Mamihlapinatapei

I saw the movie “Life in a Day,” which was a beautiful collection of YouTube videos all made by people all over the world on the same day.  One woman, in a prompt about her favorite word, discussed Mamihlapinatapai.  The word is from the Yaghan language of Tierra del Fuego and means “the look shared by two people, each wishing that the other will initiate something, but that neither is willing to start.”

The word supposedly has political origins, but its application to romantic relationships is painfully obvious.

The video below is not a clip from the movie, but it is made by the same woman who discusses it in the film.

She claims that it is the most succinct word according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

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