10 "Untranslatable" Foreign Words About Love


Valentine’s Day is officially behind us for another year, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t find new ways to express your love for partners, pets, friends, and/or family members on a daily basis. Whether you’re single, dating, married, or somewhere in between, everyone hopefully has someone they love in their life — and it’s important to let them know how you feel. Luckily, Expedia UK released their “Language of Love” illustrations — so it looks like we all have 10 “new” words for expressing how love makes us feel.

To be clear: none of the words featured below are actually new. The words depicted in Expedia’s “The Language of Love” illustrations have actually been around for a really long time — they’re just new to most of us native English speakers. Personally, I couldn’t be more stoked to learn about all of them. After all, English isn’t exactly well-known for being the most romantic of languages. Plus, as far as I know, there’s no English equivalent to “ya’aburne” — the Arabic word used to describe “the hope that your loved one outlives you, so you don’t have to endure the pain of living without them.” Awww!

Here are 10 “untranslatable” words about love to share with someone you love.


Definition: A hug — A safe haven given to you by the one you love.

OK, so I get that not everyone enjoys hugs. For those of us who do enjoy the whole hugging experience, though, "cwtch" perfectly explains why a hug from the right person can be downright healing.


Definition: A Euphoric feeling experienced when you start falling in love.

I don't know about you, but I'll never forget the person who introduced me to "forelsket."


Definition: The feeling of anticipation when waiting for someone to come over to your home.

Whether it was for friends, family, lovers, or just the pizza delivery guy, I think it's safe to say we've all experienced "iktsuarpok." I know I have.


Definition: The emotional pain felt due to being away from the one you love.

The bummer about "viraag" is that it can be experienced whether you're going through a rough breakup or you're in a long-distance relationship with someone amazing. For your sake, I'm hoping it's the latter. Either way, you've got this!


Definition: The act of fake-sulking after getting into a trivial argument with your loved one.

For all of you singles reading this, let "oodal" be a happy reminder of why you're taking a break from dating.


Definition: The desire to pinch or squeeze something (or someone!) that is overwhelmingly cute.

So "gigil" is what I'm feeling every time I come home to my two kitties. Good to know!


Definition: Feeling that you've been struck by Cupid's arrow (when you have an intense connection with someone).

Can you feel "flechazo" for cute dogs and cupcakes? Because I'm pretty sure that I have.


Definition: The motion of running your fingers through your beloved's hair.

This illustration perfectly depicts me in every relationship that I've ever been in. Also, "cafuné" is super-fun to say.


Definition: A meaningful, wordless look shared between two individuals who want to initiate something, but are scared to make the first move.

You know that feeling you get when you're about to kiss someone new? There's a word for that, and it's "mamihlapinatapei."


Definition: In English, the literal translation is "you bury me." It's used to express the hope that your loved one outlives you, so you don't have to endure the pain of living without them.

I'm not crying, you're crying!