The Meaning of Tingo and Other Extraordinary Words from Around the World

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9780140515619: The Meaning of Tingo and Other Extraordinary Words from Around the World

Did you know that people in Bolivia have a word that means I was rather too drunk last night and it's all their fault? Or that the Albanians have twenty-seven words for moustache? Or that the Dutch word for skimming stones is plimpplamppletteren? Drawing on the collective wisdom of over 280 languages, this intriguing book is arranged by theme so that you can compare attitudes all over the world to such subjects as food, the human body and the battle of the sexes. Here, you can find not only those words for which there is no direct counterpart in English (such as pana po'o in Hawaiian - to scratch your head in order to remember something important), but also those that sound confusingly the same (gin in Turkish means to dry out). Oh, and tingo is a Pascuense word from the Easter Islands meaning to borrow things from a friend's house one by one until there's nothing left .

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Review:

'The Meaning of Tingo' may well prove to be the must-have British stocking-filler for 2005 -- The Economist, 24 September 2005

...a luscious list of linguistic one-liners -- Daily Express, 1 November, 2005

...a pleasure to dip in to. -- Sunday Telegraph, 2nd October 2005

...compulsively perusable -- The Times, 22 September 2005

...destined to be the Eats, Shoots and Leaves of the autumn. -- The Independent, 26th September 2005

A book no well-stocked bookshelf, cistern-top or handbag should be without. -- Stephen Fry

I liked the inventiveness of the Spanish curse "may all your turkey's feathers turn into razor blades" -- Steven Poole, The Guardian, 15th October, 2005

From the Author:

Many English speakers admit to being lazy both at home and when travelling in their reliance on English as the pre-eminent international language and I feel that in this multi-cultural age we live in we should embrace the joy, glory and wonder of foreign words and expressions. English is unquestionably a great language but I suppose what I am saying is ³don¹t be surprised there are many others.²

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