The Meaning of Tingo: and Other Extraordinary Words from Around the World

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Penguin UK, Oct 5, 2006 - Humor - 224 pages
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Did you know that people in Indonesia have a word that means 'to take off your clothes in order to dance'? Or how many words the Albanians have for eyebrows and moustaches? Or that the Dutch word for skimming stones is plimpplamppletteren? Drawing on the collective wisdom of over 154 languages, this intriguing book is arranged by theme so you can compare attitudes all over the world to such subjects as food, the human body and the battle of the sexes. Here you can find not only those words for which there is no direct counterpart in English (such as the Japanese age-otori which means looking less attractive after a haircut), but also a frank discussion of exactly how many 'Eskimo' terms there are for snow, and a vast array of information exploring the wonderful and often downright strange world of words. Oh, and tingo means 'to take all the objects one desires from the house of a friend, one at a time, by asking to borrow them'.
 

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Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgements
Meeting and Greeting
False friends
Snobs and chauffeurs
From Top to Toe
False friends
Go whistle
False friends
Doormat dandy
Below Par
False friends
Vowelless
From Cradle to Grave
False friends
The long of it

Movers and Shakers
False friends
Back as forth
Getting Around
False friends
Separatist
It Takes All Sorts
False friends
Survival instincts
Falling in Love
False friends
Thumbs up
The Family Circle
False friends
Him blong Missy Kween
Clocking On
False friends
Executive essentials
Time Off
False friends
Married in a brothel
Eating and Drinking
Otherworldly
False friends
The short of it
All Creatures Great and Small
False friends
Spellcheck nightmare
Whatever the Weather
False friends
My underground oven
Hearing Things
False friends
Top ten
Seeing Things
False friends
Polyglossary
Number Crunching
False friends
Process of elimination
Whats in a Name?
False friends
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Adam Jacot's interest in foreign languages was first piqued when doing research for the TV programme QI, hosted by Stephen Fry, and subsequently developed into a full-blown obsession. While compiling this book, he read approximately 220 dictionaries, 150 websites and numerous other books on language.

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