46

As a matter of style, many U.S. publishers follow the general rules given by the Chicago Manual of Style, fifteenth edition (2003) at 7.51, 7.53, and 7.54 under the heading "FOREIGN WORDS": 7.51 Italics. Italics are used for isolated words and phrases in a foreign language if they are likely to be unfamiliar to readers. [Examples omitted.] ... 7....


44

Words in the English language usually follow the -(e)s and -us-to--i pluralization patterns, but why not stigmata? Why can't this word be its own or an alternative singular? To be sure, the regular plural stigmas also exists, and Merriam-Webster indicates that that's the more common plural for the now-primary metaphorical sense "a mark of shame or discredit"...


42

As a native speaker of British English, I've never heard that phrase in my life and have no idea what it might mean. It's not a phrase I'd expect British people to understand, unless it's been used in one of the many American TV series that have been popular in the UK.


38

The consensus is... there is no consensus. In fact, some of the style guides I checked didn't even mention it. In that case you can just use the spelling recommended by a dictionary. That's what The Chicago Manual of Style Online recommends: Generally, we leave such things to the dictionary. Our main arbiter in matters of spelling—Webster’s eleventh—tends ...


32

If it's any consolation, Yoichi Oishi, the various forms of bupkes were not widely used and understood in the English-speaking world either, until a few decades ago. Here are the first readable/intelligible occurrences of each spelling of the word that a Google Books search finds: bobkes: From Charles Angoff, In the Morning Light (1953): "As bad as ...


31

In the UK, whilst most people will understand that 'Asian / Chinese' dumplings are some kind of food, wrapped in dough, plain-old dumplings are something else far more ordinary. A dumpling, in the UK, is a ball of self-raising flour and suet (shredded hard animal or vegetable fat) bound with water, which is cooked in a stew, so that it takes on the flavour ...


30

The answer is, unsatisfyingly, that it depends. Most native speakers aren't fluent in the borrowed language and so won't know the grammar principles there. Sometimes things are borrowed exactly, like Latin sayings, and stand alone with no possibility of declining, like 'ceteris paribus' Sometimes a simple thing, like a plural, if easy, is declined, like ...


29

Why spell it connoisseur? You’ve basically answered your own question here. The French word has been spelt connaître for close to two centuries. Connoisseur was borrowed into the English language some time around three centuries ago, when it was spelt that way in French. The fact that French has changed the spelling of the French since does not mean that ...


29

From my own experience, this is an idiom one can only use reliably in a diverse and cosmopolitan American milieu. I employ it with no hesitation if there are Jews present, because I am certain they will understand it. But educated people with a lot of multicultural awareness probably will as well. It is not something one would be likely to use in, say, a ...


29

Nearly fifty years old, born in the UK, living in N. Italy for too many years, but a frequent visitor to the UK and Ireland: can't say I have never seen ‘mensch’ online, or that my mind exploded when I read the OP's sentence. By the way, should it be written with a capital letter? In its proper context, the meaning of ‘mensch’ was easy enough to guess. But ...


26

Quyer and choir possibly have different meanings. From the context you gave, it looks like quyer is the equivalent of the modern-day word quire. A quire is not a group of singers, but rather it's the part of a church where those singers sit. Choir is clearly a strongly related word, describing the group of singers. To muddy the water a bit, the spelling ...


26

I'm an American from the south, and in contrast to other Americans who have answered, I've never heard that idiom before. I didn't have any clue what the word mensch was supposed to mean until after reading comments/answers here, and I still have to look it up to be actually sure what it means. I find it surprising that this is referred to as an Americanism, ...


26

As a native British-English speaker, who has lived in New Zealand for over 10 years, I have never heard this word before in either country. I would say this is exclusively American-English, and probably only from certain big cities, as well. Its use is somewhat akin to my saying "I'm going to see the whanau" and expecting anyone outside New Zealand to ...


26

sinecure: sinecure (sīˈnĭ-kyo͝orˌ, sĭnˈĭ-) n. A position or office that requires little or no work but provides a salary. n. Archaic An ecclesiastical benefice not attached to the spiritual duties of a parish. More at Wordnik from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition


25

It sounds like Procatalepsis (Wikipedia): Procatalepsis, also called prolepsis or prebuttal, is a figure of speech in which the speaker raises an objection to their own argument and then immediately answers it. By doing so, they hope to strengthen their argument by dealing with possible counter-arguments before their audience can raise them.


24

I didn't become familiar with the term mensch until the 1970s, when I moved from Texas to the east coast (Maryland) for college. At the time I assumed that it was simply a regional term. However, the frequency of "a mensch" in Google Books search results suggests that the term's popularity in published writings has grown substantially since the ...


24

Why is Uzi capitalized? It comes from a name, and people haven't frequently used it in lowercase in publication. First, the name is derived from a person's name. These usually retain their capitalization. For example, we have: Tommy gun, or the Thompson submachine gun, for inventor John T. Thompson (Wikipedia) Molly or Molotov cocktail, in mockery of ...


22

There are a number of verbs ending -ir in modern French, where the corresponding English forms end with -ish. Some of them are établir, finir, nourrir, polir, punir. These are all conjugated the same way, so I'll just use finir as an example. In modern French: finir is conjugated je finis, tu finis, il finit, nous finissons, vous finissez, ils finissent. ...


21

There may well be more to this, but to start , John Arbuthnot wrote: ... Tributum, properly speaking, was a Tax upon Individuals; one sort of it was called Capitatio, a Pole-tax (sic). Besides the forementioned Taxes, there were several Excises, as that formerly mentioned laid on by Cato upon Luxury and Expences; which perhaps was only temporary....


20

There are three suggested origins of penguin: Welsh pen gywn 'white head'; a derivative of Latin pinguis 'fat'; and English pin wing. There is no evidence for the last one but there are explanations for Welsh and Latin origins. It seems like the Welsh origin is the most favored one. There is a very detailed explanation in the book The Celtic Languages in ...


18

Following up on user2512's answer, I quote Online Etymology Dictionary's entry for cocoa in full: cocoa (n.) powder from cacao seeds, 1707, corruption (by influence of coco) of cacao. The printing of Johnson's dictionary ran together the entries for coco and cocoa, fostering a confusion that never has been undone. Samuel Johnson, A Dictionary of the ...


17

"Sans" is a common enough word in English that I would not bother with italics. But I also think in your sentence that the word "without" scans better, and I'd use that instead of "sans" for esthetics reasons.


17

It sounds like preemptive arguments. From Merriam-Webster's definition of preemptive: 4 : marked by the seizing of the initiative : initiated by oneself // a preemptive attack From "Framing an argument" by Biljana Scott: Pre-emptive arguments A salient use of pre-emptive arguments involves the recognition and acknowledgment of the opposing ...


16

Playing violin is George's forte a person's strong suit, or most highly developed characteristic, talent, or skill; something that one excels in. Etymologically, 1640s, from French fort "strong point (of a sword blade)," also fort, from Middle French fort. Meaning "strong point of a person" is from 1680s. Final -e- added 18c. in ...


15

Neither Latin nor Greek (at the time of Biblical) translation had the orthographic means (or need) to represent the contrast be /v/ and /b/. These were the source of the English versions of these names (not the Hebrew). They have been further distorted by letters assigned their English, rather than Latin, values. The result is that many names Hebrew names ...


15

"Bubkes" is actually a Yiddish word, and in this context has the same meaning as "nothing". They took two months to give me nothing. But to give me nothing, they were required to invoke a FOIA exemption.


15

We can trace most English words back to a time they were borrowed from another language: Image from Wikipedia.org The expressions raison d'etre and joie de vivre, are relatively recent, acquisitions: raison d'etre (n.) "excuse for being," 1864, first recorded in letter of J.S. Mill, from French raison d'être, literally "rational grounds for ...


15

For 'joie de vivre' I suggest elan panache For 'raison d'etre', I suggest essence rationale These were chosen ironically because you requested something English, which all of these are, and yet your hidden intention was that they be more ... Anglo-Saxon, which these are all not. You've kind of hit a bunch of issues here: translation (how exact must it be)...


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