English’s Beautiful Specificity

I love that English has a specific word just for someone wearing glasses, bespectacled.  Saves us several words on a regular basis.  Someone else just suggested to me another one, “defenestrate”,  a word for throwing things out of windows.  That’s right, throwing things out of windows gets its own word in English.

What other highly specific words make English great?  What other highly specific words do other languages have that we should add to make English’s collection more complete?

Your Words?

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • Aaran Boyd

    I’m quite fond of the word expectorate which means to spit.

  • Mary Young

    I’m not sure if I can think of a specific word, but last semester my Latin teacher was Austrian. We would go over certain words like “pauper” and she would say, “what is it in English” and we would all respond “pauper.” And one day she commented, “I have to get used to this language that has a word for everything.” It made me proud lol.

  • http://www.freethinker.me.uk/ Anna Johnstone

    I like susurruss. The word to describe a rustling sound.

  • mikespeir

    English has a word for just about anything. That’s because it’s a mongrel language. Whenever we need a word that another language owns, we steal it. ;-)


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