February 22, 2006

How To Say Moustache in Albanian

If you're a fan of words, and really, who isn't, you just may enjoy The Meaning of Tingo (and Other Extraordinary Words from Around the World) by Adam Jacot de Boinod. What caught my eye was page 19 (pictured to the right) which lists some of the 27 different words the Albanians have for "moustache". There's:

madh bushy moustache
holl thin moustache
varur drooping moustache
fshes long broom-like drooping moustache with bristly hairs
dirs ur newly sprouted moustache (of an adolescent)

There's even rruar, the anti-moustache word, which means "with the moustache shaved off." Remember when you learned that the eskimos have something like fifteen thousand words for snow? Are the Albanians consistently inundated by moustaches? What societal pressure caused the need for so many moustache words in their language? And why do they need another 27 words to describe styles of eyebrows? Guess I need to read the book.

For more info and links to pages of the book, check out Adam's blog www.themeaningoftingo.com or buy it at Amazon for $13.57.

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Posted by Russell Neufeld at February 22, 2006 2:30 PM
Recent Comments

Indeed, there are many terms describing moustaches and beards in Albanian. It was considered a very bad thing to be completely clean shaven at one point in our history (and still is depending on the region), and a man who couldn't grow a moustache/beard was called "qose", which was a bad thing. Heck, I have a moustache and beard, as does my father, and grandfather.

We've also got loads of words for snow, so we get the eskimos all the time.

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