Teeth and words……


Why doesn’t English have an expression for the space between the teeth when Malay does – gigi rongak?

And that’s not the only gap in our dental vocabulary:
mrongos (Indonesian) to have ugly protruding upper teeth
angil (Kapampangan, Philippines) to bare the fangs like a dog
laglerolarpok (Inuit) the gnashing of teeth
kashr (Persian) displaying the teeth in laughter
zhaghzhagh (Persian) the chattering of the teeth from the cold or from rage

And that one bizarre word that few of us are ever likely to need:
puccekuli (Tulu, India) – a tooth growing after the eightieth year!

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