Is there a nice proverb that highlights the foreign (e.g. German and French) origins of the English language?

I remember that I've once read something like

English is the bastard child of a German mother, French father and...

But I can't seem to find the source.

closed as too localized by RegDwigнt Nov 14 '12 at 16:06

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  • 3
    "English is a love child of PIE and, um, more PIE." – RegDwigнt Aug 8 '12 at 10:20
  • None could be both pithy enough to be a proverb and accurate enough to be of any use. – Barrie England Aug 8 '12 at 10:28
  • Whatever the English language might be, relating it to any languages by descriptions like "be a bastard" does nothing except that it lowers its dignity. It has been accepted as an international language either it would be a bastard of other languages or an independent language. Do you know a pure language? If so, what is it? – user30892 Nov 14 '12 at 15:44
  • 2
    “The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that the English language is as pure as a crib-house whore. It not only borrows words from other languages; it has on occasion chased other languages down dark alley-ways, clubbed them unconscious and rifled their pockets for new vocabulary.” ― James Nicoll – Mark Beadles Nov 14 '12 at 16:14

I found this thanks to Google.

What is English? ...

  • A child who was born to a German mother with a French step-father and has some Scandinavian blood (...)
  • 1
    Little do they know that Scandinavian languages are Germanic, too. It's worse than Barrie predicted — neither pithy enough to be a proverb nor accurate enough to be of any use. – RegDwigнt Aug 8 '12 at 11:27

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