Sadly, this isn’t a post on how coffee cures your hangover. There has been a fair amount of research conducted on this topic but we aren’t going to get into it now, sorry. This actually has very little to do with coffee, but will amuse you if you have a hangover or know of someone who does.
Below are a few expressions that will make it easier to explain last night’s debauchery, from a gem of a book called The Meaning of Tingo.
Ever experienced sgriob (Scottish Gaelic), the itchiness that overcomes the upper lip just before taking a sip of whiskey? Or ever suffered from olfrygt (Viking Danish), the fear of a lack of ale? As with most phobias, there are fairly predictable behaviours that follow suit to reduce these fears and in the case of olfrygt, it’s most likely to be one or more of the activities below.
beber como uma esponja (Portugese) to drink like a sponge
uwabami no yo ni nomu (Japanese) to drink like a python
geiin suru (Japanese) to drink like a whale
Now that all fear has been eradicated by your geiin suru attempts, you should find yourself bjor-reifr (Old Icelandic) or cheerful from beer drinking. Someone thinks that tequila would be a good idea and it’s not long before you are sternhagelvoll (German) literally meaning full of stars and hail and otherwise completely drunk. It eventually gets to that time of the night where your attention shifts to kanale’o. Not a Hawaiian form of karaoke but rather the attempt to walk in a straight line.
If you grew up in Romania and were familiar with the proverb ‘dacă doi spun că eşti beat, du-te şi te culcă – if two people say you’re drunk, go to sleep’ things would be ok. But this is not usually the case and you wake to at have tommermaend (Danish) – having carpenters, i.e. hearing the noise of drilling and sawing. The Germans go a step further in explaining a very severe hangover with the word katzenjammer, literally meaning the noise made by mating cats.
Of all these strange words and phrases, there is only one that really needs remembering for a good explanation. It is umjayanipxitutuwa (Aymara) – They must have made me drink.