My favourite words
More than once I have found myself laughing or smiling, amused or fascinated by a word. So I have decided I’ll start listing them. Most of them I won’t remember right away. But I’m sure they’ll come up little by little. Here are a couple:
- Ratunku: it works as a cry for help in Polish. It means “socorro” in Spanish and “help” in English. I learned this one when I was talking with some Spanish and Latin American co-workers about our impressions on Polish Language. Just imaging yourself shouting it in the middle of a fire: ratunku! ratunku!
- Jututuba: another funny word. This one is Estonian. It means “chat room” in English or just “chat” in Spanish. I learned this one talking with friends in Skype on an chat of Internationals in Tallinn. So in our next business online meeting, we could meet up at the Sales and Marketing Jututuba in Skype 😉
- Serendipity: this one is just curious. I saw it for the first time about 5 years ago while watching Donnie Darko with my sister. Since then I’ve read it only twice and never heard it. According to thefreedictionary.com it means “The faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident”. Even though I cannot find it in rae.es I found “Serendipia” in Wikipedia as the Spanish equivalent. It says on the same website that the word derives from Serendip, the old Persian name for Sri Lanka.
- Butterfly: a favourite since I started studying English. I tend to think of it separately: Butter&Fly. What does flying butter has to do with this beautiful insect? Or better just butter itself and a disgusting fly? This is what thefreedictionary.com says: “Is a butterfly named for the color of its excrement or because it was thought to steal butter? It is hard to imagine that anyone ever noticed the color of butterfly excrement or believed the insect capable of such theft. The first suggestion rests on the fact that an early Dutch name for the butterfly was boterschijte. The second is based on an old belief that the butterfly was really a larcenous witch in disguise”.
- Mariposa: this is the Spanish word for butterfly. I like thinking of it separately as well: Mari&Posa it means Mari poses (Mari is the short for María). I find this flattering 🙂