Brenda Coulter Lends Me A Theme

She found it in an article.

The word of the week. Heads up, Doug--this one's for both of us:
Torschlusspanik, a word [not phrase, Independent online.] meaning "the fear of diminishing opportunities as one gets older".

other good ones from the book:
GRILAGEM Brazilian Portuguese
The practice of putting a live cricket into a box of newly faked documents, until the insect's excrement makes the paper look convincingly old.

Someone who spends time, but not money, at a café. (Would a woman be a Chatelaine-terrasse?)

LATAH Indonesian
Uncontrollable habit of saying embarrassing things.

DESUS Indonesia
The quiet, smooth sound of somebody farting but not very loudly.

The suppressed giggling and tittering of a group of women.


  1. Literally translated, "Torschlusspanik" means "panic of closing doors" by the way. It's most frequently used in the context of single women in their 30s and 40s suddenly getting desperate for husbands and/or babies. And the English language is really better off without an equivalent IMO.

  2. Oh, another German around here. :)


  3. hey! guten abend! Wie gehts? (I used to speak high school German.)

  4. Is there a word for "the puckering of my sphincter at the sight of my crashed blog"? I needed that one tonight.

    It was a bit higher pitched than desus, I think.

  5. Lol Kate, nicht so gut, ich hab' 'nen Schnupfen. :)

    Though in higschool German, you'd probably say: ich habe eine Erkältung.

    Happy Birthday, btw.

  6. Eh, the article gave an inaccurate definition on at least one word: Rejam isn't a Malay word for execution by pressing one's face against mud; according to the Malay-English dictionary I found, it means stoning someone to death.

    Personally, I seem to recall it to mean spearing somebody to death, but it's been over 10 years since I've had to read, speak and think in Malay. I'd take Dr. Bhanot's word over mine.

    Either way: Rejam = Nasty way to die.

    Desus in Malay means a soft, sibilant, shushing kind of a sound, kind of like the sound made by a pile of dried leaves being disturbed by the wind. Indonesian and Malay are two closely related languages; I have never studied Indonesian in my life, and I can read and interpret most Indonesian websites with no problem.

    According to the Indonesian Electronic Dictionary, desus means "the sound of light whispering." Although I guess it could be used as slang for discreet farts....

  7. My favorite is latah. I was definitely inflicted with latah in high school. In fact, I still have episodes of latah, and I think it's genetic because it's been passed down to my children. Sigh.


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