Love of Language

Prozvonit – a Czech word for the act of calling a cell phone and hanging up after one ring so that the other person will call you back, saving you money in the process.


Jayus – Indonesian for a joke told so poorly that people can’t help but laugh.


Kummerspeck – German for the bacon you eat when grieving.


When the question is presented in a person’s second language, people are more likely to say they’d push one person off a bridge in order to save five other people about to be hit by a train. I don’t know what this means. I know a bridge should not be called a bridge when you are falling off it.


Gentrify – English for to destroy what you desire.




Cyrus Armajani teaches reading and creative writing to youth who are incarcerated. He is a Pushcart nominee and his poems have appeared in Blue Collar Review, Crux Magazine, and 100 Days Action, among other publications. Benefits of Doubt (Nomadic Press, 2016) is his first book. He is Iranian-American and lives in Oakland, California with his wife and two sons.

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