Mamihlapinatapai [Noun.]


A look shared by two people, each wishing that the other will offer something that they both desire but are unwilling to do.

The word mamihlapinatapai comes from the southern part of Argentina and Chile, where Fuegian is spoken (from Tierra del Fuego, literally meaning: Land of Fire) and is recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most succinct word (succinct: briefly and clearly expressed), meaning that it is the hardest word to translate into any language without using multiple words.

The word contains the root -ihlapi, meaning to be at a loss as what to do next. The rest of the affixes used in the word state reflexiveness and a reciprocal sense, making the word relevant in a situation with two people.

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