A Lackadaisical Lexicon for Laggard Logophiles
MAMIHLAPINATAPAI
[noun]
(sometimes spelled mamihlapinatapei) derived from the Yaghan language of Tierra del Fuego, listed in The Guinness Book of World Records as the “most succinct word”, and is considered one of the hardest words to translate. It refers to “a look shared by two people, each wishing that the other will offer something that they both desire but are unwilling to suggest or offer themselves.” A slightly different interpretation of the meaning also exists: “It is that look across the table when two people are sharing an unspoken but private moment. When each knows the other understands and is in agreement with what is being expressed. An expressive and meaningful silence.”
[Séverine Pineaux]

MAMIHLAPINATAPAI

[noun]

(sometimes spelled mamihlapinatapei) derived from the Yaghan language of Tierra del Fuego, listed in The Guinness Book of World Records as the “most succinct word”, and is considered one of the hardest words to translate. It refers to “a look shared by two people, each wishing that the other will offer something that they both desire but are unwilling to suggest or offer themselves.” A slightly different interpretation of the meaning also exists: “It is that look across the table when two people are sharing an unspoken but private moment. When each knows the other understands and is in agreement with what is being expressed. An expressive and meaningful silence.”

[Séverine Pineaux]

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