Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Words and Cultures

They say that the more a society cares about something; the more words it will have for that thing. Thus the Eskimos have 50 different words for snow – which my Googling shows may in fact be true.

And what does English have a lot of words for? According to the BBC, slang English has 3,000 words for being drunk.

The only things for which we have more slang terms are sex and money.

5 comments:

G. Verloren said...

Sounds about right.

David said...

And then there is the extremely large and subtly-varying Yiddish vocabulary for inadequate or obnoxious male . . .

G. Verloren said...

@David

I think the Ashkenazi, more than anyone else, had reason to find fault with the average western male. Not everyone can be a mensch, but that's doubly so if you don't have adequate language to describe or explain in what ways they're failing to live up to potential.

pootrsox said...

Ah... Yiddish... I think I shall describe our current President from now on as the little putzeleh....

G. Verloren said...

Yiddish is definitely the most satisfying way I can think of to insult people in general, and the putzeleh in particular.

"If his word were a stick, you couldn't lean on it."
"He looks with his eyes, listens with his ears, and understands like a wall."
"If he were twice as smart, he'd be an idiot."
"On all his talk you could build a church."
"He doesn't deserve to have the sun shine on him."