FOOD. We fantasize and obsess about it. We crave it so badly it hurts. We are consumed by what we could be consuming and there are several times a day where we are compelled talk about it. (Sometimes we even have difficulty shutting up about it).

This is not an exclusively English speaking experience. People the world over talk about their common experiences with food with such passion and gusto that beautiful and, often hilariously apt, phrases are created to describe and identify these feelings. (English speakers just use gifs instead.)

Lyrical, metaphorical and otherwise amazing, there are some incredible concepts and sayings that we should immediately begin using in English, as we lack or have boring, practical equivalents.

I’m So Hungry, but I’m So much More Than Just Hungry Hungry.

We might talk about our hangries or suggest eating a horse/ own fist/ the butt off a low flying duck, but none of these adequately express the angst and physical emptiness that comes with this feeling.

The Cheyenne Native Americans have got this down.

Translated Statement: My Tapeworm can almost talk by itself. (ie my stomach growls so loudly)

The Cypriot Greeks also offer a graphic description of this feeling.

Translated Statement: My belly button is going to fall off

While still English, it would seem that people in Barbados also effectively express aggressive hunger quite poetically:

“My belly is touching my back” (ie my stomach is so empty my abdominal muscles have nothing separating them from my spine).

I Have Feelings For Food. Finally I can Express Them

The Germans are notoriously good at identifying and labeling feelings or emotional tools that the Queen’s English is too repressed to acknowledge. You may have heard of schadenfreude, or the joy felt in enjoying the misfortune of another (You know, like when you see the guy who stole your last piece of pizza cut his gum on the crust?). Well they have applied the philosophy that a named feeling is a valid feeling to our emotions about food.

You’re sad or unwell and all you want to do is eat buckets of delicious, naughty food. Well, stuff boring old “comfort food” in German you would reach for the kummerspeck at this point.

Kummerspeck- direct translation: Grief Bacon

Interestingly enough, this term can also be used to refer to the extra podge you might acquire from the devouring of said “grief bacon.”

They also seem to talk a lot about the feeling of wanting to sit on the couch and devour large amounts of chocolate all day. The Germans blame this on “Der inner Schweinehund,” the sedentary, greedy side of you (that is completely justified by the pressure you withstand at work, and generally having to be an adult and… stuff.)

Der inner Schweinehund- direct translation: The inner Pig-Dog

BONUS: The inner Pig-Dog is often encouraged by your sweet tooth, or in German, Die Naschkatze, literally, "the gnash cat." So, even in the world of food related foreign metaphors, the cat is always in charge.

You Know You Do This

When we think about the inner pig-dog we immediately know the simultaneous joy and pain you feel when cramming delicious mouthfuls of food into you face even after there is no possible way your stomach can accommodate the additional contents.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the act of Shemomedjamo, which is Georgian for, essentially, embracing the pig-dog.

Shemomedjamo- To eat past the point of feeling full because the food you are eating is very tasty

Another great one comes from the Buli language used in the African country of Ghana. You bite into a pizza and immediately burn your mouth. Then you revert into this open-mouthed head dance, trying to aerate the scalding food while ensuring it doesn’t spend too much time touching any one part of your mouth. That’s pelinti.

Pelinti- to move hot food around your mouth

A New Food Category. The World Makes Sense Again

English is suffering because we lack a word to simultaneously describe sandwich fillings and spreads (and anything else you could plausibly put in a sandwich). Enter Norway with their highly efficient food categorization.

Pålegg- any food which might appropriately be eaten between two slices of bread.
A Pålegg aisle would make supermarkets so much easier to navigate!

So, let's start getting these amazing phrases into general use! Stop your belly button from falling off and order some kummerspeck online now.