The Japanese word “chokuegambo” describes the wish that there were more designer-brand shops on a given street. (here)

Sadly, we of the dancing moose have never yet felt chokeugambo. How long must we wait?

Slightly more seriously, I love this sort of thing. (An old favourite, I forget the word, was from Spanish, and meant “to kill a chicken by throwing oranges at it”.) Language is a wonderful, wonderful thing. It also illustrates the weird universality – we can recognise the concept despite its unfamiliarity – but also that until we have the word we cannot think in those terms. What else awaits discovery? Strange “facts” we have yet to realise. Forgotten insights in dead tongues.

No Responses to “Chokuegambo”

  1.   The Scarlet Manuka
    January 3rd, 2006 | 5:51 am

    Interesting you should mention not being able to think in certain terms without a particular word. Reminds me of Nineteen Eighty Four, and how they would remove certain “undesirable” words from the language and replacing them with one – for example, rebellion, dissent are replaced with “crimethink”. Absolutely brilliant (fictional) concept I thought – how can one organise an uprising when the word used to describe it also has a million other definitions?

  2.   Administrator
    January 4th, 2006 | 12:45 am

    Allow me to quote from my novel:

    ‘It goes much deeper than that,’ Elspeth says. ‘It is war by other means. Your enemy cannot fight you if he cannot even conceive of it. That is the real goal – to force us to internalise the set of beliefs, values and myths which justify the status quo. Once belief is inculcated on this level, even facts lose their power. If they contradict the deeper beliefs they will be dismissed without thought. It is scary, but this is how the mind works.’

    This quote is naturally (c) 2006