Have you ever found the solution to a pithy problem, and said, “Bingo!”? These days, there’s another word dazzling the world of language: Tingo.
But Tingo doesn’t mean Bingo. Not by a long shot. It means to take all the objects one desires from the house of a friend, one at a time, by borrowing them.
Am I losing my mind? Not really. I’ve just discovered a book called “The Meaning of TINGO and Other Extraordinary Words From around the World” by Adam Jacot de Boinot. It’s hilarious. Wonderful. Fascinating. And illustrated to perfection.
The author became obsessed with the quirkiness of foreign words, and combed through over two million words in hundreds of dictionaries to come up with “The Meaning of Tingo.”
For example, did you know that sparrows that love to chirp won’t put on weight. Yep: “ai jiao de maque bu zhang rou.” Or that an unimaginative, robotic individual is “xerox”? Or that a mania for cleaning is considered “putzfimmel”? Or that an ill-fated car is “ulykkesbilen”?
Tingo! Oops…I meant “Bingo!”
If you love playing with words, click on over to “The Meaning of Tingo” blog.