Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Unusual Words That Describe The Familiar

Elizabeth Black writes in a wide variety of genres including erotica, erotic romance, and dark fiction. She lives on the Massachusetts coast with her husband, son, and three cats. Visit her web site, her Facebook page, and her Amazon Author Page.


Everyone is familiar with schadenfreude. That's the German expression for taking joy in someone else's misery. There are plenty of words that describe something  you might have thought was impossible to describe in only one word. Here are a few examples you may want to use in your fiction.

Pluviophile – see above image. (n) a lover of rain. I am a pluviophile. I also love thunderstorms. There's something electrifying about pounding rain with lightning and thunder. It makes me feel all warm and primal inside.

Gufra – (n) the amount of water that can be held in the hands.

Baku-Shan – (n) a pretty girl viewed from behind.

Schlimazl – I've heard of this one. I believe it's Yiddish. It's up there with "schlemiel". (n) – a chronically unlucky person.

Duende – (n) the power a piece of art has to deeply move the person viewing it.

Kyoikumama – (n) a tiger mother. One of those Asian mothers who pushes her children towards achievement to the point its practically psychotic. I had no idea there was an actual term for this.

Torchlusspanik – (n) the fear that opportunities vanish as one ages.

Tingo – You may have neighbors who have done this to you. Think of how Homer treats Flanders in "The Simpsons". (n) The act of taking objects from the house of a friend by gradually borrowing all of them and never returning them.

There are many more examples you may find all over the web. I find language fascinating, especially when one word can so vividly describe a sensation, an action, or an object.

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