Kummerspeck (German)
Excess weight gained from emotional overeating. Literally, grief bacon.

As a brain break a few days ago, I showed my students a list of words from a Mental Floss article about words that exist in languages except English that we REALLY need.

Here are some of my faves that the students really got a kick out of. My commentary in italics:

  • Backpfeifengesicht (German)
    A face badly in need of a fist. Do names come to mind for anyone else here?
  • Gigil (Filipino)
    The urge to pinch or squeeze something that is irresistibly cute. I am CONSTANTLY under the influence of gigil!
  • Ya’arburnee (Arabic)
    This word is the hopeful declaration that you will die before someone you love deeply, because you cannot stand to live without them. Literally, may you bury me. I swoon.
  • L’esprit de l’escalier (French)
    Literally, stairwell wit—a too-late retort thought of only after departure. I am often affected by this. 
  • Tartle (Scots)
    The nearly onomatopoeic word for that panicky hesitation just before you have to introduce someone whose name you can’t quite remember. This sounds like “fart,” so obviously the junior highers laughed for days.

As an exercise, I had them come up with their own feelings that we need words for in the English language. Here are my favs:

  • The feeling when you laugh so hard your stomach hurts.
  • The split second of panic that you’ve forgotten your locker combo after a long break.
  •  When you’re spacing out and then you realize you’ve actually been creepily staring at someone.
  •  The amazing feeling when you didn’t study for a test but you do great on it anyway.
  • When you’re eating pizza and all the cheese slides right off your piece.
  • When you’re eating and writing something at the same time and you accidentally put your pen in your mouth instead of food.
  • The feeling when you realize you’ve forgotten your homework at home.

So great.

Seven more teaching days with the little monsters. Can’t tell what my heart really feels….especially when they are as funny as this.

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