Taken from a March issue of Reader's Digest.
1. Toska (Russian) Vladimir Nabokov described it best. "No single word in English renders all the shades of toska. At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spirtual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels, it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning. In particular causes, it may be the desire for somebody or something specific, nostalgia, lovesickness. At the lowest level it grades into ennui, boredom."
2. Mamihlapinatapei (Yahgan, one of several indigenous languages of Tierra del Fuego) the wordless yet meaningful look shared by two people who both desire to initiate something but are both reluctant to start.
3. Jayus (Indonesian) a joke so poorly told and so unfunny that one cannot help but laugh.
4. Iktsuarpok (Inuit) to go outside to check if anyone is coming.
5. Tartle (Scottish) the act of hesitating while introducing someone because you've forgotten his name.
6. Cafuné (Brazillian Portuguese) the act of tenderly running one's fingers through someone's hair.
7. Torschlusspanik (German) translates literally as "gate-closing panic," but its contextual meaning refers to the fear of diminishing opportunities as one ages.
8. Tingo (Pascuense, Easter Island) It is hoped that this isn't a word you'd need often: the act of taking objects one desire from the house of a friend by gradually borrowing all of them.
1. Questioning Faith...
My grandmother, who lived in Tucson, was well-known for her faith and lack of reticence in talking about it. She would go out on the front porch and say, "Praise the Lord!"
Her next door neighbor would shout back, "There ain't no Lord!"
During those days, my grandmother was very poor, so the neighbor decided to prove his point by buying a large bag of groceries and placing it at her door.
The next morning, Grandmother went to the porch and, seeing the groceries, said, "Praise the Lord!"
The neighbor stepped out from behind a tree and said, "I brought those groceries, and there ain't no Lord."
Grandmother replied, "Lord, you not only sent me food but you made the devil pay for it."
2. The things babies say...
"Close the curtains," requested our 2 year old granddaughter, sitting in a pool of bright light. "The sun's looking at me too hard."
My friend asked our grandson when he would turn 6. He replied, "When I'm tired of being 5."
Seeing her first hailstorm, Mary Sue, age 3, exclaimed, "Mommy, it's raining dumplings!"
As I frantically waved away a pesky fly with a white dishtowel, my granddaughter observed, "Maybe he thinks you're surrendering."
Announcing to daughter Lori that her aunt just had a baby and it looked like her uncle, she said, "You mean he has a mustache?"
When I asked our grandson if he could name the capital of Florida, he fired right back, "capital F!"
While shampooing our son, 4, I noted his hair was growing so fast he'd soon need it cut. He replied, "Maybe we shouldn't water it so much."
My daughter told her 5-year-old that their van was going to be fixed. Instantly, the small fry assumed, "Oh, it's going to the tire-o-practor?"
Impressed by her 5-year-old's vocabulary, my friend complimented the young scholar, who nonchalantly responded, " I have words in my head I haven't even used yet."
His mom informed her son, Brian, that she was going outside to get a little sun. "But Mommy, he gulped, "You already have a son -- me!"
When our son asked about two look-alike classmates at school, we told him they were probably twins. The next day, he came home from school all bubbly and said, "Guess what? They are not only twins, they're brothers!"
3. Wedding and Golf?
The bride came down the aisle and when she reached the altar, the groom was standing there with his golf bag and clubs at his side.
She said, "What are your golf clubs doing here?"
He looked her right in the eye and said, "This isn't going to take all day, is it?"
4. The Crater
As a jet was flying over Arizona on a clear day, the copilot was providing his passengers with a running commentary about landmarks over the PA system.
"Coming up on the right, you can see the Meteor Crater, which is a major tourist attraction in northern Arizona. It was formed when a lump of nickel and iron, roughly 150 feet in diameter and weighing 300,000 tons, struck the earth 50,000 years ago at about 40,000 miles an hour, scattering white-hot debris for miles in every direction. The hole measures nearly a mile across and is 570 feet deep."
The lady sitting next to me exclaimed: "Wow, look! It just missed the highway!"
Never forget 9/11.