Non-English English words

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Hutschi

Senior Member
Hi,

in the German language, we have a lot of words sounding English, but if you consider the meaning, they are not English, they are a kind of pseudo-Anglicism.

Examples:

Handy = Mobile Phone.
Posting = post (in forums, as noun) (I just heared, that "posting" exists in the English language in this sense)

Is this phenomenon also common in other languages?

Do the words exist in English with this meaning at least in some areas?

Best regards
Bernd
 
  • Hesterbeat

    Senior Member
    Spanglish (Spaingland)
    It does happen in Spanish.

    We call carparks "parkings", we call jogging "footing", we call a stud or a ring "un piercing", and so on.

    :)
     

    Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    Germans also say Dressman instead of male model, and beamer for a video-projector.

    Interestingly enough, Beamer in English is slang name for the German-made BMW automobile.


    The French also have a few false anglicisms.

    A dinner jacket or tuxedo is called a smoking in France. English does have "smoking jacket", but not just smoking.
    The French also say pull for pullover
    string = g-string, thong [underwear]
    parking = car park, parking lot,
    recordman = record holder
    pressing = dry cleaners
     

    GEmatt

    Senior Member
    English/BE, Français/CH, Deutsch/CH (rustier & rustier)
    The French also say pull for pullover
    string = g-string, thong [underwear]
    parking = car park, parking lot,
    recordman = record holder
    pressing = dry cleaners
    Or shampooing, for 'shampoo', to add to your list, Brioche! That one had me irritated for ages, no idea why.:)



    PS: Hutschi, you might find this of interest, on loan words in English. As an anecdote, the most striking loan word I've ever seen was a shop sign in England, which proclaimed itself a "Délicatesserie". We used to say it couldn't make up its mind whether it was French or German:D
     

    DearPrudence

    Dépêche Mod (AL mod)
    IdF
    French (lower Normandy)
    It does happen in Spanish.

    We call carparks "parkings", we call jogging "footing", we call a stud or a ring "un piercing", and so on.

    :)
    Amazing, it's like in French.
    We do have a tendency to use words ending in -ing.
    Some are the proper English words (marketing, ...) but others are not even English.
    Here is a list some foreros have madeif you want.

    And we say a lot things like "tennisman", "rugbyman", ...
     
    The garífuna has quite a few anglicisms: yomani=young man haginamah=hog in armor=armadillo.

    There are many cognates (cognados ;) ) and false cognates (parientes are not parents) in Spanish with English.

    I suppose it depends what English words 'fit in' the language in question best and then how the word can be adapted.
     

    Hesterbeat

    Senior Member
    Spanglish (Spaingland)
    What's wrong with parking? Means the same in English (at least AE).
    There's nothing wrong with "parking", only the "lot" is excluded from Spanish, so it is a pseudo-loan:

    The parking lot was full.
    El parking estaba lleno.

    ;)
     

    invisibleu

    Member
    UK English
    Yes but you don't say I parked the car in the parking now do you?
    Maybe in America they use "parking" as short for "parking lot"? I'm not sure about that. "Parking in a parking" would sound pretty weird in Britain and Ireland anyway.

    Another "-ing" one they use in Spanish is hacer zapping... which is what we'd called channel surfing in English. Can't imagine any English speaker ever saying "I spent the night chilling out on the sofa doing zapping". :D
     

    Hesterbeat

    Senior Member
    Spanglish (Spaingland)
    On this side of the Atlantic they are called "car parks". ;)
    I know (I don't own a car, but I'm from this side of the Atlantic... ;)) but papillon was talking about AmE, that's all! :)

    A pseudo-loan I especially hate:

    Dreadlocks are called "rastas" in Spanish. I know "rasta" is not an English word, but neither is it any kind of hairdo!
     

    papillon

    Senior Member
    Russian (Ukraine)
    There's nothing wrong with "parking", only the "lot" is excluded from Spanish, so it is a pseudo-loan:
    The parking lot was full.
    El parking estaba lleno.
    I was merely pointing out that in this case I wouldn't categorize it as a false anglicism, even if the word "lot" or "garage" is omitted. Certainly not in the same category as "pressing" for dry cleaners. :)
     

    jazyk

    Senior Member
    Brazílie, portugalština
    Dreadlocks are called "rastas" in Spanish. I know "rasta" is not an English word, but neither is it any kind of hairdo!
    In Portuguese too. The word comes from rastafarian.

    I can think of two pseudo-anglicisms in Brazil:

    Você viu a menina daquele outdoor?
    Did you see the girl on that billboard?

    Fui ao shopping ontem.
    I went to the (shopping) mall/shopping center yesterday.
     

    albondiga

    Senior Member
    English/USA
    Another Spanish one of which I've heard is that in some parts of Latin America "camping" is used as a noun to mean either (1) "a campsite" or (2) "fuel for a camping stove"...
     

    invisibleu

    Member
    UK English
    Another Spanish one of which I've heard is that in some parts of Latin America "camping" is used as a noun to mean either (1) "a campsite" or (2) "fuel for a camping stove"...
    It's the same in Spain, at least with regard to number (1), I think in France also.
     

    jinti

    Senior Member
    Japanese has some interesting borrowings from English. They're written in a special syllabary, so if you see them in print, they stand out and you know they're loan words, but a lot of them will still leave you scratching your head as to what exactly got loaned.

    Just a sampling:

    waapuro is a word processor
    depaato is a department store
    manshyon is not a mansion, but a condo or an apartment in the sort of building that has a name instead of just an address
    hoomu is not a home but a platform (the kind where you'd wait for a train or a subway)
    kuuraa is an air conditioner (cooler)
    aisu is ice cream, which of course, you buy in a suupaa (supermarket)
     

    mplsray

    Senior Member
    Amazing, it's like in French.
    We do have a tendency to use words ending in -ing.
    Some are the proper English words (marketing, ...) but others are not even English.
    Here is a list some foreros have madeif you want.
    One of the -ing words on the list, un lifting ("a face-lift") is interesting because it kept an element which was dropped in English.

    The operation was originally referred to as a face-lifting, and that is the main variant listed in Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, the variant face-lift being introduced by the word also, which in an M-W dictionary means that it is notably rarer than the main variant. That entry was probably written in 1961.

    As a name for the operation, face-lifting is so rare nowadays that it is not even listed in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed. The French dropped face but have retained -ing.

    The word gazebo is mock-Latin, probably formed from the word gaze using videbo ("I shall see") as a model.

    The word nom de plume, which is now used in French, was probably coined in English from French words.
     

    albondiga

    Senior Member
    English/USA
    Isn't 'Camping' the brand name of one manurfacturer of gas stoves?
    I believe that is the etymological background for the second Spanish use of the word... technically it's of the Xerox, etc. variety (brand name :arrow: generic noun), but I think it also fits into the theme of this thread since this definition of the word "camping" in Spanish is quite different from the definition of the word "camping" in English, regardless of what route it took to its Spanish meaning (the whole "brand name :arrow: generic noun" thing never happened in English for this word)...
     

    Frank06

    Senior Member
    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)
    Hi,

    Isn't 'walkman' a pseudo-English word (with Japanese - Sony - roots)?

    In Dutch we use
    - de smoking
    (for dinner jacket / tuxedo; I forgot where the 'smoking' actually comes from)
    - de living
    (from living room)
    - please
    (but when giving something to someone; maybe this is a bit off topic, since it is a lit. translation of Dutch alstublieft, which is used when asking and when giving something).

    There must be more of them in Dutch...

    Groetjes,

    Frank
     

    mplsray

    Senior Member
    In Dutch we use
    - de smoking
    (for dinner jacket / tuxedo; I forgot where the 'smoking' actually comes from)
    Smoking is used in this sense in French as well. The first tuxedo, which was a striking new design in dinner jackets, was designed in the US, modeled on the English smoking jacket. I presume it was the resemblance between the two items that lead to smoking being used for a tuxedo in French.
     

    paradespejardudas

    Senior Member
    Spanish, Argentina
    Hi,

    Isn't 'walkman' a pseudo-English word (with Japanese - Sony - roots)?

    In Dutch we use
    - de smoking
    (for dinner jacket / tuxedo; I forgot where the 'smoking' actually comes from)
    - de living
    (from living room)
    - please
    (but when giving something to someone; maybe this is a bit off topic, since it is a lit. translation of Dutch alstublieft, which is used when asking and when giving something).

    There must be more of them in Dutch...


    Groetjes,

    Frank

    Here in Argentina we also use smoking for tuxedo and living for living room
     

    Athaulf

    Senior Member
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    in the German language, we have a lot of words sounding English, but if you consider the meaning, they are not English, they are a kind of pseudo-Anglicism.
    [...]
    Is this phenomenon also common in other languages?
    In the modern Croatian youthful slang, bad is used as a noun meaning approximately "inconvenience," and full is used as an adverb meaning "very" or "extremely." Fucker has a meaning almost opposite from its English one: it denotes a man who is cool, prominent, and extraordinarily accomplished (either sexually or otherwise). :D

    Furthermore, Croatians use darker as a noun meaning "goth" (someone interested in goth music and fashion), and shit as a slang term for hashish (referring precisely to that particular drug). I've never heard either of these words used with these meanings in English, but I might be wrong about that.

    Many other English words have meanings in Croatian similar, but not quite identical to their original ones. For example, quiz refers exclusively to a TV-quiz, and video is used as a noun meaning "VCR."

    We also use smoking for tuxedo. It probably came from French.
     

    mplsray

    Senior Member
    Many other English words have meanings in Croatian similar, but not quite identical to their original ones. For example, quiz refers exclusively to a TV-quiz, and video is used as a noun meaning "VCR."
    Video doesn't mean "VCR" in American English, but it does in British English, a fact I first learned while watching an episode of the British comedy The Young Ones. It took me a while to understand why one of the characters sounded so surprised when he asked, "Do we have a video?" It was a reference to a VCR, which was a very expensive device at the time the episode was made.
     

    invictaspirit

    Senior Member
    English English
    Video doesn't mean "VCR" in American English, but it does in British English, a fact I first learned while watching an episode of the British comedy The Young Ones. It took me a while to understand why one of the characters sounded so surprised when he asked, "Do we have a video?" It was a reference to a VCR, which was a very expensive device at the time the episode was made.
    Yep...we always used to say 'video' as a noun, short-hand for 'video recorder'. It got confusing because the tapes were also called videos.

    Now we often say 'DVD' to describe the player as well as the disk.

    The false-anglicism which I liked the most is now out of date. My French teacher in the 1970s was an old French lady. She used to teach us that 'pop music' or 'rock' was 'musique yeah-yeah' in French. :) I think the French stopped saying that in the late 60s.
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    Hi,

    i thank very much for all this information. It is very interesting, and especially, that a lot of the pseudo-anglicism spread throughout the world.

    By the way: in the GDR - the polititians said "yeah-yeah' -Musik" (for the Beat music in a pejorative kind to devaluate it (in the 1960th). Was the name 'musique yeah-yeah' in French positive or negative?
     

    invictaspirit

    Senior Member
    English English
    Hi,

    i thank very much for all this information. It is very interesting, and especially, that a lot of the pseudo-anglicism spread throughout the world.

    By the way: in the GDR - the polititians said "yeah-yeah' -Musik" (for the Beat music in a pejorative kind to devaluate it (in the 1960th). Was the name 'musique yeah-yeah' in French positive or negative?
    We'd need a French forero to confirm, but I think it was positive...a 'radio' term. It was an amusing reference to The Beatles, Rolling Stones and so on. I believe the 1960s Gaullists thought pop music was a. a bit decadent and un-French, b. too anglo-saxon (etc etc). But this was not the general view among the French people and especially youth.

    And you just reminded me of another. 'Beatmusik'. Although the English-speaking world had beatniks in the late 50s, 'beat music' was not a term that was ever used here (to my knowledge) to describe general pop/rock, but a pseudo-English German word.

    And that also reminds me of 'poppers'. A German youth-cult phenomenon in the early 80s.
     

    Hesterbeat

    Senior Member
    Spanglish (Spaingland)
    The false-anglicism which I liked the most is now out of date. My French teacher in the 1970s was an old French lady. She used to teach us that 'pop music' or 'rock' was 'musique yeah-yeah' in French. :) I think the French stopped saying that in the late 60s.
    So was in Spanish, only it was written: "Yeyé" or "Ye-yé"... :)
     

    invictaspirit

    Senior Member
    English English
    I keep remembering more and more. You have 'water' in Spanish, usually pronounced 'bah-tairr' (in Eng. phonetics) to mean toilet. Short-hand for 'water-closet'.

    Although written 'WC', the term vee-chee (Eng. phon.)is an Italian 'word' for toilet.
     

    Athaulf

    Senior Member
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    Video doesn't mean "VCR" in American English, but it does in British English, a fact I first learned while watching an episode of the British comedy The Young Ones. It took me a while to understand why one of the characters sounded so surprised when he asked, "Do we have a video?" It was a reference to a VCR, which was a very expensive device at the time the episode was made.
    Yes! you're right -- I forgot about this because I've barely heard any British English in the last few years.

    I've remembered another interesting word: in Croatian, spot is used as the word for a musical video. This one is so well-entrenched that it's almost entered the standard literary language (and for a foreign word in Croatian, this is quite an accomplishment). Does anyone know of some group of English speakers that use the word spot with this meaning, instead of video?
     

    invictaspirit

    Senior Member
    English English
    Yes! you're right -- I forgot about this because I've barely heard any British English in the last few years.

    I've remembered another interesting word: in Croatian, spot is used as the word for a musical video. This one is so well-entrenched that it's almost entered the standard literary language (and for a foreign word in Croatian, this is quite an accomplishment). Does anyone know of some group of English speakers that use the word spot with this meaning, instead of video?
    Italians call commercial breaks on TV and radio 'spot'. I'm not sure whether they borrowed this from AE? It's not the usual AE terminology, but it may be used there? We don't use 'spot' to describe commercial breaks in the UK (typical terms other than commerical break here are: the break, break, ad-break, the adverts).

    To answer your question more directly, no. I've never heard 'spot' used to describe music video in BE or AE.
     

    Saimon

    Member
    English (AE)
    "To answer your question more directly, no. I've never heard 'spot' used to describe music video in BE or AE."

    Neither have I, although I have heard "spot" used for TV or radio ads.
     

    Athaulf

    Senior Member
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    "To answer your question more directly, no. I've never heard 'spot' used to describe music video in BE or AE. " [as is the case in Croatian - A.]

    Neither have I, although I have heard "spot" used for TV or radio ads.
    Come to think of it, we also have some quite bizarre quasi-English terminology for blue jeans.

    In Croatia, the standard word for jeans is trapper. On the other hand, in Serbia and Bosnia, the word for jeans pants is farmerke, derived from the English farmer. I've also heard Texas used as another synonym for jeans across the former Yugoslavia, although it's nowhere as frequent as the former two words.

    Does any of this derive from some actual English terminology for jeans? :confused:
     

    Grop

    Senior Member
    français
    In French we have a few goofy phrases that come from English:

    - WC for toilets (it is supposed to mean Water Closet). BTW it is pronounced vécé like it was VC. Really an odd phrase.
    - Un talkie-walkie is a walkie talkie :)
    - Un snow is a snowboard (we also say snowboard)
    - Un chamallow is a marshmallow
    - Un smatch is a smash (in volley ball and basket ball)
    - Basket is basket ball (the activity, not the ball itself)
     

    pyan

    Senior Member
    English, UK, London
    Furthermore, Croatians use... ...shit as a slang term for hashish (referring precisely to that particular drug). I've never heard [this] word... in English, but I might be wrong about that.
    I can confirm that "shit" was one of many words used for cannabis in UK English in the 1970s, as far as I can remember, so it is not a real Non-English English word.
    "As far as I can remember" is not to do with my cannabis intake, which is none so far.
     

    Saimon

    Member
    English (AE)
    I can confirm that "shit" was one of many words used for cannabis in UK English in the 1970s, as far as I can remember, so it is not a real Non-English English word.
    "As far as I can remember" is not to do with my cannabis intake, which is none so far.
    Interesting. I've read that in 1950s AE, shit referred to heroin.
     

    Grop

    Senior Member
    français
    In French we still use "shit" to say "hashish", or rather a product made with cannabis. We say "herbe" when meaning raw cannabis, and it suggests higher quality than shit.
     

    Saimon

    Member
    English (AE)
    Come to think of it, we also have some quite bizarre quasi-English terminology for blue jeans.

    In Croatia, the standard word for jeans is trapper. On the other hand, in Serbia and Bosnia, the word for jeans pants is farmerke, derived from the English farmer. I've also heard Texas used as another synonym for jeans across the former Yugoslavia, although it's nowhere as frequent as the former two words.

    Does any of this derive from some actual English terminology for jeans? :confused:
    I had to check on this one with a former coworker at Levi Strauss. The LS historian has never heard of anything like the above. "Jeans" comes from Gênes, the French for Genoa, where denim pants were made. (Denim is a contraction of serge de Nîmes.) "Dungarees" is an old synonym of jeans, but those are the only two AE terms we could come up with. Does anybody out there work at the Gap?
     

    Athaulf

    Senior Member
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    I can confirm that "shit" was one of many words used for cannabis in UK English in the 1970s, as far as I can remember, so it is not a real Non-English English word.
    "As far as I can remember" is not to do with my cannabis intake, which is none so far.
    In Croatian, however, it refers very specifically to hashish, never to any other form of cannabis or any other drug. This makes me think that it might have appeared domestically as a true Non-English English word, especially since shit in it original meaning is used frequently as a loan-swearword in Croatia, whose meaning everyone knows. :)
     

    Sepia

    Senior Member
    High German/Danish
    Stock-car racing is a good example. In America we are talking hi-speed races with converted street cars. In many countries - among them Germany and Denmark - it is a banger race or demolition derby ... I think that is what the Amricans would call it.

    ----

    It also works the other way around:

    travestie (French/German/...) and travesty (English) surely does not mean the same thing.
     

    DearPrudence

    Dépêche Mod (AL mod)
    IdF
    French (lower Normandy)
    Usually, we may drop the end of sport names.
    le basket = basketball
    le foot = football/soccer
    le volley = volleyball

    And we wear baskets at our feet :rolleyes:
    des baskets = trainers/sneakers
    des tennis = tennis shoes
     
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