Filling in the Accidental Gaps

By Anna Rose Meeds

“Accidental gap” – When I first heard that phrase, I did not understand what it meant.  Something that has a hole in it?  Leaving out something that you were supposed to pack?  A pause when the speaker forgets what to say?

Well, all of these guessed definitions form part of an accidental gap.  According to Glottopedia which is a linguistic website, “an accidental gap is a non-existing word which is expected to exist given the hypothesized morphological rules of a particular language.”  Put plainly, it is a word that does not exist in our language but does in other ones such as “unsad” or “love between best friends.”  Here is a great video that shows this.

Often, I find myself searching for explaining something in a way outside of the English language.   How often do you think to yourself, “I wish there was a word for that!”  We have over a million English words, and yet we continue to create more to describe the world and each other.

So I decided to write a short haiku to describe some of my favorite words in the video.

Gigil (Filipino) – the urge to pinch a cute thing on the cheek.

Fat, round, rosy, plump
Baby’s cheeks draw the fingers
Aunt’s touch causing screams.

Ya’arburnee (Arabic) – meaning “may you bury me” in hopes that you die before the other person

Rings upon our hands,
My life with you must not end
Until my grave calls.

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About annarosemeeds

I am a writer and speaker who wants to spread hope, truth, and awareness. After struggling through many years of depression, eating disorders, anxiety, aspergers, and numerous other illnesses, I have finally begun to see a light at the end of the tunnel which I want to share with all those who need encouragement and support. Creativity and imagination play an important role in my life and recovery.

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