Favorite Non-English Words

Having lived in a few different countries and picked up some of their languages, there are some words that I love so much I use them in my daily language because English doesn’t have the concept or the translation doesn’t do it justice. Here is the list of my favorite non-English words that sometimes make a cameo in my daily language.

  • Chismoso/a

Spanish. It means someone gossips a lot but like a lot, not the greatest connotation.

  • Schweinehund

German. Literally, pig dog. But it is the lazy part of you that indulges in that laziness. The story goes that the more you give in to these desires (schweinehund), the bigger it gets because you are essentially feeding him and thus it becomes harder and harder to fight him off the more you give in.

  • Frechdachs

German. Literally sassy badge. Actually a rascal. There’s just something great about calling a person a sassy badger.

  • Habibi

Arabic. My love. This one is pretty universal, but its use varies by country. For example, Lebanon you basically refer to everyone as habibi, but in Egypt, you only call your habibi, habibi.

  • Wallahi

Egyptian. I swear to god. Use wallahi the same way you use “I swear to god,” it’s just shorter and flows better and thus the efficiency makes it all around a better word.

  • Aha hara nik.

Egyptian. It’s so fucking hot. This one is chalk full of slang and would probably make a lot of people blush but it’s shorter and easier to say and strongly conveys your point so just watch your audience.

  • Khalas

Arabic. To stop/ Stop it/ that’s all/ enough/ done. It is just a great imperative verb form with so many uses, what more could you want?

What are some of the words or phrases you’ve picked up in your travels?

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