A glossary of joys

Aoj mbuki mvuki

Njoki shared with me this great piece in The New Yorker about the Positive Lexicography Project, an attempt by psychologist Tim Lomas to catalog all the words in different languages that express subtle and sometimes culturally specific forms of joy. I couldn’t help but love this word mbuki-mvuki, which means “to shed clothes to dance uninhibited” in Bantu.

Mbuki-mvuki may not be in your plans this weekend, but I hope some other joyful things are, whether that’s utepils (Norwegian for “a beer that is enjoyed outside…particularly on the first hot day of the year”), volta (Greek for “a leisurely stroll”) or just boketto (Japanese for “gazing off into the distance”). Happy Friday and enjoy!

Read: “The Glossary of Happiness”
Full list here

Hey, Guess What?

The Aesthetics of Joy is now a book! Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness is now available.

Learn more


  1. Barbara B Schwartz

    Following one website to another a few months ago, I found JOYFUL. When I first discovered the healing benefits of being grateful, I started a gratitude circle. We’ve met met monthly for couple of years and after reading this book we are changing our emphasis to Joy. Between now and the end of the year I am figuring out how I want to manifest 2019 and I am going through your worksheets and and the book again to see what more ideas I can add to my life to manifest joy. A recent trip to Santa Fe almost had me moving there. I love all the colors and joyful art there. Thank you so much for your worksheets.

    • Barbara, thank you so much for your kind words. I’m so glad that you are finding the worksheets helpful! I can’t wait to hear more about what you manifest in 2019. Wishing you and your circle joy!

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