Skimming the shelves for a book I wanted to lend my daughter, I was delighted to rediscover ‘The meaning of Tingo’, which trawls ‘the collective wisdom of over 154 languages’ for words and expressions unique to that language. For example:
Plimpplamppletteren (Dutch) – skimming stones across water
Areodjarekput (Inuit) – to swap wives just for a few days
Anaranjear (Spanish) – to throw oranges at someone
We all know someone guilty of ‘neko-neko‘ – Indonesian for ‘one who has a creative idea that only makes things worse’, while the titular ‘Tingo‘ is apparently Easter Islandish for ‘to take all the objects one desires from the house of a friend, one at a time, by asking to borrow them’.