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10 Foreign Words We Need in English—Illustrated!

Sometimes you just don't have the word you need to describe a feeling or an event. Lucky for us, there are plenty of other languages to borrow from. For her new book Lost in Translation, illustrator Ella Frances Sanders picked 50 foreign words that will help you better describe extremely specific incidents, and she brought them to life with delightful artistic renderings. Here are some of our favorites. 

1. Commuovere (Italian)

v. To be moved in a heartwarming way, usually relating to a story that moved you to tears.

2. Tretår (Swedish) 

n. On its own, "tår" means a cup of coffee and "patår" is the refill of said coffee. A "tretar" is therefore a second refill, or a "threefill."

3. Akihi (Hawaiian)

n. Listening to directions and then walking off and promptly forgetting them means that you've gone "akihi."

4. Wabi-sabi (Japanese)

n. Finding beauty in the imperfections, an acceptance of the cycle of life and death.

5. Mangata (Swedish)

n. The road-like reflection of the moon in the water

6. Luftmensch (Yiddish)

n. Refers to someone who is a bit of a dreamer and literally means "air person."

7. Tsundoko (Japanese)

n. Leaving a book unread after buying it, typically piling up together with other unread books.

8. Kilig (Tagalog) 

n. The feeling of butterflies in your stomach, usually when something romantic or cute takes place.

9. Glas wen (Welsh) 

n. This literally means a "blue smile"; one that is sarcastic or mocking.

10. Komorebi (Japanese) 

n. The sunlight that filters through the leaves of the trees.

Reprinted with permission from Lost in Translation by Ella Frances Sanders, copyright (c) 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC.

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Big Questions
Where Should You Place the Apostrophe in President's Day?
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Happy Presidents’ Day! Or is it President’s Day? Or Presidents Day? What you call the national holiday depends on where you are, who you’re honoring, and how you think we’re celebrating.

Saying "President’s Day" infers that the day belongs to a singular president, such as George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, whose birthdays are the basis for the holiday. On the other hand, referring to it as "Presidents’ Day" means that the day belongs to all of the presidents—that it’s their day collectively. Finally, calling the day "Presidents Day"—plural with no apostrophe—would indicate that we’re honoring all POTUSes past and present (yes, even Andrew Johnson), but that no one president actually owns the day.

You would think that in the nearly 140 years since "Washington’s Birthday" was declared a holiday in 1879, someone would have officially declared a way to spell the day. But in fact, even the White House itself hasn’t chosen a single variation for its style guide. They spelled it “President’s Day” here and “Presidents’ Day” here.


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Maybe that indecision comes from the fact that Presidents Day isn’t even a federal holiday. The federal holiday is technically still called “Washington’s Birthday,” and states can choose to call it whatever they want. Some states, like Iowa, don’t officially acknowledge the day at all. And the location of the punctuation mark is a moot point when individual states choose to call it something else entirely, like “George Washington’s Birthday and Daisy Gatson Bates Day” in Arkansas, or “Birthdays of George Washington/Thomas Jefferson” in Alabama. (Alabama loves to split birthday celebrations, by the way; the third Monday in January celebrates both Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert E. Lee.)

You can look to official grammar sources to declare the right way, but even they don’t agree. The AP Stylebook prefers “Presidents Day,” while Chicago Style uses “Presidents’ Day.”

The bottom line: There’s no rhyme or reason to any of it. Go with what feels right. And even then, if you’re in one of those states that has chosen to spell it “President’s Day”—Washington, for example—and you use one of the grammar book stylings instead, you’re still technically wrong.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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Here's the Right Way to Pronounce Kitchenware Brand Le Creuset

If you were never quite sure how to pronounce the name of beloved French kitchenware brand Le Creuset, don't fret: For the longest time, southern chef, author, and PBS personality Vivian Howard wasn't sure either.

In this video from Le Creuset, shared by Food & Wine, Howard prepares to sear some meat in her bright orange Le Creuset pot and explains, "For the longest time I had such a crush on them but I could never verbalize it because I didn’t know how to say it and I was so afraid of sounding like a big old redneck." Listen closely as she demonstrates the official, Le Creuset-endorsed pronunciation at 0:51.

Le Creuset is known for its colorful, cast-iron cookware, which is revered by pro chefs and home cooks everywhere. The company first introduced their durable pots to the world in 1925. Especially popular are their Dutch ovens, which are thick cast-iron pots that have been around since the 18th century and are used for slow-cooking dishes like roasts, stews, and casseroles.

[h/t Food & Wine]

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