There Should Be A Word For That Bill Kurtis introduces two new words to our vocabulary.
NPR logo

There Should Be A Word For That

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/515948620/515966108" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
There Should Be A Word For That

There Should Be A Word For That

There Should Be A Word For That

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/515948620/515966108" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Bill Kurtis introduces two new words to our vocabulary.

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We're playing this week with Alexandra Petri, Roy Blunt Jr. and Tom Bodett. And here again is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Bill.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: In just a minute, Bill puts the rhyme in the coconut. It's the Listener Limerick Challenge. If you'd like to play, give us a call at 1-888-WAITWAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Right now, panel, some more questions for you from the week's news. But first we're going to try a new game that we're calling...

KURTIS: There Should Be A Word For That.

SAGAL: English has always seemed like an adequate language. When we run out of words, we just grunt and point to where the food goes.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: But it turns out other languages have some really useful words that we didn't know we needed. We're going to ask you about foreign words we really should have here but don't. Get it right and you get a point. Tom, you're up first. Your word comes from Scotland. Which of these two is something that will be understood in Edinburgh?

KURTIS: Betwiddled, the phenomenon of being unable to look anywhere but at the thing you shouldn't be looking at, as in I was completely betwiddled by his open fly for a good 90 seconds.

SAGAL: Or...

KURTIS: Tartle, the horror you feel when you're introducing someone and you've realized you've forgotten their name.

TOM BODETT: I love that concept, so I'm going to say tartle.

SAGAL: You're right.

BODETT: Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: That's the word.

BODETT: Yes. It needs a word.

SAGAL: It does need a word. It's happened to all of us.

BODETT: Yes. Tartle. I'm going to write that down before I forget that, too.

SAGAL: Alexandra, next one is for you. It's a Finnish word. Kalsarikannit. Kalsarikannit. And it's a very specific word. What does it mean? Does it mean...

KURTIS: The act of planning your outfit to match the stains from the meal you're planning to eat?

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Or...

KURTIS: The act of staying home and getting drunk in your underwear?

(LAUGHTER)

ALEXANDRA PETRI: Ooh, both of those sound like a recipe for a good evening.

(LAUGHTER)

PETRI: I think I'm going to go with the second one.

SAGAL: You're right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PETRI: What?

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Is it wonderful that they have a word for it or terrifying that they do it so much they needed a word to describe it? I mean, it's like, oh, my God, we spent so much time explaining what we did last night. Oh, yes, I just sat at home and got drunk in my underwear. We just need a word to save time.

(LAUGHTER)

BODETT: Well, I think it's more like, you know, like with the Eskimo and the nine words for snow thing. It's like, we have a lot of words for snow, too. We have slush. We have flurries. We have - they're all distinctions. So what it probably came from is sitting home and getting drunk...

SAGAL: Yeah.

BODETT: ...Is like a category.

SAGAL: Right.

BODETT: And then they needed some distinctions within there - in your underwear.

SAGAL: Right.

PETRI: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

Copyright © 2017 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.