The Most Succinct Word

Mamihlapinatapai is a word from the Yaghan language of Tierra del Fuego [an archipelago off the southernmost tip of the South American mainland], listed in The Guinness Book of World Records as the “most succinct word”, and is considered one of the hardest words to translate. It describes “a look shared by two people with each wishing that the other will initiate something that both desire but which neither one wants to start.”

So now we have a word for that expression Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore had in the song Roop Tera Mastana (video)!

Here’s the Wikipedia link. [Hat Tip: Cheap Talk]


4 responses to “The Most Succinct Word

  1. The meaning of the word is so common a thing. I wonder why no other language has any for this!

    • Vishal

      May be this is one of those words that every civilization desired to have, but none wanted to invent it first wishing that others will do it! πŸ˜‰

  2. Jerry Hinkle

    I have known this word for @ 26 years,, i remember reading a GUINNESS book of world records while stationed in Germany that my wife had bought me for Christmas,, I always thought it was an interesting word that could be used in situations of trying to overcome adversity,, especially in a relationship,, I have always carried a small piece of paper, with the word and its meaning written down, tucked away in my wallet,, and at times take it out and refresh my mind with it ,, all these years later,, especially when buying a new wallet,, and transfering my stuff from the old wallet to the new one,,, still 26 years later ,, pretty cool huh?

    • It’s amazing how many old memories a wallet can evoke, especially while cleaning it up to make way for a new one. πŸ™‚

      And I like how this word is about the look shared by two people as opposed to the situation itself. Very precise!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 66 other followers

On Twitter


%d bloggers like this: