “City Life Madrid” it is in the Top 3 of Spanish cuss words, and literally translates to mean “the mother who gave birth to you.” It is used in the same way the English cuss words “motherfucker” or “son of a bitch” are used. An example of its usage in English would be, “The guy is a la madre que te parió! He took nine shots of Tequila without blinking.”
Spanish Rude Phrases
There you have them; more than 30 wicked bad words in Spanish. Ensure that you use them in a casual setting when hanging out with your close friends to avoid getting a backlash.
¡Gracias y hasta luego!
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