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

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Penguin, Feb 27, 2007 - Foreign Language Study - 224 pages
2 Reviews
Did you know that in Hungary, pigs go rof-rof-rof, but in Japan they go boo boo boo? That there’s apparently the need in Bolivia for a word that means "I was rather too drunk last night but it was all their fault"? Adam Jacot de Boinod's book on extraordinary words from around the world will give you the definitions and phrases you need to make friends in every culture. A true writer's resource and the perfect gift for linguists, librarians, logophiles, and international jet-setters.

While there’s no guarantee you’ll never pana po’o again (Hawaiian for "scratch your head in order to help you remember something you’ve forgotten"), or mingmu (Chinese  for "die without regret"), at least you’ll know what tingo means, and that’s a start.
“A book no well-stocked bookshelf, cistern top or handbag should be without. At last we know those Eskimo words for snow and how the Dutch render the sound of Rice Krispies. Adam Jacot de Boinod has produced an absolutely delicious little book: It goes Pif! Paf! Pouf! Cric! Crac! Croc! and Knisper! Knasper! Knusper! on every page.”—Stephen Fry

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - juglicerr - LibraryThing

This is a book for word lovers. It is a collection of words, not in English, that convey concepts that are unfamiliar, or simply not so succinctly put. My personal favorite is scheissbedaurn, the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - NielsenGW - LibraryThing

Boinod’s culling from over 250 languages can get a bit tiring if one tries to read in a single sitting. The sheer insane spectrum of meanings and shades of meanings and nuances of meanings is mind ... Read full review


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About the author (2007)

Adam Jacot de Boinod is the author of The Meaning of Tingo and Toujours Tingo. His interest in foreign languages was first piqued when doing research for the TV program QI, hosted by Stephen Fry, and subsequently developed into a full-blown obsession.

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