December 11, 2011
Useful German

  • Feierabend: a festive frame of mind at the end of a working day
  • Drachenfutter: (“dragon fodder”) a peace offering to a wife from a guilty husband
  • Erminenfloh: (“ermine flea”) a sycophant to the powerful
  • Fachmensch: a narrow specialist
  • Fingerspitzengefühl: (“fingertipfeel”) intuitive sensibility, confident sureness of touch
  • fisselig: nagged and flustered to the point of incompetence
  • pomadig: “like hair oil,” resourceful, confident, able to slip through difficulties
  • Schlimmbesserung: an intended improvement that has made things worse
  • Stammplatz: a favorite, usual spot, as a table at a café
  • Torschlusspanik: (“gate closing panic”) fear that time is running out to act
  • Wundersucht: a passion for miracles
  • Zivilcourage: courage to express unpopular opinions
  • Zwischenraum: the space between things

From the awesome Futility Closet.

November 4, 2011
apricationadj. basking in the sun

adj. basking in the sun

July 31, 2011

Kummerspeck (German): “grief bacon”, excess weight gained from emotional overeating


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June 10, 2011

A Portuguese word describing a “deep emotional state of nostalgic longing for something or someone that one was fond of and which is lost.” Also can be described as “the ‘love that remains’ or ‘the love that stays’ after someone is gone.”

(Source: Wikipedia)

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April 12, 2011
Figures of speech

April 11, 2011
A Flapper's Dictionary

Bean Picker—One who patches up trouble and picks up spilled beans.
Dropping the PilotGetting a divorce.
Handcuff—Engagement ring.
Frog’s Eyebrows—Nice, fine.
Grubber—One who always borrows cigarettes.
Mustard Plaster—Unwelcome guy who sticks around.
Wurp—Killjoy or drawback. 

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February 16, 2011

Eigengrau, dark light, or brain gray, is the color seen by the eye in perfect darkness. Even in the absence of light, some action potentials are still sent along the optic nerve, causing the sensation of a uniform dark gray color.

Eigengrau is perceived as lighter than a black object in normal lighting conditions, because contrast is more important to the visual system than absolute brightness. For example, the night sky looks darker than eigengrau because of the contrast provided by the stars.

via tamburina

(via tamburinaa)

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February 7, 2011

n. emotional relief gained by using indecent or vulgar language


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January 13, 2011
Access the OED online - free - until February 5

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January 4, 2011

adj. one who gives opinions and advice on topics beyond his knowledge


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November 10, 2010

n. disorder of face perception where the ability to recognize faces is impaired, while the ability to recognize other objects may be relatively intact

I’m driving into work, catching up on the Fresh Air podcast, and Oliver Sacks was talking about various visual issues he has. First was losing stereo vision (I’m good there, thanks). Then he started talking about prosopagnosia. As he’s talking, I have a dawning realization that what I thought was just an odd personal trait (I’m really bad at faces, especially matching a photo of someone with seeing them IRL) is actually a condition (in this instance what may be a mild case of prosopagnosia).

There’s a test to determine if you may have it. I scored between “normal” and “oh yeah, you have problems”. So I can function just fine in society (as long as I don’t become a cop: mugshots are worthless to me.) Overall a very strange realization.

Thanks Fresh Air for screwing with my sense of self!

October 3, 2010
Anatidaephobia - The Fear That You are Being Watched by a Duck

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October 2, 2010

Short history of the word fuck

September 7, 2010
Words That Don’t Exist in the English Language

L’esprit de escalier: (French) The feeling you get after leaving a conversation, when you think of all the things you should have said. Translated it means “the spirit of the staircase.”

Waldeinsamkeit: (German) The feeling of being alone in the woods.

Meraki: (Greek) Doing something with soul, creativity, or love.

Forelsket: (Norwegian) The euphoria you experience when you are first falling in love.

Gheegle: (Filipino) The urge to pinch or squeeze something that is unbearably cute.

Pochemuchka: (Russian) A person who asks a lot of questions.

Pena ajena: (Mexican Spanish) The embarrassment you feel watching someone else’s humiliation.

Cualacino: (Italian) The mark left on a table by a cold glass.

Ilunga: (Tshiluba, Congo) A person who is ready to forgive any abuse for the first time, to tolerate it a second time, but never a third time.

via tamburina

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