Tour of Babel

Tour of Babel

Tour of Babel is a regular Popula column, in which we translate the world’s words that can’t be translated, the phrases and expressions that don’t travel (but that also, it turns out, do).
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Cheeky

This is the problem with cheeky, where you can’t see it as innocent: it’s so cheeky you don’t take it seriously.

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Lackeys of capital

They are all fools and nou-choi in a sense; none of them have the sense to confront the master.

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The Heart of the Wise Is in the House of Mourning

The most Jewish emotion, Naches, belongs in the language of exile.

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Pork Trimmings

Choriplaneros and the New Right

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Mamata

The news from Brazil: a mamata vai acabar.

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Naasiru Deen

Gambians feared Jammeh's guns, legislation, and corruption—not his sermons.

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The Art of Arranging Yourself

On resourcefulness as a national trait.

Throwing in the Trowel

The art of punditry is not too far from masonry.

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Thank You for Your Service

It’s a phrase you will only find in this country, because the sentiment is so distinctly American.