15 Words with No English Equivalent

1. Zhaghzhagh (Persian) 
The chattering of teeth from the cold or from rage.

2. Yuputka (Ulwa)
A word made for walking in the woods at night, it’s the phantom sensation of something crawling on your skin.

3. Slampadato (Italian)
Addicted to the UV glow of tanning salons? This word describes you.

4. Luftmensch (Yiddish)
There are several Yiddish words to describe social misfits. This one is for an impractical dreamer with no business sense. Literally, air person.

5. Iktsuarpok (Inuit)
You know that feeling of anticipation when you’re waiting for someone to show up at your house and you keep going outside to see if they’re there yet? This is the word for it.

6. Cotisuelto (Caribbean Spanish) 
A word that would aptly describe the prevailing fashion trend among American men under 40, it means one who wears the shirt tail outside of his trousers.

7. Pana Po’o (Hawaiian) 
“Hmm, now where did I leave those keys?” he said, pana po’oing. It means to scratch your head in order to help you remember something you’ve forgotten.

8. Gumusservi (Turkish) 
Meteorologists can be poets in Turkey with words like this at their disposal. It means moonlight shining on water.

9. Vybafnout (Czech) 
A word tailor-made for annoying older brothers—it means to jump out and say boo.

10. Mencolek (Indonesian) 
You know that old trick where you tap someone lightly on the opposite shoulder from behind to fool them? The Indonesians have a word for it.

11. Faamiti (Samoan) 
To make a squeaking sound by sucking air past the lips in order to gain the attention of a dog or child.

12. Glas wen (Welsh) 
A smile that is insincere or mocking. Literally, a blue smile.

13. Bakku-shan (Japanese)
The experience of seeing a woman who appears pretty from behind but not from the front.

14. Boketto (Japanese) 
It’s nice to know that the Japanese think enough of the act of gazing vacantly into the distance without thinking to give it a name.

15. Kummerspeck (German)
Excess weight gained from emotional overeating. Literally, grief bacon.




3 Posts from My Friends

Robert Letham points out that it is rather ironic that it was a council (Vatican I, 1870) that declared the doctrine of papal infallibility. Given the historic tensions between councils and popes, it’s a little curious in itself. But as one commentator put it, “the Pope needed a council to pronounce infallibly that he never needed it!”

Given that the Trinity is incomprehensible, there are limits to our understanding, and I regularly have students ask how far they should go.  That has always struck me as an odd question.  Incomprehensibility is not a reason to stop exploring and meditating, but the opposite.

Because God is incomprehensible, He fascinates, and whatever fascinates draws us forward, draws us ever beyond the limits we thought were there.

Further Comment on the Cup

Matthew 20:22,23

But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but [it shall be given to them] for whom it is prepared of my Father.

Matthew 26:27

And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;

Luke 22:20

Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

Matthew 26:39,42

And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.

John 18:11

Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?

When Christ prays that “this cup” pass from his hands, presumably that’s the same cup that he offered to his disciples in the upper room.

Proverbs and Women in Power

With the choice of Sarah Palin as his vice-president McCain might not have won the election, but he has certainly won the ire of various family-centric groups across conservative Republicana. To appoint a woman to this position, according to these groups, flies in the face of the gender roles laid out in Scripture.


In reading the complaints against Palin there are three verses that get their time in the sun (for the sake of their argument we’ll assume that context doesn’t matter):

  •  Paul in Titus 2:5 admonishing the young women “to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.”
  • then I Timothy 5:14 in the same vein “Therefore I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully.”
  •  and to increase the din and tremor Isaiah 3:12 is hauled out, “As for My people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them.”

Far be it from me to argue against the Scriptures, I affirm the above, but I will with far less trepidation call out the Leave It To Beaver sentiments tangled up in biblical headship and the role of women.


Against Palin are the two words used in Titus and Timothy, oikourgos and oikodespoteo, that is House Worker/Keeper and House Ruler (despot). Right off we see that there’s nothing wrong with women being in power. She is the ruler of her house. But what about authority outside of the house?


Deborah has been used to defend Palin’s role, but opponents quickly dismiss that as unusual.  What about the Proverbs 31 woman? How does that inform this discussion? What was once a curious exclusion from this discussion now became an obvious exclusion if you want the Mrs. Cleaver woman.


Here’s a snapshot of a virtuous woman:

  1. She’s in the textiles industry v.13, 21,22,24
  2. She’s into globalization v.14
  3. She’s into real estate v.16
  4. She’s a vintner v.16
  5. She’s Rosie the Riveter v.17, 25
  6. She’s into Welfare services v.20
  7. She’s into Fashion v.22
  8. She’s a Counselor v.26

Allowing for the tongue in cheek description, we get out of this a nice picture of a civil servant. At least I think so; Make Wine not War is my new bumper-sticker idea.


The core problem seems to be to take the roles of women in the church and extrapolate that into the civic arena. This has to do with a low view of church and a high view of politics more than anything else.


What is mildly comedic in this discussion is the idea that to be in public office means you must abandon your family. Apparently it’s okay for men to abandon the family.

The Order of the Eucharist

Jim Jordan has an excellent post over at the Biblical Horizon’s blog about Ritual and Christianity (You’ll need to understand that “Christianity” is being used in the Leithartian “Against Christianity” sense).

One of the things he calls us to consider is:

If you have one cup, you have to drink as the cup is passed. Similarly, the bread was passed hand to hand and the disciples ate as soon as they broke off a piece. How many churches respect this? Precious few. A new ritual has been added of having everyone wait and then the pastor says something he’s made up and everyone eats and drinks together. Instead of each us of drinking and offering to die for the person next to us, we all drink in abstraction.

Interesting, but let’s look at the details given in the gospels on the Last Supper.

  • foot washing prior to the table (not part of the ritual per se, but there is every indication that it should be practiced: John 13:14 “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet”).
  • it is in the evening (in the Hebrew culture the day is reckoned from evening to evening so that this would be practiced at the beginning of the “day”).
  • it is practiced during a feast and therefore they are reclining around a table.
  • Jesus, taking and blessing the bread, broke it and gave it, saying “Take, eat; this is my body, which is given for you: do this in remembrance of me”.
  • Jesus, taking and giving thanks for the cup, gave it, saying “Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”.

There are several things which we do not follow, but chief among these is that, generally, we do not have one cup. This is done for practical reasons, but it does seem fair to ask: what is more important sitting or one cup? Jordan says:

The elements are passed hand to hand, though the minister begins the ritual and speaks the words. How many churches do this? Denying the priesthood of all believers, the ideologists insist that each person be served individually by the minister.

We may value the hand to hand, but not the one cup. Those who visit a rail value the one cup, but not the hand to hand distribution. How do we decide? Is it purely a practical question?

Also, many churches break a loaf, but then hand out little raw croutons. Is the physical breaking of the bread we eat important?

But as for the question of waiting until the elements are handed out and eating together, the gospels are ambiguous on the timing, but the order is breaking, giving, then saying (here is a side to side comparison of the gospels). One thing I noticed is Mark 13:24-25: “And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.” At least in this case they drank and then he spoke, but perhaps he said “This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you” before the cup and then after their drinking added “shed for many“. In looking over this I can see there are all kinds of questions we need to pursue.

But his conclusion is powerful:

Let us be clear: Jesus did not say “Understand this” but “Do this.” It is the doing that is important. The Christianity churches, however, substitute ideology for obedience. Many refuse communion to people who do not have the right ideology about the Supper.

Amen to that.