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According to Wikipedia, up to 30% of English words come from French, and I'm interested in a special subset of them. Not "loan words", but words that seem potentially derived in jest.

For example, "hoosegow" seems to be a tongue-in-cheek corruption of the Spanish "jusgado".

Three possible examples of cheerful manglings of "Frank-ase" are:

I've seen Western old-timers obviously relishing the use of those words around their Creole acquaintances. And, thousands of French words made it into English, with less alteration, both before and since these two examples.

So, two questions:

  1. What are some more of these words? Or better yet a good source of them? (My Google-fu has failed me.)
  2. Any evidence to support or disprove the conjecture that these word-hijackings are mocking highfalutin French usage?
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closed as not constructive by JSBձոգչ, RegDwigнt May 24 '12 at 12:41

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I think (1.) is not constructive. Listing things is not a good use of SE. – Matt E. Эллен May 24 '12 at 11:04
This would be a good research subject for a Master's thesis I believe. – deutschZuid May 25 '12 at 2:46
@JamesJiao: Really? I'd just settle for some answers or a few more examples (or counter examples). Alas, it's devilishly hard with some of the moderation policies on SE. Some notions might be okay for "hard science" fields like SO, and less so in other subjects. ;) – Brock Adams May 25 '12 at 3:19
Yes, really. I am not kidding. It's a very interesting topic. I'd do it if I have the patience to get to the academic point of writing one! – deutschZuid May 25 '12 at 3:22
I remember reading that the (chiefly British) use of the word "loo" for toilet may have been derived from the last word of the expression "Regardez l'eau" (fr. "watch out for the water") as someone dumped a chamber pot into the street below. I don't have a source for this, but I have wondered if the English expression "toot-a-loo!" (informal leave taking) may have been derived from "à tout à l'heure." – rajah9 May 18 at 18:22