Missing Words Round

English is missing a few words.

A lot of them are to do with family relationships. Your brothers and sisters are your siblings, but your nephews and nieces are your…um. We don’t have a word for that.

I’m still friendly with my eldest brother’s ex-wife. I sometimes describe her as my ex-sister-in-law, but people tend to assume I must be referring to an ex-wife’s sister, when the two things are very, very different.

There are a lot of things we don’t have words for.

I did a bit of a google hunt and came up with some more.

In Brazil the word “Cafune” means “the act of running your fingers through your loved one’s hair”.

We don’t have a word for that.

In the Tsonga language the word “Rhwe” is the act of falling asleep on the floor drunk and naked. Most people I know would really benefit from having an English equivalent. Really.

Most languages have a word for the day after tomorrow. In German it is “Ubermorgen”. In English there is a word but it has fallen out of use. Overmorrow. I’ll see you overmorrow.

In the film “Sideways” there was a joke that the protagonist had written a memoir called “The Day After Yesterday”. The girl he was trying to impress, said “err…Today. You mean today, right?”.

Sometimes we just forget the words we had.


Today I just don’t have the words.



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