Words missing in English

Sometime English fails to describe certain things. What situation, action, or description do you guys feel that is hard to describe? What should it be called?

as a swede one collection of words i`ve always felt was missing was a way to differentiate between grandparents. instead of just grandmother and grandfather we have mormor (grandma on mothers side), morfar (grandpa on mothers side), farmor (grandma on fathers side) and farfar (grandpa on fathers side)


I suppose I occasionally find myself using the word “they” to refer to someone whose gender I’m not entirely sure about. Perhaps there should be a word for that?


That depends on whether you want to insult them.


I see where you’re going with that, but I’m talking just pronouns.

For instance, you read a poem by an anonymous poet and want to say/write something about them without assuming their gender or overusing the phrase “the poet”.

1 Like



Yes, but “IT” can be highly offensive, when referring to a sapient life-form.

Or even merely sentient, for that matter.

But to be honest, I think there are enough english words to describe just about everything, so long as one’s vocabulary is eloquent enough to accommodate for excessively elongated words, such as Methionylthreonylthreonylglutaminylarginyltyrosylglutamylserylleucylphenylalanylalanylglutaminylleuc[…]ylvalyltryptophylalanylaspartylprolylisoleucylglutamylleucylleucylasparaginylvalylcysteinylthreonylserylserylleucylglycylasparaginylglutaminylphenylalanylglutaminylthreonylglutaminylglutaminylalanylarginylthreony…

…Screw new words, we need shorter words.


Well there’s always Ambo.

I’d say English lacks a lot of words to portray specific emotions that are described in other languages, for a popular example, the German word “schadenfreude”; there is no real concise way of saying this. “Dépaysement”, french for the feeling of being somewhere unlike home, is also a good word that is untranslatable.

Alright so you guys know how apple perfume doesn’t smell like an apple but smells like what an apple tastes like?

W-what kind of smell is that?

We have something similar in chinese: mother’s side grandmother (Nǎinai) and grandfather (Yéyé) and father’s side grandmother (Wàipó) and grandfather (Wàigōng)

In Japanese, there is no difference. Grandmother (sobo or obaasan) and Grandfather (sofu or ojiisan)

As someone who has a niece and two nephews, I always wondered if there was a word that addresses both a niece and nephew.

For example, there is granddaughter, grandson, and then grandchildren, yet there is only niece and nephew, with no word to address both of them.

1 Like

Oh, I might as well drop this here

This channel is devoted to naming odd feelings, while retaining proper etymology.

It’s pretty fun to watch through.

Nibling: The child of one’s sibling (aka niece or nephew), so it’s a gender neutral term and can be used as “niblings” for plural use.

I would also like to share that I have 6 nephews and 4 nieces. Some of them are older than me.

1 Like

There is a word for that in Swedish.
“It” referse to an object that is not a person.

2 words that exist in Swedish that I know don’t exist in English:
“Fika”, you know, like cookies, buns and juice.
And “Lagom”, which is basiclly not too much, not too little.

Words for each specific family member.
Lets see what Serbian has for each family member next to English;

Majka (Mother), Otac (Father),
Očuh (Step-Father), Maćeha (Step-Mother),
Sin (Son), Kćer or Ćerka (daughter),
Pastorak (Step-Fathers son or Step-Mothers Hunsbands son from former marriage)
Pastorka (Step-Fathers daughter or Step-Mothers Hunsbands daughter from former marriage)
Unuk / Unuka (1st level Male/Female Grandchild)
Praunuk / Praunuka (2nd level Male/Female Grandchild)
Čukununuk / Čukununuka (3rd level Male/Female Grandchild)
Bele Pčele (White Bees, 3rd level Male/Female Grandchilds children and onwards)

Deda / Baba (1st levelof Grandparents)
Pradeda / Prababa (2nd level of Grandparents)
Čukundeda / Čukunbaba (3rd level of Grandparents)
Navrdeda / Navrbaba (4th level of Grandparents)
Kurđel / kurđela (5th level of Grandparents)
Askurđel / askurđela (6th level of Grandparents)
Kurđun / kurđuna (7th level of Grandparents)
Kurlebalo / kurlebala (8th level of Grandparents)
Sukurdol / surkundola (9th level of Grandparents)
Sudepač / sudepača (10th level of Grandparents)
Parđupan / parđupana (11th level of Grandparents)
Ožmikura / ožmikurka (12th level of Grandparents)
Kurajber / kurajbera (13th level of Grandparents)
Sajkatava / sajkatavka (14th level of Grandparents)
Beli orao / bela pčela (White Eagle or Bee, 15th level of Grandparents and onwards)

Parents siblin relations:
Stric / Strina (childs Fathers brother / Childs Fathers brothers wife)
Ujak / Ujna (childs Mothers brother / childs mothers brothers wife)
Tetka / Teča (childs Fathers or Mothers sister / childs Fathers or Mothers sisters husband)

Cousin relations, 1st level:
Sinovac / Sinovka (your brothers son / daughter)
Nećak / Nećaka (your sisters son / daughter)
stričević / stričevna (child of a brother from a child from your other brother)
Bratić / Bratučed (uncle and aunts son / daughter)
Rođaković / Rođakovićka (Cousins son / Daughter)

Marriage relations:
Svekar (father-in-law, husbands father)
Svekrva (mother-in-law, husbands mother)
Tast (father-in-law, wifes father)
Tašta (mother-in-law, wifes mother)
Zet (son-in-law, daugthers or sisters husband)
Snaja (daughter-in-law, sons or brothers wife)
Šurak (wifes brother)
Šurnjaja (Wife of wifes brother)
Svastika (Wifes sister)
Pašenog (husband of wifes sister)
Svastić (daughter of wifes sister)
Dever (Husbands brother)
Zaova (husbands sister)
Jetrva (wife of husbands brother)
Prijatelj (Friend, also father of daughters husband or sons wife)
Prija (mother of daughters husband or sons wife)

Posmrće (child born after fathers death)
Posvojče (adopted kid)
Kopile (child whose father is not known, same as bastardo is some other languages)
Siroče (child who has no parents)
Poznanče (Child who has very old parents)
Kum / Kuma (Godfather /Godmother)
Kumče / Kumić (godson / goddaughter)
Nahoće / Nahod (Found abandoned child,)

ENGLISH, you can not compare to SERBIAN when it comes to relationship names and family names. You are inferior, plebeian even.

But why would we need a word for


Cause we value our ancestry. In the age where we didnt have birth certificates or church records cause of the Ottoman occupation, the word of mouth passed down generation by generation and knowing who was your ancestor was vital in order to protect your culture from vanishing. We also value our family ties and thats why we have names for all of these relations.


The Vietnamese is obviously the more superior race compared to other humans so it’s quite expected that we have the more intellectually superior in language.

Now if only I could actually write in Vietnamese.