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Prozvonit: There’s a Name For It

We love language, and this series features words from various languages around the world that capture universal, but complicated, human emotions or situations. It’s fun and (gasp!) educational, too!

We welcome your contributions!

Today’s lesson, useful worldwide:

Prozvonit— In both the Czech and Slovak languages, this word means to call a mobile phone only to have it ring once so that the other person would call back, allowing the caller not to spend money on minutes. This concept has names in other languages as well:

Toque – Spanish
Cimanje – Croatian
Wangiri – Japanese
Toque – Brazilian Portuguese
Squillo – Italian
Prank – Australian English, some parts of England
Drop-call – Northern Ireland, some parts of England
Cimnuti – Serbian
Tizntuk – Hebrew
Scotch – South African English
Trznuti – Bosnian
Flash – some parts of Africa
Anklingeln – German

Source: Beyond Words, the ALTA Blog

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Posted: Friday, June 26th, 2009 at 9:00 am

  1. Matthew Brzyski

    Is there a word for this definition:

    Picking your friend’s choice of boyfriend/girlfriend over your own choice because they are your friend and you feel you have to in order to show loyalty.

    Or something similar?
    Please e-mail me.
    Thank you so much

    • paok

      “Quedar bien” in Spanish.

  2. shimi

    The word in Hebrew is actually Tzintuk[*] and NOT Tizntuk as written above.

    It is a soldering of the words צלצול=>Tseel-tsool (ring) and ניתוק=>Nituk (disconection). In Hebrew it is written צנתוק.

    [*] Though I would prefer to spell it “Tsintuk”, as I believe the Hebrew letter צ sounds more like Ts than Tz.

  3. carlosromero

    In brazilian portuguese there is no name for it, but just a kind of phrasal verb: DAR UM TOQUE, that means something like “to give a [fast] call”.

  4. Pawel

    In Polish, ‘strzałka’
    Which means ‘a small dart or arrow’

  5. Daniel

    The German “anklingen” is used in a more general sense (like “Could you please ring the doorbell for me, I have my hands full?” – “Kannst du bitte anklingeln, ich habe beide Hände voll”

    It doesn’t necessarily stand for this concept (actually we would rather use a sentence and a slightly different word to describe it “ich habe es nur kurz anläuten lassen damit er mich zurueckruft” – “I only let it ring a few times so that he would call me back”)

    Source: German native speaker

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