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Nearly any page you open to in The Meaning of Tingo pays hilarious tribute to the inventive genius of the world's peoples. Like Eat, Shoots & Leaves and Schott's Miscellany, with which it shares a quirky British charm and a gift-friendly look and size, The Meaning of Tingo is a UK bestseller that by all rights should become equally popular in the States. --Tom Nissley
The Man Who Swallowed 200 Dictionaries
There is no word (that we know of) to describe someone who spends a year and half of their life poring through a library's worth of dictionaries in hundreds of languages, but that's exactly what Adam Jacot de Boinod did after a chance encounter with a heavy Albanian dictionary. Listen to our interview with the author to hear just how he got started on this strange but fruitful journey, and what he hopes might be the usefulness of his light-hearted book in making us aware of the cultural riches in danger of being lost as the world's living languages become extinct nearly as quickly as its species.
The Meaning of Tingo Language Learning Lab
Adam Jacot de Boinod has chosen a handful of his own favorite words from The Meaning of Tingo Click here to hear him pronounce and define the words, and start slipping them into conversation today!
|nakhur, Persian||a camel that won't give milk until her nostrils are tickled|
|areodjarekput, Inuit||to exchange wives for a few days only|
|marilopotes, ancient Greek||a gulper of coaldust|
|ilunga, Tshiluba, Congo||someone who is ready to forgive any abuse for the first time, to tolerate it a second time, but never a third time|
|cigerci, Turkish||a seller of liver and lungs|
|seigneur-terrasse, French||a person who spends much time but little money in a cafe (literally: a terrace lord)|
|Torschlusspanik, German||the fear of diminishing opportunities as one gets older (literally: gate-closing panic; often applied to women worried about being too old to have children.)|
|pana po'o, Hawaiian||to scratch your head in order to remember something|
|waterponie, Afrikaans||jet ski|