Why is my life filled of tiny dramas like this one? Yesterday, at Euronics, I set about trying to find a 'memory stick' so that I can transport handy things like PowerPoint presentations from place to place.
The trouble was that I couldn't find it, and I was terrified to ask the müüja (seller) because I couldn't remember the words for 'memory stick' in Estonian. Memory is mälu, but the only word I know for 'stick' is kepp.
Kepp is a very troublesome word because it can also be used as a euphemism for sex, that is to say kui Tõnu kepib Triinu, he's really 'stickin' it' to her. Kepp is simply not for polite talk, and I was afraid that if I asked for a mälu kepp, the müüja might get some unwholesome ideas.
Fortunately, at that point, I spied the memory sticks on the other side of the store. And there it was written mälupulk. Ah, yes, pulk -- the word Estonians use to denote a 'stick' without any inappropriate innuendo. Pulk as in pulgakomm (lollipop), huulepulk (lipstick), and soolapulk (pretzel). Sometimes it takes a while to learn a new word. Consider pulk to be part of my vocabulary.