More wordplay

I had a Swiss friend over for coffee yesterday and I was hoping she would show off her language skills by adding some German/French/Italian words to my terms-we-don’t-have-in-English list.

She went for Japanese, instead:


It means “suicide by overwork.” In her words: “Japanese is probably the only language that has a special expression for that kind of death. I can’t imagine such a word existing in French or Italian for example.”

She also pointed out that having a word for a stack of unread books on your end table does add undue pressure to bedtime reading.

But, before we all conclude that Japan is irredeemably intense, let me add one more word to the list:


Thanks to CBC’s Ideas for this one. Literally translated, it means “forest bathing.” Basically, the idea of walking in the trees to reduce stress.

Something we could all do more often, in any language.

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