Shortcuts is my new blog (and by the way isn’t there another, better new name than blog, which is so 2005?) The idea….

The Finnish, Japanese and German excel in le mot juste, which is funny because the French rarely have le mot juste. They go on and on to describe one thing. They are so long-winded!

The Japanese nail it for thinking something that is seemingly ineffable is worth naming:

  • Arigata-meiwaku: “When someone does you a favor you didn’t want them to do but they went ahead and did it anyway and, as a result, caused you a huge inconvenience but social convention requires you to thank them anyway.”

  • Kuchi zamishi:  When you’re not hungry but you eat because your mouth is “lonely”.

  • Happou bijin: The act of being ungenuinely nice to everyone out of fear of being disliked.

In Finnish, Olla koira haudattuna means when you sense there is something odd or suspicious going on behind the scenes that you don’t understand but know if happening (or if you sense something odd is going on you can say, “luulen, että tässä on koira haudattuna”. that literally is translated into, “I think there is a dog buried in here.” Also a good one, although not exactly expressing the ineffable: hyppytyynytyydytys, meaning "bouncy cushion satisfaction.”

Because the right word doesn’t always exist in English, I will be making them up or asking an expert to help me. I will be looking for words that describe some of the following:

  • Having to pee but not wanting to get out of bed.

  • The secrets we hold from everyone.

  • When you crave kale but not chocolate.

  • Falling in love and when you wake up from your objession you see the object of your affection clearly and are horrified that you were so insane.

  • Waking up to life, to yourself.

  • The soul-crushing loss of self at age 13.

  • The you who is the real you when no one is watching.

  • Feeling sexier and better “in your skin” after menopause.

  • Feeling guilty for something that’s not your fault.