Over the last six months I have written a series of posts on different foreign words that have found their way into the English language. This is the last post I’m going to write in this series. If you haven’t read my other posts in this series you can easily link to them here: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V. Of course the 60 words presented in these six posts do not constitute all of the foreign or loan words that are now part of the English language; there are many more. I hope that by reading these various posts you have become more aware of the fluid nature of languages in general, that is how the words and grammar of one language are shared and shaped by contact with another language. I am sure you are already aware of how this works in terms of your own native language. I am sure you have seen how some English words have made their way into the language you speak. The exchange of words goes both ways, to and from English, and this has happened for hundreds of years and will continue to do so in the future.
Here are 10 more examples of this linguistic interchange and loan words in English.
breeze (Portuguese) – a gentle wind
For example: We sat on the front porch looking at the ocean enjoying the light breeze.
caboose (Dutch) – the last railroad car on a trail, usually with accommodations for the train crew
For example: There were people standing on the caboose waving goodbye as the train left the station.
et cetra or etc. (Latin) – an expression or written statement used at the end of a list to indicate that further similar items are included in the list
For example: At the store please buy as much fruit as you can, fruit like: apples, pears, oranges, peaches, plums, etc.
ghoul (Arabic) – an evil spirit or phantom
For example: All the ghouls, goblins, and ghosts come out on Halloween night.
loot (Hindi) – goods or private property taken from an enemy
For example: The pirates examined all of their loot once they were safe on the island.
maestro (Italian) – a distinguished or famous musician
For example: They are bringing a new conductor to the Boston Symphony Orchestra, I wonder who the new maestro will be.
mogul (Persian) – an important or powerful person
For example: Steven Spielberg is an entertainment mogul.
ski(es) (Norwegian) – long narrow pieces of hard flexible material that are fastened under the feet for gliding over snow
For example: I bought a new pair of skies for this winter and I hope they will make me faster.
to schlep (Yiddish) – to haul or carry something that is heavy
For example: At the airport I had to schlep all my luggage up the stairs because the elevators were broken.
quasi (Latin) – resembling something; having a likeness to something
For example: The fundraiser was a quasi success. We didn’t raise as much money as we wanted, but we raised some.
Answer to yesterday’s practice exercise:
12 Murphy Drive
Nashua, NH 03062