Questions tagged [loanwords]

Questions about words borrowed by English from another language.

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Is there a word for something that was formerly a social norm but is no longer acceptable?

I've been reading a lot of various classic literature, and at times there is the sort of casual misogyny or racism that was commonplace and (within certain cultures) the social norm at that time. Such ...
oliverseal's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
708 views

Is there a word for fans making excuses for their favorite artist? [duplicate]

The example I'm thinking of is Bethesda and Starfield. Other than the graphics it's not a well designed game, but people keep making excuses for it, when smaller teams have done far more with far less ...
Austin Capobianco's user avatar
15 votes
6 answers
3k views

Are there examples of mutual loanwords in French and in English?

I was once asked the question: What French word is commonly used in English for which an English word is commonly used in French? The answer was respectively rendezvous and date, which I found very ...
Mat's user avatar
  • 276
2 votes
2 answers
125 views

If a loan word is used with a different meaning in a given language, is it still a loan word?

Spanish speakers use 'basket,' for basketball, 'smoking' for black tie and 'freaki' for geek. They also use 'camping' for camp site and 'parking' for car park, but the participles retain the same ...
Daniel Watts's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
364 views

Are the origins of ¡ay, güey! and 'oy vey' related at all? [closed]

Though both of these terms come from other languages, they are both said in English, depending on where one is. One (ay wey as a more English form) can mean holy crap!, and the other can mean ...
user avatar
45 votes
2 answers
4k views

What is the origin of the word "doh" (as seen in the world's first crossword puzzle)?

The first ever crossword puzzle was written by Arthur Wynne in 1913: Image from Wikimedia Commons It has several clues with obscure and obsolete answers, but I was able to find all of them in ...
Carmeister's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
235 views

Term for cleaning up a language

Italian government wants to forbid the usage of foreign terms, which in Italy are mostly English: Italians who use English and other foreign words in official communications could face fines of up to ...
Gio's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
2k views

How did barista enter the English language?

The Italian term barista (bartender) entered the English language in 1992 and its usage has considerably increased since then according to Google Books: "bartender in a coffee shop," as a ...
Gio's user avatar
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29 votes
8 answers
5k views

Can you use 'amok' without 'run'? How?

I've only ever seen the word 'amok' used in conjunction with the verb 'to run'. As in, 'running amok' or 'to run amok'. Is there an accepted way to use 'amok' without the verb 'to run'? Do you have ...
Miguel Bartelsman's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
338 views

Why are long e and o most prone to be diphthongised by English speakers?

As a teacher of languages, it has struck me how English vowels love not just diphthongs, but even triphthongs, and this tendency presents itself in how native English speakers generally tend to ...
Canned Man's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
73 views

Why did English start verbalizing Latin past participles, not keep nativizing infinitive suffixes like it used to do to French verbs? [closed]

The way English adapted French verbs used to be quite straightforward: swap the French infinitive suffixes with Middle English -en: Latin crīdāre > Old French crier > Middle English crien (13th ...
Vun-Hugh Vaw's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
55 views

Are Loan words still compound? [closed]

English imports lots of foreign words. If those words are compound in their original language, do we still consider them compound in English? Examples Kindergarten Chickpea ???
Dan Grahn's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
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Loanwords: adapt spelling or pronunciation?

Maybe "yacht" isn't the best example, but it was the "automatic choice" for me due to this Monty Python sketch. Well, in Germany it certainly it's pronounced and written "...
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
94 views

Do native English speakers understand the word "onsen"

I live in Japan, and all native English speakers can understand the word "onsen". It means hot spring and comes from the Japanese language. I wonder if native English speakers living in US, ...
skkap's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
87 views

Is 'tête-à-tête' an expression in English language as well?

tête-à-tête is a French expression; however, I see it on Cambridge Dictionary. What confused me most was that it is not 'tete-a-tete' but 'tête-à-tête' in the dictionary.
user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
29 views

What is the technical term for people who either lends or borrow money? [closed]

For example, if i am giving people money expecting to be paid back or i borrow money from them promising to pay back without any interest. What would these people be called?
user462572's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
522 views

Why are "just" and "justice" written with a "j", while "language" is written with a "g", when they all come from Latin?

The word "language" comes from Latin and is written with a "g". The adjective "just" and its noun form "justice" also come from Latin. These are the only words ...
Arunabh Bhattacharya's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
396 views

Why is "hammock" spelled the way it is?

The word hammock comes from Spanish hamaca. type of hanging bed, 1650s, alteration of hamack, hamaca (1550s), from Spanish hamaca, from Arawakan (Haiti) word apparently meaning "fish nets" (...
Arunabh Bhattacharya's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
38 views

Why are legislatures called by their native language names but not heads of government?

Why do English-language news articles and other sources often refer to legislatures or legislative chambers by their name in the predominant language of the country (Lok Sabha, Duma, Knesset, Diet, ...
Lee C.'s user avatar
  • 101
-1 votes
1 answer
129 views

Why keep useless diacritics? [closed]

Why foreign physicists' names retain diactrics when the phonetic meaning of these diactrics becomes irrelevant? "Ampère" uses "è" to indicate which type of French "e" to ...
Some Student's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
20 views

What word/phrase means "the feeling of the time/era"? [duplicate]

I think I recall encountering a phrase that means roughly "the characteristic feeling of a particular historical time". For example, this word/phrase could be applied to the French ...
user8943237's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
101 views

What is the plural form of German 'Sturm und Drang'?

Yesterday I encountered the artistic term 'Sturm und Drang' (roughly: storm and stress), a term that describes the literary and artistic movement influenced by Rousseau. It has also been co-opted in ...
smashing_syntax's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
468 views

Capitalise or not foreign demonyms when original language uses lower case and English has no equivalent?

In English we capitalise demonyms. Someone from Paris is a Parisian. When we insert words from other languages we indicate the non-English nature of the word with quotation marks or italics. "He ...
Peter Brancato's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
432 views

What is the true etymology of "algebra"?

This is more of a question for Arabic stack exchange if there was such a thing, but anyways: The OED suggests as the etymology of the term "algebra" Etymology: < post-classical Latin ...
Colin's user avatar
  • 1,063
1 vote
0 answers
128 views

When should Latinisms be Italicized? [duplicate]

Some Latinisms are usually italicized in English whereas some Latin loanwords are not, even in the same text. However, I cannot find any clear pattern. Are there clear rules or guidelines about it? ...
stultissimus's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
48 views

Nullifidan, heresiarch, latitudinarian-- Is there some database where I can find other obscure words describing "types" of people?

I only come across these really obscure words while reading. I really love the weight they carry. Do you know of any place where I can find more words of the same family? If not, do you know any other ...
Dylan Kelleher's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
149 views

Why is a coffee bean not called “coffee”?

Why is a coffee bean not called ‘coffee’ when it obviously originated from there, it seems they reversed it to the coffee drink. Even the Google search engine refers ‘Coffee’ as a drink and not the ...
Shiz's user avatar
  • 111
2 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why do cer­tain con­so­nant clus­ters oc­cur only at the start of a syl­la­ble but oth­ers only at the end?

You may have no­ticed that in English, some con­so­nant clus­ters can oc­cur only at the start of an English word while other con­so­nant clus­ters can oc­cur only at the end. For ex­am­ple, the com­...
user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
822 views

Is using the plural form (in place of the original singular) of these Latin/Greek loan words acceptable?

The following Latin/Greek singular vs. plural errors make me cringe every time: bacterium - bacteria criterion - criteria millennium - millennia phenomenon - phenomena It's extremely typical for an ...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
26 views

Another form of aficionado

Does a form of the word aficionado exist where it refers to the person. Perhaps something like an aficionè ? Similar to how habituè is a habitual person or someone who does something habitually. ...
Σ baryon's user avatar
  • 101
12 votes
4 answers
4k views

Why is stigmata a plural of stigma?

When I first looked this word up on Dictionary.com, I found entries not for it, but instead stigma. I was baffled. Words in the English language usually follow the -(e)s pluralization pattern, but why ...
Adamant's user avatar
  • 256
10 votes
2 answers
9k views

Is the word "psithurism" really used in English?

‎ I have seen people using this word to refer to the sound wind makes as it moves through trees. However, 1. No reputable dictionary seems to have acknowledged this term as a valid english word. 2. ...
user11731289's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
21 views

Plural of irregular or foreign acronyms [duplicate]

What is the correct way of pluralizing acronyms in which the last word is either irregular or a foreign word? For example: radiation transparent medium (RTM) What would be the plural of the acronym ...
borondics's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
988 views

How many English words are of native origin?

What percentage of current English words are of native Anglo-Saxon origin? I have seen stats about how large percentages of the English words currently in use come from French, Latin, or German ...
EmaJ's user avatar
  • 31
2 votes
1 answer
188 views

How did zugzwang become an English word?

The word zugzwang means a move in chess which forces your opponent to make a detrimental move; a move causing all of your opponent's options to be moves which will worsen their situation. Although it ...
Noah's user avatar
  • 378
2 votes
2 answers
348 views

Spanish-derived words in English

I recently found out that "mustang" is a Hispanicism word of Spanish origin: it is adapted from "mostrengo" or "mestreño", which roughly mean "without rooting"; ...
mathbekunkus's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
143 views

When does a 'loan word' cease to be defined as such?

At what point does a 'loan word' cease to be defined as such? Does it depend on for how long, or frequently a word has been used?
Daniel Watts's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
2k views

Term for anticipating counterarguments and rebutting them

There's this term for the rhetorical device of anticipating counterarguments and rebutting them, but I simply can't remember it. Now I know what you're thinking - did you try googling it? Well I did,...
pellucidcoder's user avatar
17 votes
5 answers
6k views

Does the word “uzi” need to be capitalized?

"Uzi" is not contained in any Scrabble® dictionary that I can find online. I am assuming that the Scrabble® powers that be are treating it as a proper noun. However, after reading the Wikipedia ...
tooAnnoying's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
200 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 "...
Nick The Dick's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
StayOnTarget's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
Vun-Hugh Vaw's user avatar
  • 5,401
3 votes
6 answers
22k 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 ...
Alexander Smith's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
94 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 ...
amsquareb's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
177 views

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

How did the word charlatan find its way into English?
TimR's user avatar
  • 20.4k
0 votes
1 answer
758 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 ...
TheTrueJerryCan's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
2k 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, ...
Unrelated's user avatar
  • 4,933
1 vote
1 answer
78 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 ...
Amy B's user avatar
  • 106
12 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
nico2001's user avatar
  • 123
11 votes
1 answer
1k 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 > ...
lly's user avatar
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