weird words from around the world

Some of my favorites:


MATA EGO Rapa Nui, Easter Island: Eyes that reveal that someone has been crying.

KUCIR Indonesian: A tuft of hair left to grow on top of an otherwise bald head.

PANA PO’O Hawaiian: To scratch your head in order to help you to remember something you’ve forgotten.

NGAOBERA Pascuense, Easter Island: A slight inflammation of the throat caused by screaming too much.

O KA LA NOKONOKO Hawaiian: A day spent in nervous anticipation of a coughing spell.  (can we say neurotic?)

KARELU Tulu Indian: The mark left on the skin by wearing anything tight.


MAHJ Persian:Looking beautiful after having a disease.

BAKKU-SHAN Japanese:A girl who looks as though she might be pretty when seen from behind, but isn’t when seen from the front.

QUEESTING Dutch: Allowing a lover access to one’s bed, under the covers, for a chit-chat.  (for a chit-chat?)

NARACHASTRA PRAYOGA Sanskrit: Men who worship their own sexual organs.  (there are some who don’t?)

KORO Japanese: The hysterical belief that one’s penis is shrinking into one’s body.  (just had to be japanese, huh?)

SENZURI Japanese: Male masturbation (literally “a hundred rubs”). “Shiko shiko manzuri” is the female version (literally “ten thousand rubs”).  (well, ya know what they say…men are microwaves, women are crockpots)

SACANAGEM Brazilian Portuguese: Openly seeking sexual pleasure with one or more partners other than one’s primary partner during Mardi Gras.  (what happens at Mardi Gras stays at Mardi Gras?)


LOMILOMI Hawaiian: The chief’s masseur, whose duty it was to take care of his spittle and excrement.  (and I thought I had a tough job)

TINGO Pascuense language, Easter Island: Borrowing things from a friend’s house, one by one, until he has nothing left.  (until there is NOTHING left?)

LATAH Indonesian: Uncontrollable habit of saying embarrassing things.   (My middle name.  Twila Latah)


GULUGULU Tulu, India: The sound of a pitcher filling with water.  (looks like the sound)

CALACALA Tulu, India: The action of children wading through water as they play.

NING-NONG Indonesia: The ringing of a doorbell.  (ning-nong to express a ding-dong)

DESUS Indonesia: The quiet, smooth sound of somebody farting but not very loudly.  (again, looks like the sound.  hee)

YUYIN Chinese: The remnants of sound that stay in the ears of the hearer