“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” Elizabeth Barrett Browning might have had an easier time if she’d incorporated some other languages in her poetry. Different languages use different words and phrases to describe different aspects of love. To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we went around the world to collect 36 of our favorite foreign love idioms, words, and phrases to help you better describe how you feel about your valentine:
Love Idioms in French
Retrouvailles: This literally translates to “rediscovery,” and it’s a fitting way to describe your joy at being with your beloved again after a long separation.
Avoir des atomes crochus: This phrase literally means “to have hooked atoms,” but it translates to having great chemistry with someone.
La douleur exquise: Got a crush on someone unobtainable? This French phrase describes your pain.
Coup de foudre: A lighting bolt, that initial jolt of attraction.
Love Idioms in Italian
Cavoli riscaldati: Translating to “reheated cabbage,” let this Italian phrase remind you why reigniting that old flame might not be such a great idea after all.
“Chi ama me, ama il mio cane.” Literally, “he who loves me, loves my dog.” If someone loves you, they accept you as you are.
“Chiodo scaccia chiodo.” Literally “a nail drives out another nail,” this usually used to console someone after a breakup.
Love Idioms in Portuguese
Cafuné: In Brazil, this is the act of running your fingers through your lover’s hair. Brazil has always been a melting pot, and it’s possible this word was borrowed from the Kimbundu language of Angola.
Saudade: When “I miss you” isn’t enough, suadade is a “deep emotional state of nostalgic or profound melancholic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves. ”
Cheiro no cangote: To nuzzle someone’s neck with your nose. Read more