With this week’s exploration of the Danish word hygge, here’s a look at some other words from around the world that don’t have an English equivalent but might be worth adding to our vocabulary.Tartle (Scottish)
You know the awkward moment when you run into someone familiar but then hesitate before using his or her name because you can’t remember it? The Scots call that a tartle. A tartle only describes an incident of hesitating while trying to remember. It doesn’t apply to totally forgetting, which today in America is, unfortunately called “a brain fart.”
Used in a sentence: “Sorry for my tartle, but at least I didn’t brain fart”
If you love spending time outdoors in the Northwest, you probably know what this word describes. Shinrin-yoku means“forest bathing” and describes mindfully experiencing the atmosphere of nature — from the smell of trees, to the shadowy puddles of moss, to the wind whispering through pine needles. The practice was developed as a form of therapy in Japan in the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventative health care and healing after being backed up by scientific study.
Used in a sentence: “I would head to the hills for some shinrin-yoku, if my insurance paid for it.”
From the culture that gave us schadenfreude (the feeling of joy one has from someone else’s misery) we get backpfeifengesicht, a face in need of a slap (or punch). This term applies to someone who is self-righteous and/or conceited and you wish you could smack the smirk right off their face.
Used in a sentence (pronounced back-fife-en-ge-zeekt): “I don’t care who he is, his backpfeifengesicht says all I need to know.”