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 “It delights and surprises: can be browsed for fun or learned by heart to upstage and infuriate friends.  I’m looking for the chance to use “Davka!” But “Soutpiel” comes a close second. Look ‘em up!” – John Humphrys

The Greeks* Had a Word For It (*and the Russians, and the Japanese and the Dutch)


We need words, like fish need water – we live in them and they define our lives. They help us share ideas and emotions – often, they can even teach us how to feel.

And yet sometimes, we’re more like monkeys in a cage, scratching away to find exactly the right word as if we were chasing down a particularly bothersome flea. 

Well, here’s a book to help scratch that itch – a collection of words that other people use to describe things that English has apparently never got round to noticing. 

Is it a good book? That’s for others to say. But writing this has been as much fun as anything else I’ve done. For me, it’s been “Cocok”. 

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