Word Of The Week – Mamihlapinatapai

Our word for the week is — wait for it, I’ll have to compose myself for this one — Mamihlapinatapai. (n.) |ma-mE-la-pin-ya-ta-pl.

Mamihlapinatapai is used to describe a ‘look’ between two people who desire each other and yet are reluctant to do anything about it.

Mamihlapinatapai is derived from the Yaghan language of Tierra del Fuego and is widely considered as the “most succinct word in the world”. Now hold on, I know what you’re thinking: “How can Mamihlapinatapai be so succinct when the word has more syllables than my high-school experience? (syllables-syllabus…see what I did there?) Mamihlapinatapai is indeed a long word but with an even longer meaning.

Please share this and make suggestions of similarly FUN words you may come across. I’d love to hear from you.  


Bio Of Akwasi Addai

Akwasi Addai is a screenwriter, novelist and creative director. An excerpt of his novel: I Am Johnny Green, was chosen as one of the Digibook Africa top 10, you can read it at www.digibookafrica.com.

On a freelance basis, Akwasi Addai has collaborated with various film production companies and written numerous feature assignments in the Ghanaian corporate environment for companies such as Insel Communications, Power Station Ghana, Save the Girl Child Foundation and now Think Active Media. A former student of Ashesi University, he is currently the chief editor of the WeGo Innovate platform.

He is passionate about creativity and education in Ghana, and his vision is to spearhead the new wave of creative forces that are bound to put Ghana on the world stage through the portrayal of our culture.

You can like and follow Akwasi Addai on Twitter @NanaOfori_