Don’t take umbrage if an old-timer in Greece spits at your baby, three times. This is a traditional way to exorcize evil spirits and bad luck.

Chinese generally don’t make compliments. When Westerners do compliment them, the rejoinder is either denial, self deprecation or saying that the opposite of the compliment is true. If you say a young girl looked captivating it is not unusual for Chinese to say she is ugly. If you say a meal was scrumptious, they will say something didn’t turn out right.

In Solapur, India, a yearly non-religious festival is held in which babies are thrown from a 15-meter tower. Waiting catchers hold a sheet below for the babies to land in. Nobody really knows how this tradition came about, but fortuitously they haven’t lost any baby yet.

This particular oddity has been held for the last 200 years. On the last Monday in May, contestants stand at the top of Coopers Hill and wait for an enormous wheel of Double Gloucester cheese to be rolled. The idea is to race the cheese to the bottom of the hill. Weirdly, the cheese almost always wins, sometimes reaching speeds of over 100 km/h.

Turning the Chicago river green has been a singular tradition to Chicago for the past 40 year. The Chicago River is dyed green every St. Patrick’s Day to kick off the weekend celebration.

Chinese consider it brazen to say “no” directly. A typical commotion is caused like this.. A Westerner takes his car to a Chinese mechanic to have it mended. He asks if it will be ready the next day. The mechanic says “yes” because he doesn’t want to be uncouth and say no. The Westerners shows up the next day and is angry because his car isn’t ready. The mechanic doesn’t understand why the foreigner is incensed. The day before he was only trying to be polite and telling the Westerner what the latter wanted to hear. The Westerner should have asked, “When will my car be ready?”

In Bedouin circles, a rule while drinking tea or coffee is to give a slight shake or jiggle of the empty cup, while returning it, to indicate that you are done and do not want any more coffee. If you fail to shake the cup, be prepared to keep getting it refilled!

To prepare for their marriage, Scottish brides-to-be must go through a very nauseating pre-wedding ritual. Friends of the bride take her by surprise and cover her with eggs, spoiled milk, feathers and pretty much anything fetid. The blackened bride is then paraded around town. The purpose of this custom is to prepare the bride for marriage because after going through that, any marital problems will seem like nothing !

While most cultures mourn the loss of family members, women of the Dani tribe in Indonesia must suffer great physical pain in addition to emotional pain. When a family member dies, female relatives must cut off a segment of one of their fingers. This practice is performed to gratify ancestral ghosts. Luckily for the Dani women, this custom is rarely practiced anymore.

Most non-westerners would find the Halloween party a strange affair .October 31, Halloween is a day for parties. Children dress up as witches, ghosts or vampires, and they go from house to house playing tricks. But what’s the origin of this custom? Halloween is the highest satanic holy day of the year. However, many Christians consider it heretical to celebrate this day.

Many African peoples have a convention of removing a dead body through a hole in the wall of a house, and not through the door. The reason for this seems to be that this will make it difficult (or even impossible) for the dead person to remember the way back to the living, as the puncture in the wall is immediately closed.

In south east asian countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and brunei, a person always points with his thumb as it’s considered very rude to point with a forefinger.

In Thailand it’s considered very impetuous to cross your legs in public.

Japanese children cover their tummy button when they hear thunder. Also, an admonition to anyone who has friends or family living in Japan. Never send red Christmas cards to anyone there. Sending red Christmas cards constitutes bad etiquette since, in Japan, funeral notices are customarily printed in red !

In the Indian subcontinent, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal the marriages are arranged by the parents of the bride and groom through a process of meeting a number of families either through a common friend or through a matrimonial advertisement. Conventionally the criteria for selection are religion, socio-economic background, caste, and the personality of the candidates. Both the bride and the groom generally trust their parents to find the best possible nuptial alliance for them. But of late, courtship and dating are also gaining acceptance. Love marriages, also called self-arranged marriages have also become quite a common covenant. It doesn’t grate the parents that much nowadays.

In Bulgaria, grandparents-grandchildren name continuity is a very powerful tradition. Parents name their children after their own parents as a sign of respect and gratitude.

As generations change, some of these traditions fade out, others stay depending on the view of the newer crop of human race. Some get slaked because they are considered politically incorrect, environment unfriendly, plain old-fashioned or unsavoury.

Word – Watch


Contextual Meaning(s) : Noun; cautionary advice about something imminent (especially imminent danger); a firm rebuke

Synonyms : reprimand, warning

  • Ample


Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; affording an abundant supply; more than enough in size or scope or capacity; fairly large

Synonyms : plenteous, sizeable

  • Blitheness


Contextual Meaning(s) : Noun a feeling of spontaneous good spirits

Synonyms : cheerfulness, mirth

  • Boomeranged


Contextual Meaning(s) : Verb; backfired on the originating source.

Synonyms : is a repeat

  • Brazen


Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; unrestrained by convention or propriety;

Other Meaning(s) : Adjective; made of or resembling brass (as in color or hardness); Verb; face with defiance or impudence

Synonyms : scamper, scurry

  • Captivating


Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; capturing interest as if by a spell

Synonyms : hypnotizing

  • Circumvent


Contextual Meaning(s) : Verb; avoid or try to avoid fulfilling, answering, or performing (duties, questions, or issues);

Other Meaning(s) : Verb; beat through cleverness and wit; surround so as to force to give up

Synonyms : skirt, dodge, duck,

  • Commotion


Contextual Meaning(s) : Noun; the act of making a noisy disturbance; confused movement; a disorderly outburst or tumult

Synonyms : disorder, unrest

  • Countenance


Contextual Meaning(s) : Noun; the appearance conveyed by a person’s face; the human face (`kisser’ and `smiler’ and `mug’ are informal terms for `face’ and `phiz’ is British); formal and explicit approval;

Synonyms : endorsement

  • Convention


Contextual Meaning(s) : Noun; orthodoxy as a consequence of being traditional

Synonyms : norm

  • Covenant


Contextual Meaning(s) : Noun; a signed written agreement between two or more parties (nations) to perform some action

Other Meaning(s) : (Bible) an agreement between God and his people in which God makes certain promises and requires certain behavior from them in return; Verb; enter into a covenant or formal agreement, enter into a covenant

Synonyms : contract

  • Debase


Contextual Meaning(s) : Verb; lower in value by increasing the base-metal content; corrupt, debase, or make impure by adding a foreign or inferior substance; often by replacing valuable ingredients with inferior ones; corrupt morally or by intemperance or sensuality

Synonyms : demoralise, profane, vitiate, deprave

  • Excogitate


Contextual Meaning(s) : Verb; reflect deeply on a subject;

Other Meaning(s) : Verb; come up with (an idea, plan, explanation, theory, or principle) after a mental effort

Synonyms : ruminate


  • Exorcize


Contextual Meaning(s) : Verb; expel through adjuration or prayers

Synonyms : expel

  • Fetid


Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; offensively malodorous

Synonyms : stinking

  • Fickle


Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; marked by erratic changeableness in affections or attachments; liable to sudden unpredictable change

Synonyms : quicksilver

  • Gregariousness


Contextual Meaning(s) : Noun; the quality of being gregarious having a dislike of being alone

Synonyms : sociability

  • Heretical


Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; characterized by departure from accepted beliefs or standards

Synonyms : blasphemous

  • Impetuous


Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; marked by violent force; characterized by undue haste and lack of thought or deliberation Synonyms : brash

  • Incessantly


Contextual Meaning(s) : Adverb; with unflagging resolve

Synonyms : ceaselessly

  • Incensed


Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; angered at something unjust or wrong

Synonyms : enraged

  • Jiggle


Contextual Meaning(s) : Noun; a slight irregular shaking motion; verb move to and fro

Synonyms : wiggle

  • Mended


Contextual Meaning(s) : Verb; restored or brought back to good health or state

Synonyms : bushelled, fixed

  • Nauseating


Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; causing or able to cause nausea

Synonyms : sickening

  • Nuptial


Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; of or relating to a wedding

Synonyms : spousal

  • Oddity


Contextual Meaning(s) : Noun; a strange attitude or habit; something unusual — perhaps worthy of collecting

Synonyms : eccentricity

  • Prank


Contextual Meaning(s) : Noun; a ludicrous or grotesque act done for fun and amusement; acting like a clown or buffoon;

Other Meaning(s) : Verb; dress up showily; dress or decorate showily or gaudily

Synonyms : caper

  • Radical


Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; Revolutionary

Synonyms : extreme, revolutionary

  • Rejoinder


Contextual Meaning(s) : Noun; a quick reply to a question or remark (especially a witty or critical one)

Other Meaning(s) : Noun; (law) a pleading made by a defendant in response to the plaintiff’s replication

Synonyms : repartee

  • Relentlessly


Contextual Meaning(s) : Adverb; in a relentless manner

Synonyms : unrelentingly


  • Ruin


Contextual Meaning(s) : Noun; failure that results in a loss of position or reputation; the process of becoming dilapidated; verb fall into ruin; reduce to ruins; destroy or cause to fail; deprive of virginity; destroy completely; damage irreparably; reduce to bankruptcy

Synonyms : dilapidation

  • Scramble


Contextual Meaning(s) : Noun; an unceremonious and disorganized struggle; rushing about hastily in an undignified way

Synonyms : scamper, scurry

  • Scrumptious


Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; extremely pleasing to the sense of taste

Synonyms : delicious

  • Slaked


Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; allayed

Synonyms : attenuated

  • Supplant


Contextual Meaning(s) : Verb; take the place or move into the position of

Synonyms : replace

  • Succor


Contextual Meaning(s) : Noun; assistance in time of difficulty;

Other Meaning(s) : Verb; help in a difficult situation

Synonyms : ministration

  • Squander


Contextual Meaning(s) : Verb; spend extravagantly; spend thoughtlessly; throw away

Synonyms : waste, ware, blow

  • Transpired


Contextual Meaning(s) : Verb. Occurred or took place or was discussed

Synonyms : occur

  • Trepidation


Contextual Meaning(s) : Noun; a feeling of alarm or dread

Synonyms : dread

  • Truncate


Contextual Meaning(s) : Verb; terminating abruptly by having or as if having an end or point cut off; verb make shorter as if by cutting off; approximate by ignoring all terms beyond a chosen one;

Other Meaning(s) : Verb; replace a corner by a plane

Synonyms : prune

  • Umbrage


Contextual Meaning(s) : Noun; a feeling of anger caused by being offended

Synonyms : offense, insult

  • Uncouth


Contextual Meaning(s) : Ajdective; lacking refinement or cultivation or taste

Synonyms : ruffian, coarse


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