Amazing words


Have you ever piled on the pounds after a particularly nasty breakup? Seen your weight increase during periods of stress? It is a concept many will be familiar with. But only in German does the phenomena merit its own wordKummerspeck. Kummerspeck translates as the excess weight gained from emotional overeating, but, literally translated, it means ‘grief bacon’.

Mental Floss have gathered together 29 of the best examples of these words (volume 1 and volume 2). Many will be familiar with schadenfreude but what about fremdschämen – the cringing embarrassment you get when you see someone else putting their foot in it. Think ‘Inbetweeners’ or  ‘Meet the Parents’ and you get the gist.

Out of the 29 listed on the site, my favourite three are:

1. Gumusservi (Turkish) – meaning the moonlightshining on water.

2. Bakku-shan (Japanese) – the experience of seeing a woman who appears pretty from behind but not from the front (familiar to fans of Clueless as a “total Monet”, or in Viz’s Profanasaurus (if blonde) as a ‘golden deceiver’).

3. Tartle (Scots) – the panicked hesitation moments before introducing someone whose nameyou can’t remember. 

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