non-English words absorbed into English

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non-English words absorbed into English

Post by Archived Topic » Wed Feb 17, 1999 12:00 am

I'm a high school librarian. We're having an international week and a spelling bee. I'm looking for a list of words with foreign origins that have been incorporated into the English language (i.e., assassin from Arabic).

Can you help?

Submitted by Deena Wells (Oxford - U.S.A.)
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non-English words absorbed into English

Post by Jonathon Green » Thu Feb 18, 1999 8:00 am

How long is a piece of string ... there are thousands, maybe tens of thousands, given the etymology of so much English. What I suggest, however, is that you get a copy of the Oxford Dictionary of Foreign Words and Phrases (OUP 19970. This boasts '8000 entries' from '40 languages'. Good luck.
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non-English words absorbed into English

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sat Feb 12, 2005 8:22 am

A simple suggestion is just to browse through a dictionary that gives etymologies, such as the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) or most Merriam-Websters.
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non-English words absorbed into English

Post by Edwin Ashworth » Sat Feb 12, 2005 12:43 pm

If one includes Greek, Latin and Anglo-Saxon as foreign sources, there isn't a lot left. Is there a statute of limitations on "loan-words"?

non-English words absorbed into English

Post by Mel » Tue Feb 15, 2005 12:31 am

Just for interest, here is a list of Hindi words used in English.

Word Meaning Notes
bandanna dyed cloth One of many cloth and clothing terms from Hindi.
bangle Glass bracelets.
basmati A type of rice. One of many food terms from Hindi.
Blighty foreign UK soldiers' slang for the homeland.
chintz Painted cotton cloth.
chutney A side dish for food.
coolie Someone who does the hard work.
cot Place to sleep.
cummerbund close waist
cushy happiness
dungaree A type of coarse cloth.
goolies balls / bullets UK slang for "testicles".
Himalaya abode of snow Mountain range in India, Nepal and Tibet.
jodhpurs Riding breeches named after their town of origin.
juggernaut UK word for a large lorry. From "Juganath", the name of an Indian god whose image gets carried around the town in a huge cart once a year.
jungle Now used as another term for a thick forest.
loot Stolen goods.
mahout elephant driver
punch five As in the drink - from the five ingredients used.
pukka ripe Used in the UK to mean "good" or "right".
pundit learned As in a "sporting pundit". Used in the UK.
samosa A spicy snack popular in the UK.
sari The distinctive wrap-around cloth worn by many women in India.
shampoo massage
thug From a Hindu sect ("Thugees") that would kill people for the goddess, Kali.

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