Archive for the 'language' Category


North Pole (from põhja, north and naba, belly button)

In Estonian, the North Pole is actually the Belly Button of the North. A very graphic concept. 🙂



(from õde, sister; äi, father-in-law)

The father-in-law of the sister. Estonians do know how to use their vowels.


in visit (from küla, village)

A very interesting concept I learned recently is to visit in Estonian. To say “I’m in a visit” (in a friend’s house, for example), you say “ma olen külas“. That last phrase literally means “I’m in (the) village“. Basically, another person’s place is like going to a village. That makes complete sense to me.


present day, contemporary (from nüüd, now and aeg, time)

My guess is that nüüdis means “in now“, so basically this word would be “the time in now“. Words like this make it easy to learn Estonian.


nightmare (from luu, bone and painama, to haunt)

This is the opposite of unenägu, another interesting word. Some dictionaries translate this word as Incubus or Succubus, both of them, non pleasant mythological characters that would come in one’s sleep. Painama, however, can be translated also as to haunt or to obsess, the basic concept of stalking. Based on this, I’d say that luupainaja could mean “stalker of the bone“, which would perfectly illustrate this concept.

I just hope that doesn’t happen to me tonight.


dream (from une, hypnos- and nägu, face)

This is a very interesting one. According to what I was told, the word une is related to sleep. However, when searching in a few dictionaries, I was surprised to find out that une is also translated as hypnos- or oneiro- for complex words. For example, Hypnos, the greek god of sleep, is translated in a dictionary as unejumal, literally god of the sleep. The word oneiro– is related to Hypnos’ sons or brothers.  As a side comment, this made me realize that the word sueño in Spanish is also related to another god, but from Roman mythology: somnus.

Unenägu should mean then “face of the sleep” or ¨face of Hypnos¨.



I hear it all the time in the context of ok or understood.

Roger that.

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