Non-English English words

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  • optimistique

    Senior Member
    - 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).
    That is some horrible Dutch! Are there really people who say that?:confused: ;)

    I guess 'discman' too (similar to 'walkman'), a portable cd-player. And we say 'camping' too (for camping site). I have the feeling the whole of (at least Western) Europe says 'camping', except for the Anglophones. ;)
    And I think ''camper" too, a caravan + plus car in one. I was surprised that when there were British on the 'camping' in France, it didn't say 'camper', but something else (but I can't remember what).

    And is 'caravan' one too? In the meaning of that wagon you sleep in at the camping site?

    And what about 'break' ? It is used for a block of commercials. Nobody says it, except for the people on the television who have to announce them.:(
     

    DearPrudence

    Dépêche Mod (AL mod)
    IdF
    French (lower Normandy)
    I guess 'discman' too (similar to 'walkman'), a portable cd-player. :tick: In French as well
    As already said,
    "un camping" = "a camp site"
    "un camping-car" = "a recreational vehicle" (not sure of that translation. Like the Dutch "camper")
    "un break" = (UK) an estate (car), (US) station (wagon)
     
    Last edited:

    Pedro y La Torre

    Senior Member
    English (Ireland)
    And I think ''camper" too, a caravan + plus car in one. I was surprised that when there were British on the 'camping' in France, it didn't say 'camper', but something else (but I can't remember what).
    RV? Motorhome? Camper van? There are loads of different names.

    optimistique said:
    And is 'caravan' one too? In the meaning of that wagon you sleep in at the camping site?
    Yep.

    optimistique said:
    And what about 'break' ? It is used for a block of commercials. Nobody says it, except for the people on the television who have to announce them.:(
    Yeah a break means a break in programming. It's a synonym of ad's. (Advertisements).
     

    Athaulf

    Senior Member
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    Yeah a break means a break in programming. It's a synonym of ad's. (Advertisements).
    This reminds me of another beautiful Croatian slang verb with an English root: zbrejkati. The middle morphem brejk is a transliteration of the English "break," which is indeed the root of the word.

    It can mean "to crash" when used for a computer program, and it probably originated in the computer slang, but we also sometimes use it for humans with the approximate meaning "to get confused," or "to be unable to react instantly."
     

    optimistique

    Senior Member
    RV? Motorhome? Camper van? There are loads of different names.

    Yep.

    Yeah a break means a break in programming. It's a synonym of ad's. (Advertisements).
    Yes, Motorhome! That was it! I guess we just stripped 'van' from the expression. I think the trend is, that when the borrowings are compounds in English, only the first word is preserved.

    And what does 'yep' mean? :) Yes, it is a Non-English English loanword, or Yes it is an English word? Because in the first case, what do you say then for 'caravan'?

    And another one! I know in French and in Dutch we use the word ''clip", while in English I always only hear "music video", or "video".
     

    Athaulf

    Senior Member
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    In Dutch we also use the word "playback" for lip syncing. I think it's used in French and Spanish too.
    It's used in Croatian too! It would be really interesting to track down how that one spread around.

    I've just remembered another one: in Croatian and Serbian, meeting is used as a word for a political rally (it's spelled miting). Younger generations are starting to use it in its original English meaning, but that's still a substandard slang usage.
     

    albondiga

    Senior Member
    English/USA
    In Dutch we also use the word "playback" for lip syncing. I think it's used in French and Spanish too.
    This word is very commonly heard in English in India, where there is a whole industry of "playback singers" prerecording music for use in movies, for which the actors/actresses will then lip-sync along with the words in the film (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Playback_singer)... still, as far as I know, even there the word "playback" is not really used as a verb for the act of lip-syncing (though I could be wrong about this)...

    edit: See http://www.wordreference.com/definition/playback... So the use in Dutch, etc. is actually close to legitimate in English, as "the act of reproducing recorded sound," but still not technically as a verb...
     

    Pedro y La Torre

    Senior Member
    English (Ireland)
    And what does 'yep' mean? :) Yes, it is a Non-English English loanword, or Yes it is an English word? Because in the first case, what do you say then for 'caravan'?
    Yep = yeah = Yes :) Caravan is an English word is what I meant.

    And another one! I know in French and in Dutch we use the word ''clip", while in English I always only hear "music video", or "video".
    A clip in English means a small portion or sample of a (music) video typically about a 30/40 seconds or less.
     

    Macunaíma

    Senior Member
    português, Brasil
    In Brazil we have the widespread "fazer cooper", which means to jog, and literally, to do a cooper. The term comes from Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper _"the father of aerobics". Although it came into use around the 70's or 80's it's still of common use even among younger people, including myself. Nothing like starting out the day "fazendo um cooper" along the beach...

    Macunaíma.
     

    winklepicker

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    Japanese has some interesting borrowings from English.
    I heard (and would like to have it confirmed) that Japanese imported waishatsu (Eng a white shirt) but lost the white part of its meaning. So you could then have a pinku waishatsu (Eng a pink white shirt).

    This makes me laugh a lot so I hope it's true.
     

    faranji

    Senior Member
    portuñol
    Thanks for the information, Macunaíma. I'd always wondered where the 'cooper' thing came from :) A thread on brazilian adaptations of English terms ('blecaute,' 'craque,' etc.) could be very interesting.

    In Spain's Spanish there're quite a few pseudo anglicisms too. Some examples...

    A 'mitín' (from 'meeting') is a political rally.

    'La jet' is the 'jet set'.

    When something is all talk or even a hype, we say 'es un bluf' (from 'bluff')

    A 'babi' (from 'baby') is a child's smock.

    A 'bafle' (from 'baffle') is a speaker.

    The 'delco' (from a commercial acronym starting with Dayton Engineers something) is the car's distributor.

    The 'claxon' (from the commercial name 'klaxon') is the horn of a car.

    A 'flipper' is a pinball machine.
     

    Nezquirc

    Member
    Swedish, Sweden
    In swedish, we have tons of loan words from English. An interesting thing though is that more recently, we've started taking English words and change the spelling to look Swedish, and conjugate the words in the Swedish way.

    Examples:
    Mejl - E-mail
    Wejl - Wailing singing improvisation
    Spejs - Space
    Spejsad - "Spaced-out", weird
    Kool - Cool
    Tejp - Tape
    Hajp - Hype

    Most of the words can be transformed to verbs, which are then conjugated like all Swedish words:

    Mejla - to send e-mail
    Tejpa - to tape something

    and so on.
     

    Lombard Beige

    Senior Member
    English, Italy
    Yep = yeah = Yes
    "Yep" was probably inspired by "nope" = "no".
    Apparently, this spelling of "no" was first used by speakers of British English to reproduce the American pronunciation of "no" (example Gary Cooper), which at the time differed from the RP Standard English that "trailed off" rather than ending abruptly. The technical explanation can be found in descriptions of English (and American) phonetics.

    A question: a common term in Italian is the English word Spider for an open sports car. Obviously this has nothing to do with the Spider-man variety of spider. Any explanations for its origin?

    regards
     

    mplsray

    Senior Member
    In Brazil we have the widespread "fazer cooper", which means to jog, and literally, to do a cooper. The term comes from Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper _"the father of aerobics". Although it came into use around the 70's or 80's it's still of common use even among younger people, including myself. Nothing like starting out the day "fazendo um cooper" along the beach...

    Macunaíma.
    This reminded me of the story of William Banting, a Victorian-era advocate of a low-carbohydrate diet whose name, by back formation, became a verb in English, to bant. Both bant and banting were at one time used in English when referring to Bant's system and also when referring to dieting in general. According to Michael Quinion here, banting, in Swedish, became "the usual word in that language for dieting."

    After a bit of further searching on the Internet, I learned that the actual form of the word in Swedish in bantning: Truly a non-English English word!
     

    mplsray

    Senior Member
    "Yep" was probably inspired by "nope" = "no".
    Apparently, this spelling of "no" was first used by speakers of British English to reproduce the American pronunciation of "no" (example Gary Cooper), which at the time differed from the RP Standard English that "trailed off" rather than ending abruptly. The technical explanation can be found in descriptions of English (and American) phonetics.
    The Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed., dates nope to 1888, yep to 1891.
     

    Macunaíma

    Senior Member
    português, Brasil
    I heard (and would like to have it confirmed) that Japanese imported waishatsu (Eng a white shirt) but lost the white part of its meaning. So you could then have a pinku waishatsu (Eng a pink white shirt).
    Well, I don't know the Japanese word for a man's suit, but I once heard about it being derived from Jermyn Street ( or is it Savile Row? ), a street in London famous for its fancy (£!) taylor's shops. Can someone out there confirm that?

    .
     

    DearPrudence

    Dépêche Mod (AL mod)
    IdF
    French (lower Normandy)
    I don't think it has been given:

    un baby-(foot): a football table
    (jouer au baby-(foot))

    And also:
    a flipper: a pinball machine
    (jouer au flipper)
     

    mplsray

    Senior Member
    An English-speaking poster to the French-English forum recently asked for the translation into French of happy ending. It was noted in the replies that the usual term used in French is le happy end.

    Happy end does exist in English, but with a somewhat different meaning. We could say, for example, when speaking of a particular person, The alcoholic cafe-owner was not destined for a happy end. But a film or novel which ends happily is said to have a happy ending, not a happy end. So I would count le happy end among non-English English words.
     

    Athaulf

    Senior Member
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    An English-speaking poster to the French-English forum recently asked for the translation into French of happy ending. It was noted in the replies that the usual term used in French is le happy end.

    Happy end does exist in English, but with a somewhat different meaning. We could say, for example, when speaking of a particular person, The alcoholic cafe-owner was not destined for a happy end. But a film or novel which ends happily is said to have a happy ending, not a happy end. So I would count le happy end among non-English English words.
    This one seems to be quite pervasive. "Happy end" is also often used in Croatian in the sense of "happy ending." Although considered as substandard slang, it's so common that we often domesticate its spelling to hepiend.
     

    Frank06

    Senior Member
    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)
    Hi,
    This one is truly pan-European. Is there a single continental European language that has a different word for pinball? :D
    I really start to think that native speakers of English miss a lot of the (language) fun.

    In Dutch, at least the place I come from, there is a huge difference between 'een flipper' and 'een flipperkast'. The former is a doplhine (yes, the tv series from the 60/70s), the latter a... what's the word in English? A pinball machine? Who the heck says 'pinball machine'??? ;).

    Groetjes,

    Frank
     

    Lombard Beige

    Senior Member
    English, Italy
    Just a completely random guess here, but could it be because of the Ferrari Spider?
    The usage in Italy is undoubtedly influenced by the names chosen by Italian car makers, but in the meantime I have found a more complete explanation. Apparently, the term derives from the English name "spider phaeton", which was a sort of jaunting cart, as used in Ireland, for example.

    I assume that practically no English speakers remember this kind of horse-drawn vehicle, but the term lived on Italy applied to fast sports cars.
    I don't know whether the Italian car makers are aware that the term conveys little to today's English speakers.

    regards
     

    sarcie

    Senior Member
    English - Ireland
    I don't know whether the Italian car makers are aware that the term conveys little to today's English speakers.
    I would say this is true for most of the English borrowings that don't have the same meaning in English - I have come across countless German speakers of English who were genuinely astonished when nobody knew to what they were referring when they used "Handy" for mobile phone. Ditto French speakers looking for "baskets" in sports shops in Ireland.
     

    winklepicker

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    I have come across countless German speakers of English who were genuinely astonished when nobody knew to what they were referring when they used "Handy" for mobile phone.
    Yes! Like bad English, cultural imperialism seems to be available everywhere!
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    I assume that practically no English speakers remember this kind of horse-drawn vehicle, but the term lived on Italy applied to fast sports cars.
    I have mentioned elsewhere on these forums that when we moved into our current house we noticed that there were a lot more large spiders around us - some being in the house. We have one (i think it's always the same one!!) which runs across our living-room floor at night time. Just once each night and we don't seem to have a regular time for its visit, but it is always going in the same direction. We have learned to ignore it, even though we can actusally hear its feet on the laminate flooring!

    If you could meet our spider you'd never need to wonder why Italian car producers chose Spider as a model name! It is very fleet of feet!
     

    Lombard Beige

    Senior Member
    English, Italy
    ... If you could meet our spider you'd never need to wonder why Italian car producers chose Spider as a model name! ...
    But if the name ultimately comes from "spider phaeton", I said jogging cart, but I meant Irish "jaunting cart" (right?), the problem remains. Why spider?

    regards
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    It appears to be nothing link like a jaunting car. A jaunting car wasa was a two-wheeled horse-drawn contraption with a set of sideways-on seats for passengers.

    It seems that the 'spider' connection is with the thin elegant lines the coachwork had.
     

    Hakro

    Senior Member
    Finnish - Finland
    It seems that the 'spider' connection is with the thin elegant lines the coachwork had.
    No, the Italian word spider (also written "spyder") comes from the English word speeder. I don't know why the Italians chose this word, as such sporty cars were in English usually called speedsters.

    According to Wikipedia, the first car to use this epithet was a Cisitalia in 1947.
     

    Hakro

    Senior Member
    Finnish - Finland
    In Finnish we sometimes take an English word in plural form but we add the Finnish plural ending (-t or -it) after the English plural -s. For example:

    Beatles (band) - Beatlesit
    shorts (pants) - shortsit
    slicks (racing tires) - sliksit

    Also word media is in plural form, but in Finnish it means only one newspaper or magazine or TV station. If we want to speak about several or all of them, we say mediat.
     

    Lombard Beige

    Senior Member
    English, Italy
    No, the Italian word spider (also written "spyder") comes from the English word speeder. I don't know why the Italians chose this word, as such sporty cars were in English usually called speedsters.

    According to Wikipedia, the first car to use this epithet was a Cisitalia in 1947.
    I suspected something like that. In other words, somebody wrote the English word "speeder" as it would be pronounced in Italian, i.e. "spider", but other Italian people, realizing that it was an English word, read it with the correct English pronunciation, without thinking that it was the name of an animal.

    The derivation I read, from "spider phaeton", comes from the Treccani Italian Dictionary, which is not a free dictionary.

    Possibly, there's some truth in both versions.

    regards
     

    Lombard Beige

    Senior Member
    English, Italy
    Re the word "spider" used in Italian for a kind of car, for those who can read the two languages, this is a good example of how the articles in two different language versions of Wiki can differ. Substantially, the content is the same, but not exactly:

    English Wiki:
    As with other automotive terms, the term derives from horse-drawn carriages. A "spider" was a lighter version of a phaeton, having narrower, spindly wheels and two-seat accommodation. The name implied an extremely rudimentary top mechanism originating from a small two-seat horse-cart with a folding sunshade made of four bows; with its black cloth top and exposed sides for air circulation it resembled an eight-legged spider. This term was subsequently applied to automobiles.
    Alternatively, a native Italian who has had no English influence in the pronunciation would pronounce "spyder" or "spider" as speeder. Thus a car labeled by an Italian car manufacturer as "Spyder" or "Spider" is intended to be simply a "speeder" or a sports car. (Aston Martin used to have a car labeled "spyder" but now have a model labeled "Volante", an Italian word that translates into English as "speeder".)

    Italian Wiki:
    Il termine Spider o Spyder, che in inglese significa ragno, era utilizzato per identificare un particolare tipo di carrozza scoperta a due posti, di costruzione semplice e leggera, molto diffuso in Italia nel XIX secolo che, in lingua francese, veniva anche chiamata "Runabout".
    Veniva così chiamato perché la minuscola carrozzeria restava sospesa tra quattro enormi ruote a raggi, ricordando la figura del ragno.
    Nonostante l'origine inglese del termine, occorre dire che l'accezione automobilistica di Spider è usata principalmente in Italia dove viene anche spesso confusa o sovrapposta al termine cabriolet. Quest'ultima è di norma la versione con tetto apribile di una autovettura di larga serie mentre la Spyder, se non progettata esclusivamente in quella forma, è derivata da modelli coupé.
    Per denominare il medesimo tipo d'automobile, gli anglofoni utilizzano l'espressione "Roadster". Quando all'estero si parla di Spider, ci si riferisce generalmente ad un'automobile sportiva italiana.
    In lingua italiana, la parola "spyder" o "spider" viene pronunciata come la parola inglese "speeder". La parola inglese "speeder" applicata ad automobile significa una vettura sportiva e anche veloce. Si puo anche usare la parola italiana "volante" che, in inglese si traduce "speeder" (automobile sportiva/veloce); questo termine è stato usato ad esempio dalla Aston Martin per la serie "Volante".

    Surprisingly, the English version mentions "phaeton", whereas the Italian version ignores Treccani's etymology and uses the generic word "carrozza".

    regards
     

    Hakro

    Senior Member
    Finnish - Finland
    Thank you Lombard Beige for searching this information. But it also shows how inaccurate the Wikipedia information can be, both in the English and the Italian version.

    As far as I know, Aston Martin has used the model name "officially" only once, for an italian-bodied special model in 1957. The modern Aston Martin Volante has nothing to do with it. I've never heard about Aston Martin Volante Spyder and couldn't find it by Google.

    I had always thought that volante means "flying" (and also "steering wheel" or "flywheel"). It sounds strange to translate it "speeder" but I don't know so much Italian that I could argue about it.
     

    Lombard Beige

    Senior Member
    English, Italy
    ... I had always thought that volante means "flying" (and also "steering wheel" or "flywheel"). It sounds strange to translate it "speeder" but I don't know so much Italian that I could argue about it.
    You are quite right. It's a very loose translation.

    regards
     

    slare

    Member
    English UK
    Does anyone have any idea why this word is used for "jogging"?
    It's also used in the same way in Italian.

    regards
    According to the RAE, blame the French ;):

    footing.

    (Voz fr., y esta con cambio de sentido del ingl. footing, posición).

    1. m. Paseo higiénico que se hace corriendo con velocidad moderada al aire libre.

    Real Academia Española © Todos los derechos reservados
     

    faranji

    Senior Member
    portuñol
    "Footing" and "iceberg" (pronounced "ee-see-berg") are my two favourite anglicisms in Spanish, without a doubt. They're so silly.
    Is 'ee-the-berg' really any sillier than 'gue-wree-llah' and 'pah-tee-ow' (or whoever on earth you pronounce my favourite hispanicisms in English i.e. 'guerrilla' and 'patio')? :D
     

    emery013

    New Member
    Ireland English
    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
    in the U.S. parking is used as short for parking lot - as in "Did you find any parking" or "Free parking" or "private parking"
     

    mplsray

    Senior Member
    in the U.S. parking is used as short for parking lot - as in "Did you find any parking" or "Free parking" or "private parking"
    Parking here doesn't mean "parking lot." Look parking up in the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary and you will be taken a list of entries: park, parking brake, parking lot, parking meter, and valet parking. The word parking is being treated there as a form of the verb park. If it were a variant of parking lot, the dictionary would have it listed as such somewhere.

    Parking in all the examples you give has the same sense as it does as an element of valet parking: It's a service or resource, not a place.

    As a result, when we Americans see parking used in French or Spanish to mean "parking lot," we find it just as curious as do speakers of other varieties of English.
     

    emery013

    New Member
    Ireland English
    Parking here doesn't mean "parking lot." Look parking up in the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary and you will be taken a list of entries: park, parking brake, parking lot, parking meter, and valet parking. The word parking is being treated there as a form of the verb park. If it were a variant of parking lot, the dictionary would have it listed as such somewhere.

    Parking in all the examples you give has the same sense as it does as an element of valet parking: It's a service or resource, not a place.

    As a result, when we Americans see parking used in French or Spanish to mean "parking lot," we find it just as curious as do speakers of other varieties of English.
    first of all, just because it's not in the dictionary does not mean it isn't spoken/used. words dont have to be officially correct to be spoken.
    if i were to say something like "is there parking in the back" i would be referring to empty parking spots or a parking lot in the back - not valet parking usually.
    i have lived in the US for years so i'm not just pulling this out of nowhere
     

    slare

    Member
    English UK
    if i were to say something like "is there parking in the back" i would be referring to empty parking spots or a parking lot in the back - not valet parking usually.
    Yeah, but you're not using "parking" as a noun short for "parking lot" in that sentence. If it were so, then you'd be able to say "Is there a parking in the back?", which no-one would say.
     
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