The Meaning of Tingo


There’s an easy word for your Sunday morning reading…say that three times fast!

It is actually a Dutch word for skimming stones, and sorta looks like how I would imagine that to sound. It’s just
one of the fascinating words compiled by Adam Jacot de Boinod in
The Meaning of Tingo, a collection
of extraordinary words from around the world. The book is a celebration of foreign words, and focuses on many of the
world’s words that have no English language equivalent.

This BBC piece explains that de Boinod believes the
dictionaries of foreign countries say more about culture than the guidebooks, an interesting point to keep in mind when
traveling. If you want a peek at more of the words included in the book, read this Independent
article. The book is currently
available through

Amazon UK
. I’m assuming it will be released in the states at some point in coming months. I’m looking forward to
getting my hands on a copy.

Update 10/10/05: It appears Jason Kottke cited the same word as I did in his Tingo post last week,
but soon heard from some Dutch folks claiming they knew of no such word. He’s got more lowdown on the
Tingo lingo controversy.