Ever wondered about words that just don’t exist in the English language?

Every language has them: an expression that describes minute aspects of life that are impossible to summarise succinctly or with a single word in English.

Aside from swearing and slang, there are many really useful phrases that English could do with some borrowing from. Luckily, website Cracked.com is on hand with a handful of choice suggestions, under the title of “9 Foreign Words the English Language Desperately Needs”.

Got a bad case of the blues? Reaching for another forkful to fill the emptiness inside? Gained a few extra pounds as a result of your emotional overeating? Wondering how to surmise your resultant ballooning figure? Try your hand at some German then: kummerspeck.

Given these technological times, the Japanese are on hand with hikikomori. What does it mean? Simply a teenager or 20-something who has withdrawn from social life, often obsessed with TV and video games.

Wondering about those slippery politicians, who cannot give an answer that’s related to the question? Well, best dabble in some Tibetan where they have the perfect expression to describe such behaviour: Gadrii nombor shulen jongu. This is giving an answer that is unrelated to the question, meaning literally “to give a green answer to a blue question”.

Speaking of blue, how about those potty-mouthed mothers who scream at their kids in public, frequently using a language that can only be described as such as colour. That would be kaelling, of course, just ask the Danes.

And so, wondering what came in the number one position on the list? A clue: it’s in Finnish. Any ideas?

Well, have you ever wondered about those people who pick over every sentence, taking great pleasure in pointing out every obscure grammatical error you may have or have not just made? In Finnish they are known as pilkkunussija.

What’s that you say? Oh yes, a comma f**ker.

So, the next time someone corrects your less than perfectly composed email or post, or takes great pleasure in dusting off rigid grammatical rules that detract from your well-considered content, you now have something potent in your vocabulary to impress them with.

James O’Sullivan