Physical Experiences That Are Best Described With Maltese Words

The joys of bilingualism

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There are so many benefits to knowing more than one language, but possibly the best part (aside from being able to insult people unbeknownst to them when you're abroad) is that you have double the means by which to describe things.

Here's a handful of physical sensations that can be described in English, but the Maltese version is just so much better. 

1. Ddarras

(to be set on edge or irritated)

You know that feeling you get in your teeth, brain and spine when someone scratches their nails across a blackboard? That's what this is – intense physical irritation.


2. Xraqt

(to choke on)

When your own saliva inexplicably tries to kill you by entering your lungs and your body spasms into intense coughing. Basically if everyone in the entire room believes you're actually dying – qed tixraq.

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3. Textix


That feeling you get when you know your crush is about to walk into the room, or the Maltese entry is about to perform on the Eurovision stage. "Madonna x'textix!" is the common use.

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4. Dardir

(a churning in one's stomach)

Can be used to describe someone who annoys the literal shit out of you – daqs kemm hu antipatku, vera jdardrek.

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5. Nitqalla

(to feel nauseous)

This is one step ahead of dardir. It's when someone or something makes you gag. The beauty of the word is in that 'q' sound, which actually physically resembles a gagging sensation.  

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6. Qtigħ il-laħam

(Muscle pain)

This happens when any Maltese person does fifteen minutes of exercise and/or anything that involves flexing muscles beyond those used to chill the fuck out with. It's basically muscular pain – but it sounds so much more dramatic in Maltese. 

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BONUS: Tixxarrab 

(To get wet)

That feeling you get you're... excited. 

N.B. this only happens if you have a vagina. 

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Can you think of any other Maltese words that feel irreplaceable? List them in the comments section!

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