Let the Malmaroking Roll!

Malmaroking? - Only if the ship is ice-bound.
          One of my favourite words is malmaroking.  I learned it decades ago, and loved it for its exactness.  I shall probably never be able to use it, since it means ‘the carousing of sailors in ice-bound ships.’
          Not the kind of carousing you find outside nightclubs at a weekend, you note.  This carousing is done exclusively by sailors – and even if the nightclubs were crammed with drunken sailors, still no malmaroking would be done, because they’d be on land.  And merely having a ship load of drunken sailors isn’t enough either, because it has to be an ice-bound ship.  Only then would all the criteria be met, and you could honestly say that malmaroking ensued.
          ‘Malmaroking’ was originally Dutch, I believe – and I recently came across as article in the Metro, which, quoting the website So Bad, So Good, listed several foreign words without exact English translations, but with very useful meanings.  English has, in the past, been more than hospitable to foreign words, and here are a few more it might be worth taking in…
From www.synthstuff.com via wikipedia
          However, one such word recently adopted, and which I enjoy, is the German ‘schadenfreude’.  It beautifully encapsulates a certain mean but satisfying pleasure (see cartoon, left).  (‘Schaden’ – harm, and ‘freude’ – joy.)  Its very sound seems to shape itself round the shades of meaning: the sneakiness, the hint of guilty discomfort, and yet the glee.  I congratulated my German friend Ulrike on having such an excellent word in her language - and found she’d never heard of it. 
          This makes me a little dubious about these ‘foreign’ words.  Have the people whose language they are supposed to come from ever actually heard of them or used them?
          Perhaps this blog reaches such far-flung shores that someone will let us know…
          One that I, and many other women, could use regularly is age-otori.  It means, ‘to look worse after a haircut than you did before’ and is supposed to be Japanese.  Do the Japanese suffer even more from haircuts than the rest of us, since they've had to invent a word for it?
          People beset with small children might find the Russian word pochemuchka useful – it means ‘a person who asks a lot of questions.’  I can remember being a pochemuchka myself, and starting every sentence with, ‘Why - ?  Where - ?  When - ?’  My parents begged me to desist, or at least to take a day off.
          Hansel and Gretel may have been pochemuchkas – perhaps that’s why their parents left them for the wolves.  After following the trail of white stones home, they probably suffered from waldeinsamkeit, which is German, and means ‘a fear of being left alone in the woods.’
          ‘Tingo’ is from the language spoken on Easter Island, Pascuense, and throws an interesting light on a whole culture.  It means, 'to persistently borrow objects from a neighbour’s house until there is nothing left in it.'  This suggests an orchestrated plan.  There would have to be a frenzy of borrowing, surely, to empty the house before the neighbour caught on and started saying, ‘No.’  Why?  How is the neighbour chosen?  Who gives the signal to begin?  Do you start with small things, like cups of sugar, or go straight for the lawnmowers and sofas?  If I think too long about this word, and its reason for existence, I shall become a pochemuchka again.
          My favourite, though, and which perfectly sums up a feeling I know I’ve had more than once, is again from Japanese.   It’s arigata-meiwaku, and describes that feeling you get when someone does something for you that you didn’t want them to do, and which you tried to dissuade them from, but which they did anyway, thinking they were doing you a favour – and this act of theirs causes you a lot of trouble, annoyance and expense, but you still have to thank them because they meant well.
          I’ve certainly choked on arigata-meiwaku in the past, and I suspect you have too.
          Can you add any words to this list?
The First Virtual Edinburgh E-Book Festival

          Before I go, word of more words - 
          My Authors Electric colleague, Cally Phillips, who already runs the Indie EBook Review, has set up 

          During 17 days more than 40 writers will take part in around 100 different ‘events’ as part of a daily programme which includes: 

 Daily Early Bird Tweet/Post at 10am
Short Story at 11.15am
a Writer’s ‘Piece’ at 12.30
Writers Reviewing Writers at 3pm
@the Festival at 5pm
Beyond Fiction at 7pm -
 and to take you into the night a 9pm Poetry slot.

           We will also post on Facebook and you can Like our Facebook Page for more information and interactivity.
Contact details:  email indieebookreview@btinternet.com