Additions to your Dictionary: Part 3

I’m going to continue with these foreign word series, as there are plenty more language gaps the English language has graced us with that I’d be more than happy to fill for you guys.


Let’s start with this Japanese word komorebi. As I have a tendency to do with these definitions, I’m going to put my best foot forward in trying to depict the most vivid scene I can to give you guys an accurate description of this word. Imagine yourself in a spacious thicket, forest, or jungle. All of the trunks are thick and their dense foliage extends all the way to the clouds. This green environment you are mentally visiting right now seems to have an endless plantation of these trees, yet you don’t feel claustrophobic in the slightest. You can plant your feet in between patches of sprouting dandelions and luscious greenery on the ground beneath your feet. Now, for the main event of you standing in this picturesque scenery: the clouds part and the glimmering rays of sunlight filter through the leaves of trees and illuminate the forest floor. This term specifically refers to the look of the sunlight from eye level and the look of the trees’ shadows on the ground. The stunningly rejuvenating image of this shimmering canopy of light can be simply expressed as komorebi.


Ok, this one is really simplistic, and there are a variety of circumstances where this noun can be expressed. Remember when you were eight years old and when you’re friend was going to come over to play “house”/mini-sticks/Barbies and it was possibly the most meaningful event of your entire week? You are so inexplicably anxious and excited because your mom told you that their mom was brining them over in a few hours, but since you have zero concept of time you peep out the front window every 6-8 minutes? Yes, you all know that mounting anticipation that I’m talking about. The Inuit’s understood this pretty well too as the word they used to describe this is iktsuarpok. Try and say that one 3 times fast… or if you can even do it once you can consider yourself more superior than me.


Friday night around 7 PM: “ You’re going out tonight Alessia? What time? Where are you going? Who are you going with? What time will you be home? Are you driving? Do you have a ride? Oh Jessica is taking you? What time is she picking you up? Does she want to stay for dinner? What does she like to eat? Is she coming from school? Where does she go again? What is she studying? Does she like it? What’s her professor’s name? What colour shirt is she going to wear? Is she going to park on the left or right side of the driveway?” The Russian term for a person who asks a lot of questions: pochemuchka. I guess this one isn’t really a language gap seeing we do have a word for this kind of person: mother.


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