Relieving Stress . . . International Words and Self-Care Trends

Relieving Stress . . . 
International Words and
Self-Care Trends  

I hope everyone is at home, staying healthy and safe.

I know I am trying different techniques, strategies and approaches to reduce stress while working at home. Meditation, cycling, reading, writing, phoning my family, frequent breaks, fresh air, sunshine and petting my cat works wonders for me.  On campus, the Uvic MultiFaith Centre is offering Virtual Meditation using ZOOM, until May 18th!

And then I thought … there must be techniques and strategies in other countries, and of course, words that describe them! And off to have tea with my internet friend … GOOGLE!

The most amazing word I found comes from Denmark! And it somehow seems appropriate that it is a very short word, only 3 letters, but delivers an important message, without any real translation into English! That word is PYT! It basically means “Don’t worry about it….” or “Oh well….

According to this video, “Pyt can reduce stress because it is a sincere attempt to encourage yourself and others to not get bogged down by minor daily frustrations”. Pyt was recently voted the most popular word by Danes. Sounds good to me.

And that is not the only Danish word that makes this list. I only recently heard of ‘Hygge‘ , described and compared to ‘Pyt‘ below:

Denmark: Hygge and pyt

The Danish are the OG masters of self-care: Despite winters so heavy and dark that Danes lovingly refer to their country as Mordor” (yes, the land of evil and darkness from Lord of the Rings) from November through February, Denmark is routinely ranked one of the three happiest countries in the world. The secret is in the cultural mindset, which has given rise to the international trends of hygge, and pyt.

Hygge is all about getting cozy and staying in. Think of its brand as emphasizing handmade, beautiful objects like homespun wool sweaters, handmade ceramics and dipped candles. Hygge isn’t all about objects, though. It embodies a sense of togetherness – think simple family meals at raw wooden tables, and nights spent cuddled by the fire, sipping cocoa and singing folk song

Everyone’s self-care needs are different, and some self-care experts are uncovering the virtue in a different Danish concept: pyt. Pronounced like “pid,” pyt doesn’t have a precise English translation: It’s a cultural concept about cultivating healthy thoughts to better deal with stress. If hygge keeps your heart and toes warm, pyt is more about maintaining mental health for an overall sense of wellbeing.

And there are more amazing words and techniques from all over the world!

  • Japan: Ikigai and Wabi Sabi
    • Wabi sabi is an aesthetic principle that, like all things Japanese, is deeply rooted in philosophy: in this case, a beauty that is impermanent, imperfect, and incomplete. Homes of wabi sabi practitioners are uncluttered, featuring simple, handmade or natural objects, asymmetry and roughness, natural light, and clean lines. Especially in the rush of the working world and holiday madness, wabi sabi can be a balm
  • Wales: Cwtch
    • Cwtch (don’t worry, we’ve got you – it’s pronounced “kutch”) is like hygge, but specifically for the home. Specifically, cwtch comes from the Welsh word for “cubbyhole,” referring to a small, cozy nook made specifically for cuddling in. It also means something like “giant, double hug” – so practitioners of this form of self-care are essentially crafting home spaces (think canopy beds piled in thick quilts) that embrace you like a hug.
  • Scandinavia: Friluftsliv
    • Weather isn’t enough to keep Swedes and Norwegians inside. In fact, the concept of friluftsliv, meaning “open-air living” is central to Nordic culture, and visitors will see Swedes, Norwegians, and Danes out walking, hiking and biking even in sub-zero temperatures. Born of a belief that physical and mental health are strengthened by spending time in nature, the concept was popularized by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen in the 1850s, and has been driving the Scandinavians to seek wellness outdoors since.
  • Sweden: Lagom
    • Let’s hop on down to Sweden and zero in on a concept the Swedes are insisting isn’t the new hygge. This simplicity-based lifestyle is called lagom, and it translates to something like, “Not too much, not too little – just right.” To live your life with the lagom mindset is to take things in moderation (yes, including moderation) – you shouldn’t crowd your home and mind, but you also don’t need to go full monk. It’s simple, clean, with an emphasis on upcycling and recycling. It’s anti-clutter. It’s just right.
  • Netherlands: Gezellig
    • Less about simple self-care and more about a living a full and vibrant life, this Dutch term has a cloud of translated meanings, including coziness, celebration, comfort and gregariousness. Unlike the rest of its cohort, gezellig (noun: gezelligheid) is about fun, and welcomes clutter, noise, and great time. Think laughter, warm colors, great food and spirits, and rooms crowded with the plants, books and knick-knacks that breathe life and personality into a space.

And here are a list of other sites that might be of interest too:

Find what will work for you and your family and take care of yourselves.

As long as there are words out there, there will be interesting topics! 

ENJOY!                TTFN!


The Key to Happiness
May Be In This Danish Word

7 Nordic Concepts to
Help You Change Your Life

So What is
Danish Hygge?





Medieval Help Desk . . . or Bomgar Through the Ages

Medieval Help Desk or . . . 
Bomgar Through the Ages . . .  

THE best part of working for The Computer Help Desk is … talking with people! Every day is different, every person is different and we get to help students, staff, faculty and people from around the entire world!

And this post is definitely on the lighter side of what happens at a Computer Help Desk!

If you haven’t heard of ‘The IT Crowd‘, then that is mandatory viewing for anyone even ‘remotely connected‘ to any Help Desk! (Cheeky pun there .. hehe!).

You can get more information about each episode at ‘Next Episode‘ and my ALL TIME Favourite Episode has Moss introducing the Internet to Jen! So many clips can be found at YouTube as well! I will put a couple of clips at the bottom of this post!

And of course, The IT Crowd is at Netflix!

Another hilarious clip is when a Medieval monk introduces new technology to one of the other monks at their monastery. There are a few versions of them, so I will put a few of them at the bottom too, in English as well as with subtitles!

All in good fun and for me, the best parts of them all – you get to talk to people and solve their problems! And I have solved SO many computer problems in CALL and elsewhere – even recommending to my own brother – ‘Have you tried turning it off and on?‘ .. and it solves the problem! LOL!

As long as there are words out there, there will be interesting topics! 

ENJOY!                TTFN!


The IT Crowd
Have You Tried Turning it Off and On?

Moss Introduces Jen
to . . . The Internet

Medieval Help Desk
(with English subtitles)

Medieval Help Desk
English Version

Medieval Help Desk
Funnier Subtitles

‘For the 80th time, you cannot get rid of viruses by pouring bleach down the back of your computer!’





The Most Beautiful Words in the World

The Most Beautiful . . . 
Words in the World . . .  

Some words just sound beautiful! As if you are singing them, just by pronouncing them! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but … it could also be in the … ear!

My favourite word in the English language is probably Serendipity. I say probably because … there are so many beautiful words! Even the word ‘beautiful’ is literally … beautiful!


Where does serendipity come from?
In the mid-1700s, English author Horace Walpole stumbled upon an interesting tidbit of information while researching a coat of arms. In a letter to his friend Horace Mann he wrote: “This discovery indeed is almost of that kind which I call Serendipity, a very expressive word, which as I have nothing better to tell you, I shall endeavor to explain to you: you will understand it better by the derivation than by the definition. I once read a silly fairy tale, called ‘The Three Princes of Serendip’: as their highnesses travelled, they were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of….” Walpole’s memory of the tale (which, as it turns out, was not quite accurate) gave serendipity the meaning it retains to this day.


And there is a very good chance that beautiful words from other languages do not have an English translation, then I have that covered already with a previous blog post entitled “Untranslatable Words or … The Mystery and Beauty of Communication“. I got you covered!

A list of the ‘23 of the Most Beautiful Words in the World” will make it very difficult to choose your favourite word, in both sound and meaning!

A very tough choice for me, but I will go with “Mångata“, a Swedish word that means ‘the reflection of the moon on water‘. There was a Super Moon here a few weeks ago and it was absolutely spectacular!

But, a very close second is the Japanese word for ‘light filtering through the trees‘, ‘Komorebi’, as I like biking through Mystic Vale each day to and from work!

And a few more great lists AND some images, are at:

And in my brief research this morning I came across what J.R.R. Tolkien thought was “The Most Beautiful Word in the World“! And there is probably a translation of it in … Sindarin

As long as there are words out there, there will be interesting topics! 

ENJOY!                TTFN!


10 Stunningly Beautiful
English Words

15 Beautiful Words
That Will Soothe Your Brain

Beautiful Untranslatable Words
From Around the World

Beautiful Foreign Words
With No English Translation









The Longest Words in the World

The Longest . . . 
Words in the World . . .  

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is a word that once you hear it, or at least, the singing of it from Mary Poppins, just rolls off your tongue quite easily!

Guilty pleasure – I enjoy saying this word to students when the topic of fun, strange, different and long words comes up! LOL! And don’t forget about the The ABC Song from Sesame Street, although whether the alphabet ITSELF qualifies as a word … is a debatable point!

The obvious contender is …. Antidisestablishmentarianism ! Who hasn’t heard of this word before! But, it only holds the record because it is considered a “non-medical, non-coined, nontechnical word” and it does have an interesting history

The longest word in the world has …. 189,819 letters. Yes, that is right, 189, 819 letters. And it could be surpassed due to the chemical components required to ‘name’ strands of DNA. This is mind boggling to me that a single strand of DNA could have so many letters!


Note the ellipses. All told, the full chemical name for the human protein titin is 189,819 letters, and takes about three-and-a-half hours to pronounce. The problem with including chemical names is that there’s essentially no limit to how long they can be. For example, naming a single strand of DNA, with its millions and millions of repeating base pairs, could eventually tab out at well over 1 billion letters.

And the other 11 long words can be found at ” What’s the Longest Word in the World? Here are 12 of Them, By Category” for your Spelling Bee practice!

And growing up, The Reader’s Digest was always a source of humour, articles and .. WORDS with their Word Power pages. And they too have an article on the longest word in the world. And they agree!

And you can certainly fill your boots with an alphabetical list of the longest words in the English language at “A-Z List of Long Words and Their Meanings That’ll Leave You Baffled” !

But what about … the rest of the world! There are so many languages in the world, surely, there must be longer words! And… THERE ARE!

So the answer lies within “What Is The Longest Word In The World?” And the funniest, longest word in the World is from Vietnam, and that word is nghiêng.  What? That isn’t long AT ALL! Ah, but it is the SHORTEST LONGEST WORD in the world! Yes, the longest word in Vietnamese is only 7 letters long! 


This clearly isn’t the longest word in the world, but this Vietnamese word at just seven letters long has the distinction of being the longest word in Vietnamese. That also means it’s the shortest longest word that exists. Arguably, nghiêng is a single morpheme, not a word, but Vietnamese is an “isolating language.” Instead of combining prefixes and suffixes to create new words, Vietnamese uses multiple small words that combine to change the meaning. This only works if your definition of a “word” is any combination of letters surrounded by spaces, however.

As long as there are words out there, there will be interesting topics! 

ENJOY!                TTFN!


18 Super Long Words
From Around the Globe

The Longest Words
in Any Language

Pronouncing the Longest
Words in English

So Easy, a 7 Year Old
Can Spell It!!!






English Words That Don’t Translate Into OTHER Languages

English Words That . . . 
DON’T Translate Into . . . 
OTHER Languages . . . . 

English is considered to have the MOST words of any languageIN THE WORLD!

That is somewhat debatable and will be a future post. Previous posts have shown examples of the variety of words and phrases in other languages that don’t translate into English, but have beautiful, amazing and even profound meanings!

But what about the other way around? With SO many English words, there must be some that do not translate into any other languages! And …. there are!

Here are “10 Common Words That You’ll Only Find in English” and that you probably use each and every day! Serendipity is one of my own favourite words of All-Time (another future post!) and Silly is definitely in my Top 20 Word List! 😂





Another site shows just how many “English Words That Can’t Be Translated“. An especially nice word, is actually the word, Nice!

Another relatively new word, has long-term, time travel and alternate universe implications! At the very least, it will impact the next generation of Star Trek Fans! FacePalm!

And Canada is officially bilingual with English and French, but to me, the more the merrier! So what happens with subtle nuances in English, that do not necessarily translate into French! Well, you go and search the internet and find … “English Words and Nuances That Don’t Exist in French“! My old friend, the World Wide Web has grown up!

Usually, it is the other way around, but there ARE “10 English Words That Don’t Exist in Japanese“! And that includes the SHORTEST WORD IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE – ‘I‘ ! Well, it is tied with some others, but I bet you don’t know them ALL! Another future post!

And of course, to include some YouTube demonstrating examples of English words that don’t exist in French and German! 

ENJOY!                TTFN!


10 English Words
That Don’t Have an Exact Translation in French

9 English Words
That Don’t Exist in German





Unpronounceable Words or . . . I Didn’t Quite . . . Catch That . . .

Unpronounceable Words or . . . 
I Didn’t Quite . . . 
Catch That . . . . 

Unpronounceable Words!!!

And I am not talking about tongue twisters. More like tongue twisters ON STEROIDS! Even English words are sometimes hard to pronounce … even for English speakers!

I always have problems with … Worcestershire Sauce, and I still can’t pronounce it right, even today, even if tells me how to pronounce it!!

And then throw in learning a new language where making new sounds that HAVE MEANING … IS THE BALL GAME!

I am simply in awe of EVERYONE that does speak more than one language! Sadly, my French is nowhere near where it once was, but …. I can still follow ‘La Soirée du hockey‘! Ah, hockey, the international language! “La Première Étoile .. GUY LAFLEUR!” 

Oh, and if you don’t think this is not going to happen to you …. how about this. You go out to a very nice Italian restaurant! And you decide to order some BRUSCHETTA as an appetizer, an early ESPRESSO to warm your palate taste buds, a main course of GNOCCI with free range raised GUANCIALE as the main ingredient.

Are you CERTAIN you pronounced ALL those words right?

If not, better check here:

Menu items you’re mispronouncing
(and how to say them)

And watch the YouTube Video below if you are curious about the three words/phrases below and how they are pronounced! GO FOR IT! And I dare you to say the phrase below, in English, FIVE TIMES REALLY FAST – the squirrel line!! LOL!

And a future post might just highlight even MORE English words that are hard to pronounce! So many Blog posts to do … not enough keyboards!

ENJOY!                TTFN!

Five hundred fifty five ice skating squirrels!


18 Words from around the World
You can’t pronounce





Untranslatable Words or … The Mystery and Beauty of Communication

Untranslatable Words or …
The Mystery and Beauty
of Communication

Untranslatable Words!!!

This doesn’t mean the word makes no sense, it just means the word has no equivalent in another language! It could be cultural, historical or even anecdotal ….  or just made up!

It does not lessen the meaning and I would argue, enhances the meaning OF a word, when another language or culture can actually embrace what might be described as …’There really is no word for (fill in the blank here) in English!” 

I found a wonderful site that not only lists 30 amazing words, but the artist has provided some amazing posters too! Check out “30 Untranslatable Words From Other Languages Illustrated By Anjana Iyer” and let me know which one is your favourite!

My FAVOURITE from these posters is the Norwegian word Utepils which means ‘to sit outside on a sunny day enjoying a beer‘!

Although the FUNNIEST word is the Japanese word Age-otori which means ‘to look worse after a haircut‘! 🤣 And with physical distancing necessary, just how ARE you going to get a good haircut in the foreseeable future! 🤷‍♂️

Maybe you have a different favourite from the “50 Untranslatable Words From Around the World” poster below!

Oh yeah, and shameless promotion – I did “Untranslatable Idioms” the other day! LOL!