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I know English contains many words taken directly from another language - chauffeur, for example - but I am interested in foreign phrases. These are phrases you'd see in writing or spoken aloud, such as:

  • C'est la vie
  • Caveat emptor
  • Hasta la vista

Have there been any recent foreign language additions to the lexicon in recent history, say the past 50 years or so?

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Something icelandic, like IKEA – Thursagen Sep 12 '11 at 19:38
I'd even add that my wife is a Spanish Translator and she has noticed from the official spanish source (can't remember the website) that several words that used to have a uniquely Spanish word have been removed and now the "official" spanish word is the english word. – Rikon Sep 12 '11 at 19:43
This is a really interesting question, but I'm not sure it fits with the format of SE--it'd be a great topic for discussion, though. Maybe you could bring this up in chat? – simchona Sep 12 '11 at 19:47
By the way, I think you mean a romance language, not a romantic language. – Robusto Sep 12 '11 at 19:54
@Theta30: This is not about Etymology. Anyway, words and expressions get incorporated, some get lost, others become standard language, etc, and this happens all the time. I don't think there is a moment in history where there is 0 (read zero) movement in that sense; sometimes it's less, sometimes it's more, but it's not zero. – Alenanno Sep 12 '11 at 20:45

Hasta la vista

Probably introduced about 10 years ago by the great actor and public orator of the age Mr A. Schwarzenegger

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"Hasta la vista, baby" was a script catchphrase in a Schwarzenegger film of 20 years ago, but that very phrase was used in an earlier hit song (see Wikipedia). The simpler phase "hasta la vista" was common in English long before those uses. – mgkrebbs Sep 13 '11 at 3:57
@mgkrebbs - you're right Terminator2 was 1991 - now I really feel old! But it was probably this that made the phrase popular and it was in the last 50years – mgb Sep 13 '11 at 12:43

The Oxford English Dictionary has about 1800 new (and revised) words added June 2011. Including many of foreign origin. Here is one: babalaas from Afrikaans, meaning hangover.

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I've never heard that commonly used, though – simchona Sep 13 '11 at 1:33
I'm interested in foreign phrases, not individual words. – Scott Mitchell Sep 13 '11 at 2:15
OK, newly-added phrases include: "Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée" and "croque madame". – GEdgar Sep 13 '11 at 14:51
@GEdgar: Are there any others? Is there a way I can see these or do you need a subscription? – Scott Mitchell Sep 13 '11 at 20:59

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