Weird Words around the World

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by amikama, Oct 8, 2005.

  1. amikama

    amikama sordomodo

    This article inspired me to open this thread. Please list here weird or especially interesting words (in your language or any other language).

    I can think of several obscure words in (non-Modern) Hebrew that I bet that most of the Hebrew speakers have never heard them before, but nevertheless they are quite weird...

    תימוז (timoz) - one whose eyelashes have fallen.
    קיין (kayan) - one whose testicles are big.
    עקוד ('akod) - an animal which the color of its ankles is different from the color of its fur.

    I was told once that in Arabic there is a verb that means "buried his alive daughter" :eek:
  2. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Hmm. Interesting, but this...

    ...seems to be one of those things that "everyone knows", but is actually wrong:


    That's an excessively limited definition of "sacanagem" in BP. It doesn't have to be a search for sexual pleasure, and it doesn't have to happen during Mardi Gras.
  3. Merlin Senior Member

    Philippines - Tagalog/English
    Well, I can share one word which is used in Tagalog (Philippine national Language) and in Pangasinan (Pangasinense which is a province in the Philippines) The word "wala" which in Tagalog means "none" while if it's used in Pangasinense, "wala" means "there is". It's really weird because most people get confused with this word.
    Oh my! What a verb!!!:D
  4. martinemussies

    martinemussies Senior Member

    the Netherlands ~ Dutch.
    Perhaps the Dutch word "soepkip" is a funny one to mention here.
    Two characters from a Dutch tv-show for children started with it
    and now everyone around me seems to use this word. :s

    Soep = soup
    Kip = chicken

    So.... they call each other "chicken that has to be put in the soup", I guess. ;)
  5. julienne Member

    City of Smiles
    parallel to merlin's thought...

    In Filipino, egg = itlog; bird = ibon... now, in Kapampangan, a local dialect egg = ebon. :eek:
    Also, in Ilonggo, my native dialect, later = karun, now = subong; in Cebuano, still another dialect, karun = now; later(in the day) = subong. :confused:

    And in the Island of Negros, in the Visayas, a question goes, "how far to the north can a dog(called ido in Ilonggo) run? Ans: only until before the city of Sagay, when he enters Sagay, he is iru (thats dog in Cebuano). :D

    confusing..... :confused:
  6. Roi Marphille

    Roi Marphille Senior Member

    Catalonia, Catalan.
    Hi! nice thread!

    A funny word in Catalan is "cagadubtes".
    It is a person who is always in a dubiousness state..he is not confident about anything.
    The translation would be something like: "the one who shits doubts"

  7. Whodunit

    Whodunit Senior Member

    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    We have a similar word in German with another meaning: Klugscheißer (smart aleck)

    It means something like "someone who shits intelligently"
  8. cirrus

    cirrus Senior Member

    Crug Hywel
    UK English
    Following on from the scatalogical line there is a dialect word where I come from: "to churtle" (sorry I have no idea how it's spelt!) It means to have a long, but not necessarily urgent, wee! Strangely enough it doesn't seem to have made it into standard English.
  9. Or_lando Member

    Yes, Amikama, it is the verb وأد (wa'ada) in Classical Arabic. There's also a passive participle for this verb موؤودة (maw'oodah) which refers to the daughter burried alive...

    It is said to have been a common practice in the Pre-Islamic Arab culture, which was forbidden by Islam.
  10. Josh_ Senior Member

    the phrontistery
    U.S., English
    A funny word in Egyptian Arabic is يبعبص (yiba3bas). It means to poke between the buttocks with a finger, or more colloquially, to goose.
  11. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    In colloquial Palestinian Arabic, that means "to mess around with" ("to poke with the fingers") pretty much anything - but it's vulgar.

    It comes from "ba3buuS" :warn:, which is a vulgar word denoting the middle finger.

    Accordingly, a "ba3Sa" :warn: is a bummer, an unfortunate circumstance - again, it's vulgar.
  12. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Interesting thread Amikama
    Yes you're right, and as Orlando said, the word is "wa-ada", it was such a common practice in the old time that it had its own verb. I recently heard that it's taking place in modern India, in some of the Indian cities :eek:

    As for the Hebrew words you gave, they're interesting as well. They reminded me of some Arabic words/adjectives :
    Ashram أشرم : a person with a cut lip
    Agda' أجدع : a person with a cut nose
    Ahwar أحور (masculine) Hawraa' حوراء : A person with dark black eyes (this is supposed to be a sign of beauty, though I personally prefer brown eyes :) )

    I also found this :
    shabam شَـبَم : the cold, the adjective is shabim شَبـِـم.
    I was also amazed to find that there's a verb for opening the mouth : shaha شحا , but I think it means to open it very widely.
    And, speaking of testicles : An animal whose one of the testicles is bigger than the other is called ashrag أشرج (it can be used for men too)

    And there are many others, I'll post whatever I can remember or find in the dictionary :)
  13. Laia

    Laia Senior Member

    Catalan, Spanish
    In Catalan, "somiatruites", literaly is something like "dreaming omeletes" and means that you are always dreaming, gullible...
  14. Chaska Ñawi

    Chaska Ñawi modus borealis

    an old Ontario farmhouse
    Canadian English
    The Hebrew and Arabic offerings have certainly opened my eyes.

    While we're being scatalogical, I love this Spanish word (it may be archaic now) for a clerk, lawyer, etc.: cagatinta, or an ink-shitter.

    Insect dung has its own word: frass. Dragon dung (should you find any) is a fewmet. Rodents leave miggles in their wake.

    And, leaving the original idea a little behind, cows deposit cow-patties, and horses deposit road apples or meadow muffins.
  15. soup bowl New Member

    Canadian English
    I know a few in English :)Bibliobibuli - someone who reads too much

    Caseifaction - the act of turning into cheese
    Serendipity - to find something you didn't know you were looking for,
    Avuncular - of or pertaining to an uncle. If you wish: "Uncle-like"

    kalopsia - the delusion of things being more beautiful than they are.
  16. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    I've always liked Spanish escarmentar "to learn one's lesson" (also transitive, "to teach (someone) a lesson")
  17. jazyk Senior Member

    Brno, Česká republika
    Brazílie, portugalština
    You'll be delighted :) to know that escarmentar is also Portuguese, but it's not a word I hear often in Brazil.
  18. Rallino Moderatoúrkos

    In Turkish the word for "no" is: Hayır. (Pronunced huh-year)

    But since 1950's, the "media" started using "yo" to mean No, so that the dubbing would rhyme with the original actor's mouth in English movies.

    When the actor would cry: "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO", instead of 'hayııııııııııır', we would hear: "YOOOOOOOOOOOO".
  19. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    In Greek the vernacular for "I'm bored" is «βαριέμαι» (var'ʝeme), first person sing, indicative mood, mediopassive voice of verb «βαρώ» (va'ro)--> to bump, knock, smash, smite, whack. «Bαριέμαι» lit. means to bump, knock, smash, smite, whack myself :D
  20. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    Also, Welsh gwylltio "annoy", from the adjective gwyllt "wild". Not sure if there are parallels to this in other languages.
  21. Saluton Banned

    Moscow, Russia

    A word I encountered in the Guinness Book of Records.

    And about the article mentioned by the OP:
    "ANGUSHTI ZA'ID Russian

    Someone with six fingers."

    This is complete rubbish. The Russian for "six-fingered" is шестипалый (shestipalyi), but it's an occasionalism, just like "six-fingered". I found on the Internet that it's from Persian and actually means "too many fingers".
  22. Dani1967 New Member

    Spanish (Arg), English
    An interesting adjective in Spanish is:

    empalagoso : excessively sweet or rich

    and the related reflexive verb:

    empalagarse : to eat too much of a sweet thing / overdose on sweetness
  23. HUMBERT0

    HUMBERT0 Senior Member

    Madre is Mother in Spanish.
    However, in colloquial Mexican Spanish it can also mean insignificant.
    • Es una madrecita, it’s small, insignificant
    • ¡Madres!, no te creo nada. (nothing/nihil!, I don't believe you anything)
    • But "madral" means a lot.
    • "En la madre", broke/busted something
    • "Desmadre", can mean disorder, disaster
    • "Madrear" is to hit/beat someone
    • "No tener madre" to be shameless, cynical
    Weird how colloquial language is….
  24. Lars H

    Lars H Senior Member

    On many festivals, fairs, construction sites and other places that are temporarily crowded, there is good use for portable toilet cabins, often standing in long rows.

    These are in Swedish named "bajamaja" where "baja" is how small kids would say poop and "maja" a girls name.
    There are other names like "hyrtoaletter" (rental toilets) or "portabla toaletter" but these names are not commonly used. Bajamaja is. I feel sorry for all Swedish girls named Maja :eek:
  25. Nizo Senior Member

    The Esperanto verb krokodili means to speak in one's native language instead of Esperanto at an Esperanto gathering. Considered very rude, of course! :)
  26. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    Arabic and English
    This is not very accurate. The verb wa'ada means "to bury alive", regardless of the gender or age of the person being buried. Indeed, there was a pre-Islamic practice of burying their baby children alive, mostly girls; this practice was specifically pointed out and forbidden by Islam, hence the misconception.
  27. sakvaka

    sakvaka Senior Member

    Really? That's interesting, because the word is used in Finnish as well. I always thought there was a connection with maja ('hut'). ;)
  28. Lars H

    Lars H Senior Member


    I think that is a coincidence. It seems that many of these are made by Bajamaja AB, a Swedish company based in Skåne, and that this name was so catchy that it replaced all others in daily use.
    And then I suppose they discovered that the physical needs are the same on both sides of Pohjanmeri :)
  29. hui Senior Member

    You mean Pohjanlahti (Bottenviken; Gulf of Bothnia) or Selkämeri (Bottenhavet; Bothnian Sea), not Pohjanmeri (Nordsjön; North Sea).
  30. Lars H

    Lars H Senior Member

    Yes, I do...:eek:
    My mistake. I know that Pohjanmeri equals Nordsjön and not Bottenviken, but that doesn't help when I'm careless in my writing. :(
  31. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    To the Filipinos, ethnic words are weird to their sounds, it is an ancient language that become solid or compressed in a grammar.* English: I don't like the bad mannered person. **Tagalog: Hindi ako sang ayon sa taong may masamang pag uugali. ***De pa DUMAGET(ethnic language) Nagkapoy ok de agta a te mamalot a ugeli. (If read by native speaker) Nagkapoyok de agta ate mamalota uwgeli.
  32. ancalimon Senior Member

    Turkish and and Azeri language are very similar languages but there are some words which mean totally different things.

    For example:

    Azeri: yarak tüccarı: weapons dealer
    Turkish: yarak tüccarı: penis (vulgar) dealer

    Azeri: Kerhaneci: factory manager
    Turkish: Kerhaneci: brothel manager

  33. Favara Senior Member

    Catalan - Southern Val.
    Another weird Catalan word:
    Cagabandúrries roughly translates to "the one who shits banjos". It's an insult, of course.
  34. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (Hungarian)
    I think one of interesting Hungarian words is: fehérmájú [lit.: with white liver] and is means a horny woman. I wonder why with white liver.
  35. Grefsen

    Grefsen Senior Member

    Southern California
    English - United States
    That is really weird.

    Me too.

    In American English these "portable toilet cabins" are often called "porta potties."

    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
  36. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Bắc Kinh
    Wu Chinese & Italian
    The word "ciao" is the quintessential Italian word. But ironically, if you go to Rome, young boys don't say "ciao", they say "bella" (feminine adjective: beautiful) instead, when greeting other boys.
    When said to a girl, its original meaning returns: beautiful girl.

    In Chinese almost all insults have "egg" : 笨蛋 (stupid egg), 坏蛋 (bad egg), 傻蛋 (dumb egg), 王八蛋 (turtle's egg).
    Probably turtle's egg is the weirdest.
    王八蛋 is pronounced wang2 ba1 dan4, some people say it derives from 忘八端 wang4 ba1 duan1 - which means: to forget the 8 virtues of Confucianisms: filial piety, brotherhood, loyalty, trust, etiquette, righteousness, integrity, shamefulness.

    But 乌龟 (turtle) alone is also an insult, it means "betrayed husband/wife", similarly to the Italian "cornuto" and the Spanish "chifrudo".
  37. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (Hungarian)
    Young boys only? What do you mean by young boys?
  38. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Bắc Kinh
    Wu Chinese & Italian
    I would say male people, below 30 years old.
    It's young people's slang.
  39. Abu Rashid

    Abu Rashid Senior Member

    Melbourne, Australia
    Australian English
    The verb is "to bury alive", not specifically a daughter, and it was used in the Qur'an in condemnation of the pre-Islamic practices of the Pagan Arabs in the feminine passive participle as mentioned above, which does in effect refer to "the daughter buried alive".
  40. Grefsen

    Grefsen Senior Member

    Southern California
    English - United States
    Since these "portable toilet cabins" are used so much at festivals, in Norwegian they are often called "festivaltoaletter" or "festivaldoer" (Both "toaletter" and "do" are Norwegian words for toilet, but "do" is more informal.)
  41. puny_god Member

    English - US
    One odd Filipino word for me is "gigil". I can't seem to find a close enough translation for it.
    It's that feeling when you see a very cute baby and you want to pinch his cheeks because he's just so darn cute.
    But then it can also be feeling of seething anger at something or someone. :confused:
    I always find it hard to explain, oh well :)
  42. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    In Greek, when something must be done very quickly, it must be done unblinkingly: «ασκαρδαμυκτί» [askarðami'kti] (adv.)

    «Ασκαρδαμυκτί» [askarðami'kti] (adv.) < Classical adv. «ἀσκαρδαμυκτὶ» ăskărdămūktì --> without winking, unblinkingly < compound, privative prefix «ἀ-» [a-] + Classical v. «σκαρδαμύσσω» skărdămússō (Attic variant «καρδαμύττω» kărdămúttō) --> to blink/wink/twinkle (with obscure etymology, possibly pre-Greek)
  43. Ёж! Senior Member

    But the link between the two meanings is extremely obvious, isn't it? :confused: If something is seething out of your mind, it can be affection, anger, or yet anything else.
    How funny. :) In Russian, this means that someone would do something without reckoning too much about ethics or something else. Or, alternatively, that someone would do something very quickly. But this is a stable expression, not a stable word; it is «не моргнув глазом».
  44. arielipi Senior Member

    We have something similar in hebrew, כהרף עין keheref ayin.
  45. puny_god Member

    English - US
    Yup, you are right. That's why it's a really odd word. It does not have an exact English equivalent and it's got different meanings.

Share This Page