Happy Words

I came across this on Facebook the other day. It is an article about the Positive Lexicography Project.  The goal is to create an "an online glossary of untranslatable words." To understand, you have to read the article and check out the glossary. Here are 26 of my favorite, choosing one from each letter of the alphabet. What a positive way to start the new year! Happy 2017, everyone!

  • Aroha (Māori, v., n.): (to feel) love, concern, compassion, empathy for someone.
  • Bayanihan (Tagalog, n.): co-operative endeavour in the service of a shared goal; a spirit of communal unity.
  • Cynefin (Welsh, n.): A place where one feels one ought to live; the relationship one has to the place where one was born and/or feels at home.
  • Dadirri (Aboriginal, Ngangiwumirr n.): a deep, spiritual act of reflective and respectful listening.
  • Erlebnis (German): living fully, experiencing life deeply and intensely in the here and now.
  • Fjellvant (Norwegian) (adj.): Being accustomed to walk in the mountains.
  • Gumusservi (Turkish, n.): the glimmering that moonlight makes on water.
  • Hachnasat orchim (Yiddish/Hebrew, n.): ‘bringing in guests’; offering hospitality and respect to strangers.
  • Inuuqatigiittiarniq (Inuit, n.): being respectful of all people.
  • Janteloven (Norwegian/Danish, n.): a set of rules which discourages individualism in communities.​
  • Kanso (簡素) (Japanese, n.): elegant simplicity, an attractive absence of clutter.
  • Lutalica (English, new coinage, n.): the part of your identity that doesn't fit into categories.
  • Mangata (Swedish, n.): the glimmering that moonlight makes on water.
  • Nam jai (น้ำใจ) (Thai, n.): lit. 'water from the heart', selfless generosity and kindness.
  • Orenda (Huron, n.): the power of the human will to change the world in the face of powerful forces.
  • Petrichor (English, new coinage, n.): the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil.
  • Querencia (Spanish, n.): a place where one feels secure, from which one draws strength.
  • Ramé (Balinese, n.): something at once chaotic and joyful.
  • Sólarfrí (Icelandic) (n.): sun holiday, i.e., when workers are granted unexpected time off to enjoy a particularly sunny/warm day.
  • Tarab (طرب) (Arabic, n.): musically-induced ecstasy or enchantment.
  • Utepils (Norwegian, n.): a beer that is enjoyed outside (particularly on the first hot day of the year).
  • Víðsýni (Icelandic) (adj.): a panoramic view, or, open-mindedness.
  • Whakakoakoa (Māori, v.): to cheer up.
  • Xibipíío (Pirahã, n.): experiencing liminality; a phenomenon on the boundaries of perception/experience.
  • Yūgen (幽玄) (Japanese): cloudy impenetrability, unknowability, mystery.
  • Zwischenraum (German, n.): an open or empty space in or between things.

I mean how could saying the word "Whakakoakoa" not make you cheer up?!

Let us walk in the holy presence.

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