Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Is there a word for double loanwords?

The only example I can think of right now isn't in English, but it should clarify what I mean.

Küçük, meaning small/young, the original Turkish word, was borrowed into Farsi and pronounced kuchak (also meaning small/young). Turkish re-borrowed kuckak as köçek, which was used not to mean the same thing as küçük, but rather to refer to young male dancers in the Ottoman court.

Does this borrowing process have a name? Do twice-loaned words have their own category?

share|improve this question

closed as off topic by Mitch, kiamlaluno, Daniel, simchona, Alain Pannetier Φ Sep 24 '11 at 21:19

Questions on English Language & Usage Stack Exchange are expected to relate to English language and usage within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

1  
I use "le hot-dog" all the time. :) –  JeffSahol Sep 24 '11 at 12:52
    
Why the votes to close? This is the first question I've asked, and I'm not sure what's objectionable about it. –  onomatomaniak Sep 24 '11 at 12:55
1  
Now that linguistics.SE is open, I think this is a better fit there. It's not that it's an objectionable question in and of itself. –  simchona Sep 24 '11 at 14:51
    
Don't know how accurate, but I heard that junta was Spanish, borrowed into English, passed out of use in Spanish, then later borrowed back from English into Spanish. –  GEdgar Dec 28 '11 at 17:56

2 Answers 2

The wikipedia article about loanwords refers to the process of words being borrowed back as reborrowing. The examples in that article are of words borrowed from French or from Greek into English (as beefsteak and cinema), and then reborrowed into French or Greek with slightly different meaning, spelling, and pronunciation. More examples appear in the semantic loan article.

share|improve this answer

According to Krysstal, they are referred to as borrowed words, or words loaned from other languages. I am not sure if there is a word or expression that means that the word is borrowed back.

Some of the Greek words that fit this category, though, include:

Australia - Originally meaning southern, and now referring to the country.

Catholic - Originally meaning universal, and now referring to the religion. Note that the Greek Orthodox bible still uses the original meaning of this word. I believe there are some disciplines that also use the original meaning of this word.

Democracy - Originally meaning state of the people, and now referring to the political paradigm. The same can be said for politics, which comes from the word politis meaning man of the people. I much rather prefer Larry Hardiman's definition of the word, though.

Mesopotamia - Originally meaning between the rivers, and now referring to the ancient region now part of Iraq.

Telephone - Originally meaning far voice, and now referring to the communication device.

Note that the above link provides a list of words that the English language has borrowed from other languages.

share|improve this answer
    
As a post-script to my answer, it can be argued that words like democracy and Mesopotamia were coined to describe a particular process or location, even in ancient times. Other words, not listed above, could have simply altered in meaning like many words have altered in meaning in the English language. –  Bill Sep 24 '11 at 14:37

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.