As Jules Verne said, ‘The sea is everything.’

The sea covers seventy percent of the world’s surface and for all the Discovery Channel documentaries out there it remains largely undiscovered. A source of genuine mystery, the sea lures us closer to it while the danger of its depths pushes us away.

Read on for 7 mysterious new words about the sea from around the world.




An oceanid is a figure from Greek mythology. Made up of the three thousand daughters of Titan gods Oceanus and Tethys, Oceanids are patronesses of bodies of water.




The allision of two ships is different to a collision in that one of the ships must be stationary at the time. If this word isn’t currently used in automobile accident insurance claims then it should be. Like, there you were, minding your own business when suddenly another driver rams into you causing an inconvenient allision in the grocery store car park.

Ever heard the idiom, ‘in the offing’? No? Well, now you have. If something is ‘in the offing’, it means it is a thing that’s soon to come, something that can be seen to approach from the shore.
Although ‘abyssopelagic’ originates in the colorful and evocative Greek language its usage is primarily scientific these days and refers to a layer of the oceanic zone at depths between around 4,000 and 6,000m. The depth at which, I imagine, you find the things with no name.

The beautiful thing about this word is that it does not just mean moonlight. Gumusservi is not just any old moonlight shining down on any old surface. No, gumusservi is specifically the moonlight that reflects on the surface of water. Gorgeous.

Although the indigenous Australian language of Wagiman is near-extinct, the word murr-ma – which means to walk along in the water searching for something with your feet – was given new life recently when it was chosen by a student design team as the name of their innovative design for an amphibious prosthetic leg.




A lovely onomatopoeic word about the sea to end our list, sough is soothing to the ear, as both a word and a sound.


Here at Wordables we wouldn’t exactly want to condone insulting people but if you’re going to do it, you might as well use a really great word.

Read on for 9 great archaic insults that’ll baffle whoever you throw them at.

Like many old insults that no one has heard of since the 1800s, pecksniffian is a Dickensian invention. Mr Pecksniff is a character from Martin Chuzzlewit (1844) who spent his time prattling on about good morals and benevolence while going about various dastardly deeds in the background.

I could have sworn this was a Dickens’ word too but it seems not. The word can be traced back as early as 1824 and entered popular usage in Victorian London to describe street children.

Often used in reference to lawyers this word goes way, way back to the mid-1600s and, pleasingly, needs little explanation.

Nowadays this word is used to refer to a person who had made scandalous claims about someone with the intention of damaging their reputation but back in the day ‘scurrilous’ was used to describe shocking (but also funny) writings that used a lot of vulgar language.

This English word means the same thing however it is used, as a noun, verb or adjective. Cool, huh?

There must be hundreds of colloquial terms that carry the same meaning as uxorious but there’s something about throwing a word with an x in it into conversation that can instantly make you feel righteous.

Finally, an insult that derives from Shakespeare. ‘Chop logicke’ first turns up in Romeo and Juliet in 1597 and refers to anyone who involves themselves in specious argument. To be avoided.

Do be aware that calling someone marmoreal, particularly one’s spouse, knowing that they have no idea what that word means is somewhat marmoreal in itself.

Say what you mean why don’t you? Widdiful comes from an old northern English and Scottish word, widdy, meaning a flexible branch used to fasten things together. Later ‘widdy’ came to refer to the hangman’s noose and led to the cheerful saying that one could be ‘born to fill a widdy’. Nice.





As if real, earthy creatures weren’t bad enough – spiders, snakes, grizzly bears, bats for christsake – we also have mythical, unreal-until-proven-real, creatures to contend with. Throughout the history of the world, across different continents and cultures, people have been obsessed with otherworldly creatures. These mythical beasts may not exist but that doesn’t stop them from leaving traces of their presence behind or even allowing themselves to be spotted.

Read on for 9 bizarre mythical creatures that’ll give you the creeps.

The ancient Greek’s believed that the first amphisbaena was spawned from blood that dripped from Medusa’s head. Subsequent generations of this hideous serpent beast stayed alive by feeding off corpses found it in its territory of the Libyan Desert.


In Old Norse mythology four legs just wasn’t enough and so the mythical Sleipnir was blessed with eight legs and is described as ‘the best of all horses.’

Although often referred to as an elf, the Nuckelavee was first thought to be a horse-like demon and originated in Norse mythology. The most horrible demon of the Scottish Islands, the Nuckelavee may have been related to Old Nick himself.

The Taniwha is a whale-like monster from Māori mythology that is thought to live in deep pools or in the sea. Thought to favour places with dangerous currents or giant waves, the Taniwha were thought of as predatory beings who could even kidnap Māori wives for their own.

This creeps me out no end. A Jorōgumo is a type of Yōkai, a ghost or demon found in Japanese folklore, and is a giant spider than can shape shift into a beautiful woman.

From Zulu mythology, the tokoloshe is a water sprite that tends to cause mischief rather than actual harm but can be called on my malevolent people and set upon others.

Every culture seems to have its own werewolf and vampire myths but in Slavic culture they’ve combined the two into the terrifying Vukodlak monster, a blood-drinking wolf who stalks its prey at night.

A creature of Russian legends, Sirin were generally believed to have the head and chest of beautiful women but the bodies of birds, usually owls. Sirins were thought to live near the Euphrates River and were frequently accused of having purposefully led men to their deaths.

According to Angolan legend, a kishi has a man’s face on one side of its head and a hyena’s on the other. After smooth-talking young women into being alone with them, the kishi are said to turn their heads to the hyena side and eat their prey’s face. That’s one way to get your teenage daughter to stay home.




Portuguese is one of the most melodic and enchanting languages we have. The seventh most spoken language in the world, Portuguese stretches its influence way beyond the country of Portugal as the most-spoken language – with variations – in Brazil, parts of India, Macau and several African nations.


Portuguese is a romance language, closely related to Spanish and French and is notoriously easy on the ear. When it comes to translating other languages into English there is always ambiguity, a little something is always lost, but with some words there is no just no equivalent.


Read on for 7 illuminating new Portuguese words with untranslatable meanings.


Most of us probably feel like desenrascanҫo pretty much sums up our entire lifestyle as we lurch miraculously from one near-disaster to another. If it works, it works!

Family legend has it that when my grandad died suddenly in his forties my grandma’s hair went grey overnight. That’s an extreme example of mágoa, a heart-break that changes your very appearance.

To call someone a malandro in Portuguese is not necessarily a direct insult. The only equivalent I can think of in English is the British colloquial ‘chancer’, as in, ‘look at that chancer, trying to get a free cup of coffee by flirting with the waitress.’

Used to describe the period of time between liking someone and being head over heels in love with someone, ‘apaixonar’ is essentially the act of falling in love and it can take years or just one moment.

While there are tons of adjectives in the English language that can be used as a synonym for ‘beautiful’ there is no equivalent for ‘lindeza’ which is a noun and so literally means ‘the prettiness’ or ‘the beauty’. It is the ultimate compliment.

Calorento is a way of describing someone who doesn’t fare too well in the summertime when the temperature is high. I’m not sure whether it’s a purely descriptive term or it’s a bit of an insult. Either way we don’t have an English equivalent but to be fair we don’t need one in Britain or the most northern parts of North America where it’s freezing all the time anyway.

Everybody’s favorite untranslatable word, saudade’s closest equivalent is ‘longing’ but it’s a particularly weighty, nostalgic longing that only the Portuguese can adequately express in one word.

There are few sensations in this life more difficult to put into words than desire. Complicated, uncontrollable and all but inexplicable, desire is a thing you feel, not a thing you talk about. But if you do care to share the particulars of the fire in your belly and the tingle in your toes then the words below might come in handy.

Read on for 7 words about desire from around the world.



Desire from Around the World 01

The word appetence is seldom used although in my opinion it should be as it’s a far better way of expressing desire for someone than, ‘I’ve got the hots for you’. From the Latin, appententia which meant ‘to strive after’.


Desire from Around the World 02

Use velleitie if you want to give the affair you never had a more romantic aura. Also from medieval latin, velleitie comes from the word velle, ‘to wish.


Desire from Around the World 03

I have no problem with basorexia and appreciate that it can strike when you least expect it but please guys, not in the cinema, not in the café, not in my face. It seems basorexia isn’t in the dictionary but don’t let that put you off using it.


Desire from Around the World 04

Oysters, chocolate, three bottles of wine, anything that gets you in the mood can be described as aphrodysia. Derived from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation.



Desire from Around the World 05

‘Baby, you’re concupiscible.’ Worth a go.

Desire from Around the World 06

A slightly creepy word but one worth knowing, especially if you ever end up in a court of law trying to defend yourself for getting naked in the park. Apodysophilia is related to the word ‘apodyopsis’ which is the act of mentally undressing someone. Even creepier.


Desire from Around the World 07

We’ve all got a touch of the cheiloproclitic in us I feel, especially if we’re watching something with Tom Hardy or Scarlett Johansen in it. The internet has failed me in my quest to find out the origin of this word but let’s just guess Latin.