#4. Kaelling (Danish)
An ugly, miserable woman who yells obscenities at her kids.
If you claim to have never seen one of these, go to the laundromat. Or Walmart. Or maybe it's the woman who lives down the street and offers a Master's class in parenting to everyone in earshot. Their calls are unmistakable, from "Get your asses in this house" to "Clean up your fucking mess" and even "I'll beat the shit out of you in front of the whole goddamn neighborhood."
"Don't cry at me. You're such a child."
But where we rely on the long-winded "That-crazy-fucking-lady-down-the-street-who-someone-really-needs-to-call-CPS-on-but-no-one-will-because-she's-scary-and-besides-she-probably-set-our-house-on-fire" to describe them, the Danish invented a single word.
We do not know the kaelling's story. We are too afraid to make eye contact with her. Was the kaelling always like this? Did the father of the children know this before he made children with her? Is he now dead? Or, most frightening of all, did those kids make her that way?
Now we know that's not the way to beat an indistinct yellow offspring.
Given that at least one of these women live in every neighborhood in the United States -- regardless of how rich or poor that neighborhood is -- it's strange that we never came up with a name for it. Maybe it was because we were already calling her Mom.
#3. Neidbau (German)
A building (often of little or no value to the proprietor) constructed with the sole purpose of harassing or inconveniencing his neighbor in some way.
Remember when we told you about the crazy neighbor who built a 16-foot-high wall just to annoy the person living next to him? That's an example of a "Neidbau," a word that in German represents a very special and intense flavor of dickbaggery so potent it comes at the expense of the dickbag. It translates to "envy building," and, honestly, if a guy constructs an entire building just to say "Screw you," how can you not be flattered by that?
"Soooo ... saw your erection ... cool."
Apparently this happens so frequently that the Germans not only made a word for it, they actually had to create laws against it. After all, even among neighbors who can't sink a half million bucks into pissing off the guy next door who rehearses in his garage with a Creed cover band, they can still celebrate a much smaller, subtler form of Neidbau with smaller projects like fences. People do it all over suburbia -- neighbors will build "spite fences" just to rob the guy next door of his view of the sunset with a Brandenburg Gate of neighborly hate. Sometimes it's the simple pleasures in life that make it all worthwhile.
Which is why we're building one around Canada, because they refuse to take their 30 miles of Montana back.
#2. Pochemuchka (Russian)
A person who asks too many questions.
So, your class/work meeting/couples therapy session is dragging on and you are just barely containing a hangover that's making your internal organs try to crawl out of your mouth. Just when you think everybody has finally shut the hell up, it happens.
Son of a bitch.
Everything was all wrapped and couldn't have been clearer. But not for this guy. He wants times, dates, definitions, measurements. The endless stream of questions begins. And they are all staggeringly boring:
What font should that be in?
When will the old wooden doorstops be replaced by the regulation blue plastic doorstops?
Where do I find paper for the printer, if the printer is empty and the replacement printer paper has also run out?
"I have secretly pooped somewhere. Is it on the TV or in your handbag?"
That's when you realize that the guy is simply inventing irrelevant questions because he just likes the attention. You now truly know the meaning of despair, and the meaning of "pochemuchka."
Naturally, this word comes from a country in which asking too many questions will result in death. But maybe more surprisingly, it originates from the children's book Alyosha Pochemuchka, which is the story of a young boy who constantly asks "Why?" There are no copies of it online, so we can only assume it's a parable about a Russian child who started getting too nosy about government affairs and was quickly taken care of.
He wants to ask TWO questions! Shooooot!
#1. Pilkunnussija (Finnish)
A person who believes it is their destiny to stamp out all spelling and punctuation mistakes at the cost of popularity, self-esteem and mental well-being.
They're out there. They're reading this right now. Judging, smirking, analyzing. They care nothing about the actual meaning or fun of writing, but care everything about whether you used that semi-colon correctly. While we -- perhaps inappropriately -- call them Grammar Nazis, the Finns have a much more fitting name: "pilkunnussija."
Or literally, "comma fuckers."
Check out that tail.
Let that delicious imagery sink in for a second: Some stubborn, miserable person slowly removing his or her sweater vest while caressing the pendulous dip and point of a comma before slowly climbing on top of it and thrusting away in quiet desperation. These are people who have taken the most boring, pedantic aspect of language and adopted that as their cause. It's like a child on a basketball court dreaming of one day being a referee. And these people certainly exist. Take, for example, the Apostrophe Protection Society, who feel the need to protect this "much abused" punctuation mark from the grubby fingers of people like you.
The'yre pretty seriou's about it.
This is why we encourage you to leave such incomprehensible comments that these goddamn comma fuckers will be too busy to leave the house ever again.
Get an exclusive look at Cole's new book, Conquer Everything, by following him on Twitter @ColeGamble. Cathal Logue is a freelance writer from Derry, Northern Ireland. He stashes his blog here to keep it dry.
For more cool communications from other cultures, check out 7 Innocent Gestures That Can Get You Killed Overseas and The 10 Coolest Foreign Words The English Language Needs.
And stop by LinkSTORM for the universal term for boobs.
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