Incunabulum

incunabulum |ˌɪnkjəˈnæbjələm|noun • English an early printed book, especially one printed before 1501. Books! Many people argue that they're the perfect medium, as evidenced by the fact that the way we make them hasn't really changed since the middle ages (though inventions such as the printing press and the computer have certainly made the process …

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Ćutati

ћyтати |ćutati|verb • Serbo-Croatian to not speak, to be silent. Sometimes it seems like the world can't stop talking. In English, we have so many words to describe the ways people speak that we're often taught in school to avoid the word "said" at all costs, in favor of the dozens of more colorful speech …

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Toska

тоска |toska| noun • Russian sadness, melancholia, lugubriousness. No single word in English renders all the shades of toska. At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to …

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Juoksentelisinkohan

juoksentelisinkohan |ˈjoʊksenˌteliːsiːŋkoʊhɑːn| expression • Finnish "I wonder if I should run around aimlessly?" Compound words are fun. German is best known for doing this — stringing words and word parts, known as lexemes, together to create a single monstrosity of a word for something that usually doesn't need a dedicated word to begin with — but …

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Antejentacular

antejentacular |ˌæntəʤenˈtækjulər| adjective • English occurring before breakfast. When I came across this word I immediately thought of the White Queen's famous quote in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass: "Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." I'm sure many of us aspire to that level of productivity. Getting anything meaningful …

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Hiraeth

hiraeth |ˈhɪːraɪθ| noun • Welsh a homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was; an intense yearning to be somewhere you are not; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past. "Where are you from?" doesn't seem like a complicated question, but I …

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Decemnovenarian

decemnovenarian |dɪːˌsemnoʊvənˈerɪːən| noun • English a person of the 19th century. Confession time: I'm a bit of a sucker for 19th-century stuff. I'm especially fond of Victorian and Victorian Gothic things in particular. It was an interesting period of time, steeped in its own brand of melodrama characterized by elegant fashion, not-so-elegant living conditions, and …

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