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Questions tagged [loan-words]

Questions about words borrowed by English from another language.

0
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1answer
16 views

The word “Comparison”

Declare - declaration. Proclaim - proclamation. Why isn't compare - comparation? For the 3 years that i've been studying the language intensively i've been always intuitively reading "comparison" as "...
4
votes
1answer
47 views

Is “adios” an English word now?

I recently heard an American being interviewed use the word "adios" casually in a sentence. The particular sense of the word seemed to be a sort of permanent "good bye." Since the speaker was (as far ...
8
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2answers
234 views

Why is the English word of Chinese origin “Shih Tzu” used to refer to a dog breed not known in Chinese as “Shih Tzu”?

It is well known that it comes from a Wade-Giles transcription of the Mandarin Chinese word for "lion dog" (獅子狗 shih1-tzu0-kou3, from 獅子 "lion" + 狗 "dog"). This is part is indubitable. There's no ...
2
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4answers
295 views

Sad and Melancholy yet Beautiful

I have been struggling to find a word that I, at one time, had seen in my vocabulary lessons. I am trying to describe something that is "beautiful or attractive" yet also possessing "sadness or ...
-2
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1answer
58 views

Are words from other languages(especially European ones) also appropriated in the English language, like they do in case of Hindi/Sanskrit?

I observe that there are many words in Hindi/Sanskrit, the pronunciation of which, are appropriated by the International(especially US) English speaking crowd, for example:- Yoga Avatar Ramayan ...
3
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2answers
95 views

how did the word CHARLATAN make its way into English [closed]

How did the word charlatan find its way into English?
0
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1answer
129 views

Do you capitalize yakuza?

When referring to the infamous Japanese criminal organization, which sentence would be correct? The yakuza member picked up his glasses, scooped some of the jewelry and loose change into his ...
10
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2answers
373 views

Schools and Shoals

School, as a group of fish, entered Middle English: late Middle English: from Middle Low German, Middle Dutch schōle, of West Germanic origin; related to Old English scolu ‘troop’. (NOAD) Shoal, ...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

A future loan-word for English that means the protective love one feels for children not your own [closed]

I am looking for words for a research project and possible commercial venture. Is there one word in any other language that specifically means the protective love one feels for children that are not ...
12
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2answers
973 views

Word for a cushy position awarded to a crony? [duplicate]

I'm struggling to recall this word. If I recall correctly, it's of French origin. My search has so far been fruitless. The nearest equivalent I came up with was the idiom pulling strings but that is ...
11
votes
1answer
128 views

Adding -s to French city names

This seems to be fairly common pattern. The modern English names of several French or French-related cities seem to add s for no obvious reason. Marseille > Marseilles Lyon > Lyons Tanger ...
0
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1answer
25 views

“A comment is in place”

Does the following collocation exist in English? a comment is in place If not, do you recognize it as an improper loan from another language? It is used by a writer to communicate that, before ...
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0answers
40 views

Have any English words been turned foreign only to be then used again in English in an altered state? [duplicate]

What are some examples of English words that got taken into use in a foreign language in a changed state, and then subsequently re-entered the English language in state B or even state C.
12
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7answers
3k views

For native speakers, what are dumplings? [closed]

When I started to learn English, my teacher told me dumplings is a translation for Chinese 饺子 (a food, also widely found in Japan or Korea). But after a few years, I was surfing on the internet and ...
2
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1answer
82 views

How to know if a word borrowed from another language is now an official English word [closed]

I posted here a question asking how to say "kilig" (a Filipino word that means a feeling of joy, agitation, or happiness felt when someone you fancy, love, or like makes an unexpected gesture of ...
8
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2answers
228 views

History of additional sounds introduced to English

Today I was curious about the rarity of the consonant cluster sr in the English language. I found a WordReference forum from 2006 that asked about the matter. The general response is that because ...
3
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4answers
908 views

What's an example of a 'cheville' word in english?

The dictionary.com word of the day is 'Cheville' and it explains it as such: A word or expression whose only function is to fill a metrical gap in a verse or to balance a sentence. Can anyone give ...
3
votes
1answer
83 views

Rule/pattern about using loan words for monarchs?

We call the monarchs of Germany, Russia and Ancient Egypt "Kaiser", "Tzar/Czar" and "Pharaoh" respectively, but the monarchs of France, Spain, China and Japan "king" or "emperor". Is there any sort ...
40
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2answers
5k views

Is the etymology of “salary” a myth?

Since, perhaps forever, I had always ‘known’ that the English word salary was derived from the Latin salarium, to the time when Roman soldiers were paid in salt for their service. Salt was a highly-...
2
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2answers
182 views

Do you italicize the contraction attached to a foreign word?

I know you italicize words in other languages when writing. But what if you add a contraction? Is it abuela's or abuela's?
0
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2answers
801 views

What is the definition of 'Wagenheims'? [closed]

I'm reading an English translation of Notes from the Underground by Dostoevsky and I came across the sentence They express the consciousness that you have no enemy to punish, but that you have ...
5
votes
1answer
162 views

What is the first known Japanese loan word that entered the English language?

I would like to ask here a similar question I have asked in the Spanish language stack. It is known that nowadays the English language has a lot a words of Japanese origin. But what was the first one ...
1
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3answers
116 views

What is the purpose of changing “Nürnberg” to “Nuremberg” in English language?

For the longest time ever I assumed these are two different places and was very confused about never knowing where Nuremberg is. Recently I found out that Nuremberg is the English form for Nürnberg. ...
1
vote
1answer
529 views

Single word for 'greater purpose'

I have heard this word, but I just can't remember it. It is a 3 to 5 letter word, probably 2 syllabled, and begins with letter T. I am not totally sure if it's an English word. The context I have ...
10
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2answers
890 views

The history of the English “postmeridian”

There's a question on English Language Learners that's been making the rounds recently, it's been on the Hot Network Questions list since January 5 this year and has attracted something like 36,000 ...
3
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1answer
192 views

What nouns of German origin should be given capital letters?

On another post an interesting fact has just been discovered about the OED's treatment of nouns adopted into English from German (loan-words). A lot of them e.g. Nazi are spelled with a capital ...
1
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0answers
449 views

When did the pronunciation of “piranha” change?

"Piranha" is a Portuguese rendering of a Tupi word referring to a sharp-toothed fish with an unfortunate reputation. The correct pronunciation of this word is something like /pɪˈɹɑːnjə/. However, the "...
1
vote
1answer
365 views

Correct spelling of Chinese name in English? [closed]

In Buddhism, there is a deity called Skanda. In Chinese, his name is Wei Tuo. See for example this link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skanda_(Buddhism) However, my question is, what is the actual ...
1
vote
1answer
117 views

Term for someone who wears a burqa

A person who wears a hijab is sometimes called a hijabi, a person who wears a niqab is sometimes called a niqabi. Is there an equivalent term for someone who wears a burqa? According to Wiktionary ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

What lies behind the etymology of the word dandelion?

I am puzzled by the etymology of the word dandelion. I am aware that it is derived from the French “dent-de-lion”, meaning 'lion's tooth' (because of the jagged shape of the leaves). What puzzles ...
31
votes
8answers
2k views

Usage of diacritics in loanwords

I was told here that not using diacritics (specifically the cedilla) is bad usage for those who know — I assume — their diacritics. Is that correct? Is garcon a correct spelling, in English, of the ...
4
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3answers
3k views

Does “garçon” mean male waiters only, not female waitresses?

Does garçon mean (male) waiters only, not waitresses? I can’t find a site which addresses that question, though etymologically, and in French, it means “boy”.
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2answers
214 views

Is “hanbok” considered a countable noun?

Is "hanbok" considered a countable noun, or an uncountable noun? I assumed that "hanbok" meant a specific clothing item, and is therefore countable, and therefore "she wore a hanbok" would be proper ...
1
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1answer
993 views

Are there other words in American English that use the same vowel sound as the “as” in “Pasta”?

Obviously, pasta is a loanword, but generally loanwords are pronounced with the closest vowels which already exist in the language. In American English, the "a" in pasta is the same vowel that I hear ...
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1answer
5k views

One espresso, or two espressi? A double espresso or two espressos? What's the plural of espresso? [closed]

What is the plural of "Espresso"? Some places, especially in Europe spell it "Espressi", some ask for two espresso's. It seems that in Italy, the masculine plural of a noun generally does end with -...
10
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2answers
1k views

Was the -s in Athens originally the plural -s?

In Greek and Latin, some cities, like Athens and Thebes, are pluralia tantum, that is, they are always plural. In English, on the other hand, both names are singular, at least in modern English. It ...
29
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5answers
6k views

Will the word 'schadenfreude' be understood in an English text?

In the context of a creative work, can I use the word 'schadenfreude'? For example: I experienced immense schadenfreude when my friend slipped on a banana peel. Will it be understood by a general ...
7
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2answers
2k views

Accepted plural form of “Hijab”

Although hijab is not an English word, it is commonly used in English to describe the head scarf worn by many Moslem women. I was pretty sure I had just heard Christiane Amanpour of CNN call the ...
1
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1answer
166 views

Usage of English variants of foreign place names (Regensburg - Ratisbon)

Many place names have different form/spelling in English and in the original language of the country, in which they lie, e.g. Lyons x Lyon, The Hague x Den Haag, Munich x München. Most of them are ...
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1answer
832 views

Why are there two versions of the word “tabu”/“taboo”?

From the difference between: Tabu is an alternative form of taboo. And no further explanations provided. Which one of them is the right one? Is it the difference between British and American ...
3
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1answer
1k views

Is “Halaal” an invalid spelling of “halal”?

In Someone Trolled Pauline Hanson By Sending Her A Jar of Halal-Certified Vegemite, "halaal" is described as an invalid spelling of "halal": An enterprising Australian has sent a jar of Vegemite to ...
17
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2answers
1k views

“newfangled”, “fandangle” and “fandango”

I see a little silhouetto of a man Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango? Anyone who's over 30 years should recognize the lyrics of Queen's epic song Bohemian Rhapsody A fandango is ...
2
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3answers
256 views

Two synonyms each of Saxon and French origin where the Saxon word is “classier” [closed]

To clarify the title, i am looking for two words in the English vocabulary. Normally in English words of French origin are seen as fancier and used by intelligent and upper class people. But is there ...
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1answer
195 views

what does effei mean, and where is it from?

I'm not a native English speaker, but i think you'll understand me. I've recently seen a billboard that had a word like "effei" in it, so I googled it. The effei seems to stand for European Federation ...
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0answers
78 views

Digital imitation of an analog aesthetic

There is a word that refers to the aesthetic of a digital representation, imitation, or emulation of an analog device or its components. Such as an analog clock displayed on a digital screen. Apple ...
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3answers
378 views

Term or phrase for attempting to gaslight a large group

Gaslighting or gas-lighting is a form of psychological abuse in which a victim is manipulated into doubting their own memory, perception, and sanity. -Wikipedia But gaslighting "a victim" implies ...
3
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2answers
368 views

What rules govern uniform mispronounciation of romance languages? [closed]

As someone who isn’t a native speaker of English, I’m often fascinated by how those who are seem to change the pronunciation of words originally from French, Italian, Spanish, and so on in a seemingly ...
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7answers
3k views

Should foreign words used in English be inflected for gender, number, and case according to the conventions of their source language?

Is there a general rule for whether, for, example, foreign nouns and adjectives used in English should be inflected for gender, number, and case as they would be if the entire text were written in the ...
9
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1answer
2k views

Why did English borrow verbs ending in -ish? [closed]

Why did English borrow verbs ending in -ish, but not in anything else, from French? This seems quite obscure because it didn't import the verbs from the infinitive French forms, but through some sorts ...
0
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1answer
66 views

Why have the pronunciations of some foreign words been eschewed during the process of induction into English?

Some foreign-language words were reasonably naturalised to preserve pronunciation — e.g. cañón from Spanish to canyon in English. Other words came into English retaining their original spelling and ...