Non-English English words

DearPrudence

Dépêche Mod (AL mod)
IdF
French (lower Normandy)
Also:
"le dressing": walk-in closet
"le paperboard": "flip chart"
"un lift"
(tennis): "a topspin shot"
 
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  • Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    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
    guerilla is pronounced the same as gorilla which is handy for silly jokes.

    The woman who lived across the street from me when I was a kid pronounced "patio" to rhyme with "ratio". I'm sure she had no idea of its origin.
     

    jess oh seven

    Senior Member
    UK/US English
    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
    But at least they´re SORT OF close to the proper pronunciation! "Iceberg" in Spanish just kills me everytime!

    I don't think it really works in reverse since English is just entirely comprised of words from other languages.
     

    jess oh seven

    Senior Member
    UK/US English
    Oh, some foreign-words-as-pronounced-by-English-speakers can be a bit giggle-inducing too, trust me. :D
    Don't I know it. I know I'm guilty of it. But if I know it's foreign, even if it's in everyday vocabulary, I try and pronounce it "correctly", but most of the time this just makes me sound pretentious :)
     

    Sepia

    Senior Member
    High German/Danish
    Don't I know it. I know I'm guilty of it. But if I know it's foreign, even if it's in everyday vocabulary, I try and pronounce it "correctly", but most of the time this just makes me sound pretentious :)

    What always made me wonder is the BE pronounciation of "lieutenant".
     

    zpoludnia swiata

    Senior Member
    chile english, spanish, german
    Words become part of a language if they are used enough. Spaghetti is an English word for all practical purposes as is Kindergarten, Santa Ana (type of wind), sauna, or piano... By the same token, Handy is a German word, berries is becoming a Chilean Spanish word, etc... It's a common thing for languages to incorporate words of "other" origin.
     

    Stiannu

    Senior Member
    Italy, Italian
    In Italian, I confirm smoking (tuxedo), footing (jogging), flipper (pinball machine) and many others already mentioned.
    WC is also pronounced in the Italian way ("vee-tchee"), or sometimes referred to as water, but pronounced "vah-ter".

    I'd like to add trolley, used alone (not in association with other words) to indicate a trolley bag for long distance trips, a piece of luggage, and not the normal trolley used for supermarkets or labs or restaurant kitchens, etc.
    And block-notes, with a funny pronounciation ("block-noh-tess"), meaning a notebook or a writing pad.
     

    Porteño

    Member Emeritus
    British English
    Here in Argentina we have many examples of the 'misuse' of English words, some of which I see are the same as those mentioned in French.

    Dinner jacket/tuxedo -smoking
    Tracksuit/jogging pants - jogging
    Shopping centre - shopping
    Jogging (activity) - footing
    Campsite - camping
    Parking lot - parking (not very common)
     

    DearPrudence

    Dépêche Mod (AL mod)
    IdF
    French (lower Normandy)
    We call carparks "parkings", we call jogging "footing", we call a stud or a ring "un piercing", and so on.
    The French also have a few false anglicisms. [...]
    pressing = dry cleaners
    Also:
    "le dressing": walk-in closet
    [...]
    Paul Taylor, an English comedian who's lived in France for 9 years and speaks impeccable French, has a very interesting analysis on this situation :D
    LES ANGLICISMES EN FRANÇAIS - #FRANGLAIS - PAUL TAYLOR
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    Oh gees, what a subject. Franglais drives me batty. There is a new one every day. Black Friday toute la semaine. Often I have to ask French people what the words are supposed to mean.
     

    Pedro y La Torre

    Senior Member
    English (Ireland)
    That one is fairly obvious, all the same. You get used to it after a while. The one that really took me time to decipher is "shunter" (which is a term used in IT meaning to bypass) from the English "to shunt". The problem is that the French pronounce it as something approximating "shanter" which is nothing like the English pronunciation of "shunt".
     

    Frank78

    Senior Member
    German
    Some more from German:

    Public Viewing - is rather a pleasant event, namely watching a sports event together on a big screen in a public place
    Bodybag - messenger bag
    Oldtimer - not an old person but a classic car
    Pullunder - sweater vest
    Showmaster - TV host
    Slip - underpants
    Spot - a short video clip, normally a commercial
    Shooting - you don't need a gun but a camera in German; a photo shoot

    An the other way round German words English speakers use in a different sense:

    stein - not a drinking vessel in German but just a "rock", "stone" or "brick"
    blitz - the sole word can't be used to describe a quick action; "thunderbolt" or "flash" or as verb "being caught speeding (by a camera)".
     
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    symposium

    Senior Member
    Italian - Italy
    In Italian also "hard" used as a synonym of "pornographic, sexually explicit": un film hard, un video hard, un messaggio hard = a text with explicit sexual content.
     

    Red Arrow

    Senior Member
    Dutch - Belgium
    "Footing" and "iceberg" (pronounced "ee-see-berg") are my two favourite anglicisms in Spanish, without a doubt. They're so silly.
    Iceberg comes form Dutch ijsberg = "ice mountain"
    The English mispronounce berg, so why can't the Spanish or Italians?
    Oh gees, what a subject. Franglais drives me batty. There is a new one every day. Black Friday toute la semaine. Often I have to ask French people what the words are supposed to mean.
    Recently, it was Black Thursday in Flanders, which is the day before Black Friday, which is the day after Thanksgiving :D
     

    Red Arrow

    Senior Member
    Dutch - Belgium
    Another good one in Flanders is:
    a sandwich: a little milk bread
    (pronunciation: sontwish)

    A baguette with meat and/or cheese and vegetables is called a club, for instance "club kaas" (club cheese). A baguette with meat and/or cheese without vegetables is called a broodje.
     

    Stoggler

    Senior Member
    UK English
    A baguette with meat and/or cheese and vegetables is called a club, for instance "club kaas" (club cheese). A baguette with meat and/or cheese without vegetables is called a broodje.
    Vegetables? Do you mean salad stuff, like lettuce, tomato, cucumber, that sort of thing? To me vegetables suggests a load of peas, carrots and Brussels sprouts (among lots of other cooked “greens”)!
     

    Frank78

    Senior Member
    German
    Vegetables? Do you mean salad stuff, like lettuce, tomato, cucumber, that sort of thing? To me vegetables suggests a load of peas, carrots and Brussels sprouts (among lots of other cooked “greens”)!
    Hm that sounds a bit odd to me. A sliced tomato or cucumber isn't really a salad. It still needs some kind of dressing or sauce to become one.
     

    Stoggler

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I didn’t say it was a salad, I said salad stuff (ie some of the ingredients that you might find in a salad). Things like tomatoes and cucumber are often found in sandwiches, I was wondering if that was meant by vegetables (if it is, then that’s not what we call such things in sandwiches in English).
     
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