The word comes from the Yaghan language of Tierra del Fuego, located at the tip of South America. The islands are divided between Chilean and Argentinean rule. The land is largely protected as national parks and reserves.

The Yaghan people are few and many of them are mestizos. The word mamihlapinatapai landed a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “most succinct word.”

Roughly translated, the idea of the word refers to “a look shared by two people, each wishing that the other will offer something that they both desire but are unwilling to suggest or offer themselves.” I’d say it’s a pretty loaded word!