Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The history and science of hangovers. I especially liked the bit on international terminology:
Some words for hangover, like ours, refer prosaically to the cause: the Egyptians say they are "still drunk," the Japanese "two days drunk," the Chinese "drunk overnight." The Swedes get "smacked from behind."

But it is in languages that describe the effects rather than the cause that we begin to see real poetic power. Salvadorans wake up "made of rubber," the French with a "wooden mouth" or a "hair ache." The Germans and the Dutch say they have a "tomcat," presumably wailing. The Poles, reportedly, experience a "howling of kittens." My favorites are the Danes, who get "carpenters in the forehead."

In keeping with the saying about the Eskimos' nine words for snow, the Ukrainians have several words for hangover.
(Via Cosmic Log.)