“I know I’m a little different from everyone else, but I’m still a human being. That’s what I’d like you to realize. I’m just a regular person, not some monster. I feel the same things everyone else does, act the same way. Sometimes, though, that small difference feels like an abyss. But I guess there’s not much I can do about it.”—Kafka on the Shore; Haruki Murakami
“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.”—Kurt Vonnegut (via bluebathsalts)
“A pissant is somebody who thinks he’s so damn smart he never can keep his mouth shut. no matter what anybody says, he’s got to argue with it. You say you like something, and, by God, he’ll tell you why you’re wrong to like it. A pissant does his best to make you feel like a boob all the time. No matter what you say, he knows better.”—Kurt Vonnegut, Cat’s Cradle (via ransombookquotes)
1. Seigneur-terraces (French) Coffee shop dwellers who sit at tables a long time but spend little money.
2. Ya’arburnee (Arabic) This word is the hopeful declaration that you will die before someone you love deeply, because you cannot stand to live without them. Literally, may you bury me.
3. Schlimazel (Yiddish) Someone prone to bad luck. Yiddish distinguishes between the schlemiel and schlimazel, whose fates would probably be grouped under those of the klutz in other languages. The schlemiel is the traditional maladroit, who spills his coffee; the schlimazel is the one on whom it’s spilled.
4. Packesel (German) The packesel is the person who’s stuck carrying everyone else’s bags on a trip. Literally, a burro.
5. L’esprit de l’escalier (French) Literally, stairwell wit—a too-late retort thought of only after departure.
6. Hygge (Danish) Denmark’s mantra, hygge is the pleasant, genial, and intimate feeling associated with sitting around a fire in the winter with close friends.
7. Spesenritter (German) Literally, an expense knight. You’ve probably dined with a spesenritter before, the type who shows off by paying the bill on the company’s expense account.
8. Cavoli Riscaldati (Italian) The result of attempting to revive an unworkable relationship. Literally, reheated cabbage.
9. Bilita Mpash (Bantu) An amazing, pleasant dream. Not just a “good” dream; the opposite of a nightmare.
10. Litost (Czech) Milan Kundera described the emotion as “a state of torment created by the sudden sight of one’s own misery.”
11. Murr-ma (Waigman, language of Australia) To walk alongside the water while searching for something with your feet.