Everyone knows that Inuit-speaking races can call on 30-odd words for snow. Adam Jacot de Boinod first became entranced by language when he discovered 27 words for "moustache" in an Albanian dictionary - and another 27 for "eyebrows". A world of bushy machismo and stolid dignity sprang to life before his eyes. He began hanging out in second-hand bookshops, looking for foreign dictionaries and the tiny revelations contained therein. He made lists of his favourite "words with no equivalent in the English language" - like, say, tsuji-giri, a Japanese word from samurai days meaning, "to try out a new sword on a passer-by" (thanks a bunch, Toshiro), or the stoic German term Torschlusspanik, meaning "the fear of diminishing opportunities as one gets older".
His book is destined to be the Eats, Shoots & Leaves of the autumn . . . .
Click on the link for a long list of fun words and expressions. I'm going to go lock my front door (just in case there are any samurai with new swords lingering in the neighborhood) and get back to work on my romance novel.