Is there a preferred word that means "to change (a word) to sound (or otherwise appear) as if it came from French"? I've found both "Frenchize" and "Francize" with a web search. If the latter is preferred, I'm not sure whether it takes a soft "C".

Come to think of it, the same could be asked of any language. It would be interesting to have a list like this.

Even more interesting would be to have a general term for the conversion (possibly surreptitious, as of a surname) from one language to another.

Edit: Here's a list of whatever we come up with.

English → Anglicize
French → Gallicize
German → Germanize
Greek → Grecize

  • 1
    Anglicize means to bring it into English, so are you looking for the word to bring something into French? Wouldn't that word be French? Commented May 19, 2015 at 18:55
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    Except this is an site for English language usage so I wouldn't be inclined to do that - although I think Brian Donovan may be on to something with his answer! :-) Commented May 19, 2015 at 19:00
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    Perhaps a gallicized version of germanizing might be allemandation, but I suspect the change would be for the Wurst ;-) Commented May 19, 2015 at 19:18
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    Things get -ised / -ized (e.g. Hellenize, Sinicize, Danicize, Africanize) to most cultures or regions; others get -ified. You can also Dutchify, Russify, or Frenchify things where others might Batavianize, Russianize, or Francize. But be forewarned that words about assimilation often carry heavy political or historical meanings or overtones. Use terms like Castillianize or Vietnamize with care.
    – choster
    Commented May 19, 2015 at 19:30
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    The phenomenon itself may not be totally identical among languages, especially with French and the Academie Francaise having a long tradition of "guarding" the language. In French we have the origianally spelled le weekend which is pronounced in a way that no Englishman would recognize (whereas I suppose the French still feel its origin?), whereas in German we have Keks which is an exact (as can be) phonetic copy of cakes and Germans are usually surprised about its English origin (and on the other hand people are surprised that Handy (with English pronunciation!) is not). Commented May 20, 2015 at 6:20

4 Answers 4


Gallicize is the direct analogue for anglicize. M-W further certifies germanize for German. No such luck for my conjecture hispanicize, and of course italicize means something quite different. As for the relevant hypernym, I am at a loss.

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    For the Germans, teutonize may provide a better parallel with gallicize in using classical roots, as with hellenize and sinicize (perhaps lusitanize?). AHD and CED both attest to hispanicize. Italicize derives from italics, not Italy, though italics of course is a reference to a style of writing that was associate with Italy. Nipponize and hebraize also appear in dictionaries, but appear to be rare.
    – choster
    Commented May 19, 2015 at 23:55

OED has frenchize and frenchify; along with englishize and englishify.

In the end, -ize and -ify are productive suffixes and you can come up with any verb for any country/language. Of course, some verbs will sound jarring (niueize?!) and some are probably never used before; but it doesn't mean you can't coin that word for your needs. Some verbs are more established because the culture of those countries are more influential (like England, France, Germany, Japan, Russia etc.) or the usage of the verb was more prevalent in the history.

The same thing applies to the languages also as some languages are more influential. OED lists the verb form of a lot of countries/nations/languages. I tried to list all the verbs (with -ize and -ify suffixes) related to nations or languages in OED:

  • Italianize
  • Czechize
  • Polonize
  • Scandinavianize
  • Britannicize
  • Russianize
  • Japanize, Japonicize, Japonize
  • Irishize
  • Romanianize
  • Scotize
  • Indianize
  • Englishize, Englishify, Englify, Anglicize, Anglicanize
  • Canadianize
  • Grecanize, Graecize, Hellenize, Greekize
  • Hispanize, Hispaniolize, Spanishify, Spaniardize, Hispanicize
  • Turkize, Turkify, Turkicize
  • Frenchize, Frenchify, Gallicize
  • Germanize, Teutonize
  • Levantinize
  • Syrianize
  • Iranize, Iranicize
  • Iraqize
  • Asianize
  • Sinicize, Sinify (for China/Chinese)
  • Koreanize
  • Malayanize
  • Filipinize
  • Australianize
  • Africanize
  • Zambianize
  • Nigerianize
  • Americanize
  • Mexicanize
  • Productive suffixes are not suffixes that can be tacked onto any stem imaginable to produce an acceptable word. There needs to be some level of acceptance for a candidate word to be acceptable as a word. And niueize hasn't enough currency to be accepted as a word. Commented May 19, 2015 at 21:52
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    Irishize wouldn't work because somebody would always start singing.
    – Oldbag
    Commented May 19, 2015 at 22:49
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    Prob'ly have the same issue with Spanishize.
    – Oldbag
    Commented May 19, 2015 at 22:50

Here're the terms I found: 'Francize'(Canadian), 'Frenchify' and 'Gallicize' (as already mentioned)

Being a student of French, I always thought 'Frenchify' was the only term that existed. Now I know two more.

I haven't heard of any generic term for such adoption or "conversions" from one language to another.

  • 1
    For some reason"Frenchify" sounds like something you'd hear one of the Clampetts from The Beverly Hillbillies say.
    – Catija
    Commented May 19, 2015 at 19:38
  • Yeah, it might sound a little pejorative, but it exists in the dictionaries.
    – Sankarane
    Commented May 19, 2015 at 19:55

I believe the hypernym is languify.

  • 1
    But that is not in either M-W or OED, though the latter has languefy meaning make languid. Commented May 19, 2015 at 19:32
  • @BrianDonovan It is in the Urban Dictionary. OP: consider adding some references.
    – Drew
    Commented May 19, 2015 at 20:09

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