1. Spookasem (Afrikaans)
It’s cotton candy, but it sounds so much cooler than cotton candy.
2. Eudaimonia (Greek)
It’s a hard word to translate: some have suggested “human flourishing,” as being accurate. Etymologically, it means “the state of having a good spirit.” It’s the state of contendedness that comes with being a good person.
3. Shuushi (Japanese)
A word meaning “autumnal melancholy.”
4. Hanyauku (Rukwangali)
Rukwangali, the Bantu language centered primarily in Namibia, has this word for “tiptoeing across hot sand.”
5. Mellifluous (English)
The smooth, flowy “mellifluous” might have one of the most apt definitions of any English word: it means “a sound that is pleasing to hear.” Honorable mention to the similar words, “euphonic,” “symphonious,” and “sonorous.”
6. Nakakapagpabagabag (Tagalog)
It’s the perfect word. It cures what it defines: It translates to “something that bothers you,” but try saying it and feeling anything but delighted after.
7. Kæreste (Danish)
The Danish word for “dearest.”
8. Cryptoscopophilia (English)
The desire to look into the windows of homes as you walk past them.
9. Rimjhim (Hindi)
The gentle sound of rain tapping against a surface.
10. Komorebi (Japanese)
It’s a beautiful word, but it’s definition is even better: It is “light filtering through the trees.”
11. Fernweh (German)
The feeling of missing a place you’ve never been.
12. Ubuntu (Ngali)
A term of Bantu origin that, aside from sounding beautiful, represents a philosophy of human kindness. Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu defines it as, “I am because we are.” He says: “A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, based from a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed.”
13. Mångata (Swedish)
The reflection of the moon on the water.
14. Dauwtrappen (Dutch)
It literally translates as “dew treading,” and refers to the feeling of walking barefoot on dew-covered morning grass.
15. Acaronar (Catalan)
To gently pull someone closer.
16. Abendrot (German)
It directly translates to “evening red,” and refers to the colors of the sunset.
17. Torpe (Filipino)
To adore someone, but to be too shy to pursue them romantically.
18. Chuchoter (French)
French is a language made up almost exclusively of beautiful words (I particularly love “fromage,” which means “cheese,”) but “chuchoter,” the French word for “whisper” manages to be beautiful and onomatopoetic.
19. Goya (Urdu)
The suspension of disbelief that comes with a well-told story.
20. Sib ncaim (Hmong)
To part ways after a brief encounter, to never meet again.
21. Tu’burni (Arabic)
Literally, “bury me,” it refers to the desire to die before the person you love so you never have to live without them.
22. Tárvotur (Icelandic)
“Wet with tears.”
23. Mir (Russian)
A word that means two things: “World,” and “Peace.”