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Words for Women

Friday, April 26, 2013

My daily "Futility Closet" email had the coolest thing, a while back: it's a discussion of the works of a woman named Suzette Helgin, who was a PhD in linguistics. She wrote a science fiction novel, with an invented language which was female-centric. If you want to read the full article, click here (that link also has a link to her full dictionary):

Here are some of the more interesting words, many of which really spoke to me. Pretty cool all in all, and I hope you enjoy it, too!

• radiídin: a non-holiday, a holiday more work that it’s worth, a time allegedly a holiday but actually so much a burden because of work and preparations that it is a dreaded occasion; especially when there are too many guests and none of them help (Sounds like every family holiday EVER!)

• ramimelh: to refrain from asking, with evil intent; especially when it is clear that someone badly wants the other to ask (not necessarily just female-based, but I certainly have to admit that I have done this on occasion... not due to "evil intent," but just because I knew that following up would lead to more drama, since it always did, and I was worn out from the constant drama)

• ab: love for one liked but not respected (I have seen a couple of other blog entries which seem to be able to relate to this in particular; my mother, when I mentioned this one, said that it's close to the sort of love a lot of parents might temporarily experience for adult children who are making what their parents feel to be mistakes with their lives)

• doóledosh: pain or loss which comes as a relief by virtue of ending the anticipation of its coming (I think this is so universal, that I am surprised we don't already have a word for it)

I encourage you to check out that link, because it has a word -- doroledim -- which provides an interesting analysis of the relationship between some women and food, and for reasons to which many of us can probably relate. A partial quote from the analysis:

"She rarely has adequate sleep or rest; she has no time for herself, no space of her own, little or no money to buy things for herself, no opportunity to consider her own emotional needs. She is at the beck and call of others, because she has these responsibilities and obligations and does not choose to (or cannot) abandon them. For such a woman, the one and only thing she is likely to have a little control over for indulging her own self is FOOD."


As an added omniglot bonus, and also not necessarily female-centric, here's an intriguing word that is not made up, from

Saudade is a Portuguese word with no equivalent in English. It describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves. It often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing might never return. Saudade was once described as “the love that remains” after someone or something is gone.

Interestingly, Brazil celebrates a day of Saudade every January 30th. Why they have a national day dedicated to this feeling of wistful longing would probably be an interesting story to research.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I find the idea of saudade interesting. The longing left from the departure of some loved ones is then treated with validation - allowed expression. We in our society often suppress this and don't nurture it.

    You've a philosophical bent, you know? emoticon
    1850 days ago
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