A beautiful word: saudade.

I think the most beautiful words are those with no English equivalent. Perhaps it’s the fact we have to conjure them without familiarity that makes them more alluring. More creative. More ephemeral.

IMAHR Saudade (1899), by Almeida Júnior
Saudade (1899), by Almeida Júnior

For me, though, it’s the fact that these words generally point to a moment so potent yet subtle that no single English word can possibly sum it up. It’s the potency and subtlety, of course, that I find beautiful.

Hygge is one word. It’s the art of creating intimacy. So it’s an act as well as a feel – a verb and an adjective. Hygge is also something you consciously strive for…it’s about connecting in a cosy, elegant, unfussy way. It’s about weaving friendship and intimacy with ease.

Mamihlapinatapai (from the language of the people of Tierra del Fuego) is another. It points to a look shared between two

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