What words have you discovered in foreign languages that you find cool, useful, interesting, funny, etc?

Yuppienalle (Swedish) “Yuppie Teddy” = cell phone.  The imagery makes me laugh.  A variant I use in Mandarin 口袋腦 “ko die now” translates to pocket brain.

Desenrascanço (Portuguese) “disentangle” = figure out a way to do something with what’s on hand regardless of how impossible it may be.  This kind of mindset has helped me countless times since living abroad.


Eselbrücke (Donkey Bridge) = mnemonic.
Donkeys in German aren’t dumb, rather they’re just a little slow and could use a helping hand every now and then.

Doch  Used as a way to insert a counterpoint, call BS on something and an acceptable answer to almost any question in German.

Studentenfuttern (Student feed) = trail mix/nut mix.
The image of students being fed like an animal at a park is comical.


東西南北 “dong she nan bay” = Cootie Catcher  The word translates to the four directions, east, west, south, north.

火山 “hwo shan” = Volcano.   Fire + Mountain = Volcano, Mandarin simplicity at its finest.

What are your favorite foreign words?