I am not sure how many opportunities in a given day you will have to use the Gaelic phrase for head butting, which is “purr,” but should you need to know the foreign correspondents for various words, phrases and sayings, The Meaning of Tingo is the book you can’t leave home without. This entertaining book offers up hundreds of dictionary-style words in various languages that will have you scratching your head in wonder even as you practice the correct pronunciation of tunillattukkuuq, the Inuit word for “the act of eating at a cemetery.”
Author Adam Jacot de Boinod picked up an Albanian dictionary one day and found 27 different words for eyebrow types, which inspired him to write this collection of interesting curiosities. Let’s just say this book is no neko-neko, Indonesian for “one who has a creative idea which only makes things worse.” In fact, you will have a blast using these catchy foreign phrases on your friends, and they won’t have any idea what you are talking about. Imagine how intelligent and well traveled you can pretend to be! Now that makes me bjor-reifr, or Old Icelandic for “cheerful from beer drinking.”
Whether you have a passion for words (vokabulyu in Russian) or just like reading trivia that is fun and educational at the same time, The Meaning of Tingo is packed with all kinds of goodies for the brain palate. Whether or not you actually use these words in your world travels is another story, but if you do go to Japan, be sure to avoid the suna o kamu yo na. I won’t tell you what it means, but trust me; you will want to avoid it!