Food & Drink

The Germans have a word for emotional overeating and the English translation is perfect

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Emily Reynolds
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food across world

The best bit about going on holiday, hands down, is the food. Yeah, there’s “immersing yourself in history” and “broadening your horizons” and “pushing yourself to learn other languages, enabling you to communicate more deeply with people across the world” and “experiencing the richness of other cultures, therefore learning more about yourself and your place in the world around you”. But also: the food. 

And while you’ve probably learned how to order “two beers please” or “plate of chips” in the local lingo, it turns out that other languages contain a multitude of anachronistic, untranslatable words, all related to food - all rounded up by Expedia

The most famous of these is probably the most entertaining – the German word for ‘emotional eating’. Well known for their inventive use of language, the Germans have knocked it out of the park with this one: ’kummerspeck’. Roughly translated to “the weight gained after a heartbreak”, kummerspeck literally translates to ‘grief bacon’, potentially the most evocative description of a post-ghosting weight gain ever. 

food across world 1

Some kummerspeck in action

And other languages have similar words. In Spain, there’s ’sombremsa’, which means lingering at the table “long after the meal has finished”; Norwegian has ’utepils’ (enjoying a beer outside in the sunshine); Georgia has ’shemomechana’, or “I accidentally ate the whole thing”, which, same. 

Meanwhile, in Denmark, ’natmad’ refers to ‘night food’, the “tradition in Denmark where food is served at the end of the party”… or food that you bring out when you want people to leave, which sounds pretty handy to us. In South India, ’engili’, or ‘defiled food’, refers to something that someone has already started biting into. 

Possibly less useful: ’madárlátta’, the Hungarian word for food you take on a picnic but don’t eat, which basically translates to ‘bird seen’. 

Best one, though: ’kalsarikannit’, a Finnish word for ‘drinking alone at home in your underwear’. Language truly proving that it transcends all geographical barriers. 

(Image: iStock)

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Emily Reynolds

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