Questions tagged [loanwords]

Questions about words borrowed by English from another language.

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27
votes
7answers
131k views

Pronunciation of “cache”

I have been pronouncing the word "cache" as kaysh. I know a few people who pronounce it more like cash, cashay or even catch. After consulting a few dictionaries, it turns out that the correct ...
2
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
35k views

Is the -re “supposed” to be silent in the pronunciation of “macabre”?

Is the "-re" supposed to be silent in the pronunciation of the word macabre? I'm aware that dictionaries give two pronunciations, \məkäb\ and \mekäbrə\, but is one of them just a fixed "error" of the ...
23
votes
6answers
4k views

Button up that frog, will you?

What is the etymology of frog? I'm referring to the elaborate braid fastenings often found on 18th and 19th century military costumes, not the amphibian. Wikipedia tells me Frogs and frogging ...
15
votes
2answers
1k 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,...
17
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
6k views

What's up with the hyphen in “orang-utan”?

For most of my life 'till about a couple of years ago, I had only seen the spelling orangutan written to describe those delightful red-headed apes from the tropical forests of Borneo. Lately, though, ...
47
votes
17answers
10k views

Is “act like a mensch” too localized for ELU readers (U.S. and/or British English)?

This question was motivated by an interesting comment that was made at https://academia.stackexchange.com/posts/comments/123681?noredirect=1 Part of Answer: I don't think that particular research ...
1
vote
1answer
357 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
18k views

Pronunciation of foreign words in American vs. British English?

One of the differences between modern US English (hereafter referred to as "American English") and British English is the way in which we pronounce foreign words, particularly those of French origin ...
11
votes
1answer
9k views

Are “tomorrow” and “morning” etymologically related?

I know this is true for German and Spanish: Morgen morgen and Mañana por la mañana both mean "tomorrow morning". There may well be other examples too. I wonder- since these languages have ...
0
votes
1answer
39 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 "...
24
votes
6answers
5k views

What does “bupke” mean?

There was the following passage in the New Yorker's (August 27) article titled, “A scandal at the C.I.A. May be.” : In January I (David Shafer, novelist) filed a Freedom of Information Act request ...
4
votes
1answer
350 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
votes
3answers
19k views

How do I pronounce Gaudí, the architect?

How do I pronounce 'Gaudi', in the name of Antoni Gaudí (the architect)?
8
votes
2answers
426 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
votes
1answer
68 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
119 views

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

How did the word charlatan find its way into English?
20
votes
2answers
43k views

Why is the “a” in “cocoa” silent?

Not being a native speaker of English, one of those words that tripped me up is “cocoa”. Besides having its vowels inverted from “cacao”; it also is pronounced exactly the same as “coco”, whereas “...
10
votes
2answers
545 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, ...
0
votes
1answer
234 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
257 views

Is there an equivalent of diaeresis, but for consonants?

I know that diaeresis is used to show that two adjacent vowels are not a diphthong but should be pronounced separately, as in naïve or Zoë. Is there an equivalent mark or format in current ...
11
votes
1answer
170 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
61 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
votes
2answers
991 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 ...
-1
votes
3answers
390 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
votes
1answer
86 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
32 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 ...
0
votes
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
votes
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
votes
1answer
93 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
273 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?
23
votes
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
259 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
1k 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
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Where does the term “hardware” in computer science comes from?

The term Software was coined in 195x. And it was opposed the term Hardware, physical part of a computer system, which is tangible. But where does the term Hardware comes from (from which of the ...
0
votes
2answers
269 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 ...
40
votes
2answers
8k 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-...
0
votes
2answers
1k 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
183 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
134 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. ...
7
votes
1answer
15k views

Why is “Yosemite” spelled that way?

I'm not a native English speaker, but sometimes I get the feeling that the pronunciation of English words is random. Why is "Yosemite" is pronounced as "Yoh-Sem-Ee-Tee" and written as "Yosemite" and ...
1
vote
1answer
833 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
16k views

What is the history of “nil” in British football /soccer?

In British football if neither team scores a goal, the score is said to be: nil-nil or nil-nil draw. Curiously, the winning team's results are always spoken first. So if Arsenal are playing home the ...
6
votes
5answers
23k views

Is there a synonym for “schadenfreude” that sounds more colloquial?

Is there a more colloquial synonym for "schadenfreude"? I'm specifically looking for a noun that denotes a pleasure derived from other people's misfortunes or sufferings. Sadly, I couldn't find any ...
13
votes
1answer
7k views

Why isn't “connoisseur” spelled “connaisseur”?

From what I gathered on the Web, "connoisseur" is spelled that way because it is derived from the Old French verb "connoître" (to know) which has been spelled "connaître" for close to two centuries. ...
16
votes
4answers
7k views

When using the French word “sans” in an English sentence, should I use italics?

In the sentence, below, I am using the French word sans to mean without. Should sans be italicized? Or, should all of "sans human civilization" be italicized? Planet Earth sans human civilization ...

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