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#148299 - 09/25/05 10:56 AM Have you been Tingoed?
Stuart Offline
stranger

Registered: 09/25/05
Posts: 1
Loc: British Columbia
I came across this in an article in the Telegraph (UK) this Saturday. I simply HAVE to get this when it hits the shelves! (Penguin Books, ISBN 0140515615 )

===============
You know when you've been Tingoed - just ask an Easter Islander
By Neil Tweedie
(Filed: 24/09/2005)

Ever been disappointed when something turns out better than you expected? Lots of Germans have because they invented a word for it: scheissenbedauern.

Or owned a camel that gives milk only when tickled on the nostrils? Nakhurs, they call them in Iran.

Or dealt with a koshatnik - Russian for a seller of stolen cats?

English prides itself on a wealth of words describing almost the same thing, and the precision it brings. But, as a new book shows, other languages contain words with no direct English equivalent that do the job of whole sentences in the Anglo-Saxon world, and which describe the strangest jobs, emotions and practices.

The Meaning of Tingo by Adam Jacot de Boinod draws its title from the Pascuense language of Easter Island - tingo meaning to borrow objects one by one from a friend's house until nothing is left.

Beware the new neighbour who pops round for a cup of sugar. It could be the start of tingo. Mr Jacot de Boinod stumbled across some of his words while researching for the BBC comedy quiz show QI.

There may be English women who appear better from behind than the front, but only the Japanese have a word for such a looker: bakku-shan.

And in neko-neko the Indonesians have devised a noun for that indispensable member of the office: the person whose creative idea only makes things worse. The Inuit, meanwhile, rely on areodjarekput, the practice of exchanging wives for a few days, to combat the monotony of the long arctic night.

The internet, foreign language dictionaries and even embassies provided the words. "English is brilliant at naturalising foreign words, such as ad hoc or feng shui," said Mr Jacot de Boinod. "I'd like to see some of my favourites from the book in general use."

Everyone has heard of the Inuit having dozens or even hundreds of words for snow, but who would suspect the Albanians of having 27 different words for eyebrow, and 27 for moustache.

There are also a number of dubious compliments, including mahj - Persian for looking beautiful after a disease - and the wonderful Italian word for one tanned by sun lamp, slampadato.

The Russians, who excel in the art of misery, offer razbliuto for the feeling one has for a former lover no longer loved.

And it is only natural that the fearsomely industrious Japanese risk karoshi, death from overwork.

Mr Jacot de Boinod said: "A frustration has been finding wonderful words that I have been unable to verify and so had to leave out of the book. Age-otori for example - a Japanese word supposedly meaning 'to look worse after a haircut'.

"Even though I found it on a website the Japanese speakers I consulted didn't think it existed, and I couldn't track it down in any dictionaries. So out it went."

Some other unusual words and their meanings discovered by Mr Jacot de Boinod: marilopotes (Ancient Greek), a gulper of coaldust; cigerci (Turkish), a seller of liver and lungs; madogiwazoku (Japanese), window-gazing office workers with too little to do; seigneur-terrasse (French), a person who spends much time but little money in a cafe; tuji-giri (Japanese), the practice of trying out your new sword on a passer-by; torschlusspanik (German), fear of diminishing opportunities due to advancing age.


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#148300 - 09/25/05 11:36 AM Re: Have you been Tingoed?
belMarduk Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/28/00
Posts: 2891
This looks like advertising.


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#148301 - 09/25/05 11:52 AM Re: Have you been Tingoed?
zmjezhd Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 3290
Loc: R'lyeh
Ever been disappointed when something turns out better than you expected? Lots of Germans have because they invented a word for it: scheissenbedauern.

Oh, no, not one of these books again. Googling scheißenbedauern or scheissenbedauern only returns pages in English. If it's so popular with Germans why aren't they using it online? Besides most of those pages attribute the word coinage to a humorist Joe Queenan who wrote: Red Lobster, White Trash, and the Blue Lagoon. Lower down in the article, Inuit snow vocabulary is mentioned uncritically.

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Ceci n'est pas un seing.

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#148302 - 09/25/05 03:54 PM Mantled again...
wofahulicodoc Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 4976
Loc: Worcester, MA
...the whole Board this time!

Some other unusual words and their meanings discovered by Mr Jacot de Boinod: ... torschlusspanik (German), fear of diminishing opportunities due to advancing age.

We've discussed this one here, a while ago and maybe even recently.

Edit: here:http://wordsmith.org/board/showflat.pl?Cat=&Board=german&Number=87692 et seq...

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#148303 - 09/26/05 01:21 AM Re: Have you been Tingoed?
Bingley Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta
In reply to:

And in neko-neko the Indonesians have devised a noun for that indispensable member of the office: the person whose creative idea only makes things worse.


Errr, no. Firstly neko-neko is actually Javanese, not Indonesian. Secondly it doesn't mean that. It seems to be the Javanese equivalent of macam-macam, which can mean "various kinds of" or "muck somebody about, try it on with somebody".

Bingley

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Bingley

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#148304 - 09/26/05 09:19 AM Re: Have you been Tingoed?
inselpeter Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/14/01
Posts: 2379
Loc: New York City
Ever been delighted when something turns out more disappointing than expected? This has been a delicious thread.


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#148305 - 09/26/05 09:33 PM Re: Have you been Tingoed?
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky



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#148306 - 09/27/05 10:35 AM Re: Have you been Tingoed?
Elizabeth Creith Offline
addict

Registered: 03/22/05
Posts: 500
Loc: Northern Ontario, Canada
tuji-giri (Japanese), the practice of trying out your new sword on a passer-by

Oh, I would love this word to be true, as such a thing takes place in one scene of "Zatoichi"!


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#148307 - 09/27/05 11:54 AM Re: Have you been Tingoed?
inselpeter Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/14/01
Posts: 2379
Loc: New York City
>>I woud love it to be true<<

I don't know about the word, but such a thing did was in-fact, the practice -- although I think the "passer-by" was a slave.


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#148308 - 09/27/05 02:44 PM Have you been Tsuji-giri'd?
Father Steve Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/06/00
Posts: 2788
Loc: Seattle, Washington, USA
Some Japanese Samurai, during the Edo Period, randomly tested their swords by hacking up people of lower social station. The practice was called tsuji-giri. The clans combined to prohibit the practice through a law called Hyakkajou.



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