Here are some of the treasures I discovered during a recent expedition across the Internet.
- The literal translation of Kloskvaltare – Swedish for best-selling book – is: ‘it knocks the sales booth over’.
- In Italy, Salma Hayek might be described as a baffona or ‘attractive mustachioed woman’.
- In Germany, a young man with suspiciously good manners is called Tantenverfürhrer, or ‘aunt seducer’.
- Gwarlingo is Welsh for the the rushing sound a grandfather clock makes before striking the hour.
- In Namibia, Hanyauku means walking on tiptoe through warm sand, which is a lot less syllables than ‘walking on tiptoe through warm sand’.
- Jayus is Indonesian for someone who tells a joke so unfunny you can’t help laughing.
- In Scotland, to tartle is to hesitate introducing someone whose name you can’t remember.
- And if you find yourself thinking lustful thoughts when presented with a head of garlic, you are probably physiggomai – ancient Greek for ‘excited by eating garlic’. I wonder how you pronounce that?
I have no idea why no handy English words have been coined to match the rest of these expressions