It started with a fellow tweetster asking what 'injibhabha' in English means, he assumed 'flying dog', which, for a Xhosa speaker is hilarious enough, but I can see where he went wrong. 'Inja' means dog. 'Bhabha' means to fly. However, sometimes language is tricky like that; the two words together mean something completely different and unrelated. In this case – Injibhabha means a receding hairline.
Then upon checking 'word of the day' on Dictionary.com, came across this very apt quote:
• . . .the tension inherent in human language when it attempts to relate the ineffable, see the invisible, understand the incomprehensible.
— A History of Heaven, Jeffrey Burton Russell
I then asked my twitter and facebook friends to tell me their favourite words in any language and here are some of the results:
@Ma_V: 'Maktub'- an alchemist term (arabic word) which literally means it is written. From mystical point of view, it points to the fact that whatever happens is already known to the One. It signifies that Destiny exists. It points finger to the fact that everything is already known to God.
@Maxmofo: Beskikbaar its Afrikaans for available(I think)…just like how it sounds..”Ek is nie nou beskikbaar nie”
@AkanyangM 'Kota'. Its meaning would be lost in explanation & defination, trust me
@VinylAngel: my favourite word since std 5, borborigmy (bor-boh-rig-mee) the sound your stomach makes when you're hungry…
@ClaireMawisa (via facebook) 'Qaqamba'. isiXhosa. it means “to shine” or “to hurt”
Vuyisa Ngcukana (via facebook) 'Gambate' it's Japanese, means “keep pushing-never give up
Lebogang Luvuno (via facebook) 'Serendipity', means making happy discoveries by accident. I'd like a life filled with happy discoveries 🙂
@ThatLloyd: “Whakind” – it's a slang greeting, it's not in any dictionary, but it's my favourite word, because it let's me know my roots.
@Esoterik 'Esoteric' – understood by or meant for a select few. Someone used it to describe me a while back, it mos def explains who I am.
Off to enjoy a blessed Saturday…