Just ran across these incredibly useful words that English lacks.

Utepils (Norwegian) means “outside beer”. It refers to the highly pleasurable activity of sitting outside enjoying a beer, especially the first warm day of spring.

Drachenfutter (German) means “dragon fodder”. This is the gift a husband gives his wife when he’s been a naughty boy, in the hope of not having to sleep on the sofa.

Attaccabottoni (Italian) means “button attacker”. Someone who starts conversations and won’t let you get away.

Saudade (Portuguese) means “sadness”, but really refers to an intense nostalgia for the past or missing friends or anything really.

I’m sure these are all words we could use from time to time.

It’s rare to read a negative book review from the scientific community written with this kind of candour and certainty. Stephen Wolfram of course is the author of Mathematica and a pretty bright lad. Seems he went astray somewhere, or at least this reviewer thinks so.

The book is “A New Kind of Science”.

The reviewer calls it “A Rare Blend of Monster Raving Egomania and Utter Batshit Insanity.”

Worth a read, even if you have no interest in the book, science, Wolfram…

  • Flustrated
  • Misunderestimated
  • Heathengelical
  • Spontanimosity
  • Exorberant
  • Traumajesty
  • Overflowded
  • Ambiviolence
  • Craptcular
  • Fugly
  • Manscaping
  • Misconscrewed
  • Malamanteau

These are all malamanteaus. Anyone need that explained? Anyone know any others?

For those desperate enough:

Shine as a verb means self-luminous. Emitting its own light (or metaphorically so).

  • The sun shines brightly.
  • The winner’s face shone radiantly.

Shine as a noun or adjective means reflective. Reflecting light that falls on it.

  • Put a shine on those boots, lad!
  • The material we have is too shiny.

There appears to be no noun or adjectival form with the sense of light emission. It’s meaningless to say the sun is shiny or has a shine to it.

The verb form can include reflection if suitably qualified or the kind of light is uncertain.

  • The polished metalwork was shining in the sun.
  • The jewellery shone under the lights.
  • The moon shines brightly (reflected light, but not “shiny” and looks like emitted.)


Words that can have virtually opposite meanings depending on context.

As an example, the original/base meaning of to moot is to discuss or debate, as in moot court. Thus a moot point would be something to be discussed or debated, with arguments for and against, yet to be agreed.

As a contranym, a moot point is one that is worthless, uninteresting, of no practical value, indeed not even worthy of debate, best ignored.

Here are a few more.

  • Certain: a certain person vs for certain.
  • Left: those who are left vs those who have left.
  • Original: the original spelling of a word vs a highly original spelling of a word
  • Out: the lights are out vs the stars are out
  • Below par can mean good or bad depending entirely on whether you’re talking about golf or not.

There are heaps of them.