American English is a difficult language to learn, primarily because we “borrow” many of our words from various languages around the world (when we aren’t satisfied by simply creating words to fit a situation).
I learned two new words today that have no equivalent in English, yet I believe they are necessary, nay, ESSENTIAL in America – particularly during our annual nod to obesity from overeating (Thanksgiving… if you are having difficulty guessing):
Shemomedjamo (Georgian) – def: To keep eating after you’re full just because the food tastes good. The literal translation is “I accidentally ate the whole thing.” use: “I went full shemomedjamo at the church potluck.” Since it has no English equivalent, feel free to try it out as any of the parts of speech until it feels comfortable.
Kummerspeck (German) – def: Extra weight caused by emotional overeating. It literally translates as “grief bacon.” use: “I put on the freshman kummerspeck.” This is useful because it sounds more like a sweater, floppy hat, or bookbag than an extra 15 pounds of non-flattering cellulite.
Please join me on my quest to add to the complexity, confoundedness, and je ne sais quoi that is American English. We need to practice these new words and work together to insert them into everyday, common American English.
I haven’t posted in months, but I was inspired by my teenage son yesterday at lunch when I brought home some Chinese food and asked him if he would care for it. As he was dishing out a full plate, his mom said he had already eaten lunch and he replied, “I only had a couple of burgers – but no chips or anything else.”
I realize that American gluttony can’t likely be overly exaggerated, yet, painfully, this was on my mind yesterday. It’s not really designed to be a commentary on American gluttony (although…), but to have a bit of fun at the expense of our language.
Just so you know how my mind works: I actually ran across Shemomedjamo on Stumbleupon at about the same moment that my son commented on his two burger pre-lunch. I thought, “how apropos for our crazy language.” I’d never heard the word, but it worked for the situation, particularly since glutton sounded overly harsh. I noted that there was no English equivalent and wondered what else I was missing. Well, one thing led to another and I found lists of words with no English equivalent, decided to fill up some space and time in your life that you will never, ever get back, and voilà!
Thank you for your time, now move along and go about the rest of your day. Shemomedjamo!