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Foreign words that should be used in the English language


Berchmans

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Nov 23, 2009
Messages
502
In recent times, the German word "schadenfreude" (i.e. taking pleasure in the misfortune of others) has come into more common use among English speakers. It is a very useful way of expressing a common emotion in one word, where English requires several. Indeed, given the magpie-like qualities of the English language in nicking words from other tongues, it is only a matter of time before it becomes a - de facto - English word.

With this in mind, I'm wondering what other foreign words could be appropriated into the English language in the future. My own nomination is the Middle-Eastern Arabic word "wasta".

Wasta - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The closest equivalent of the use of wasta in Hiberno-English are the words "pull" or "stroke" - in the sense of using power, wealth or cronyism to have decisions go your way. For example, one could use one's wasta to have penalty points quashed or to have land rezoned for one's benefit. In my opinion, the word wasta would be particularly appropriate to the nature of Irish society and politics.

Any other nominations for foreign words that should be incorporated into the English language?
 

Just Jack

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Sep 10, 2010
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3,792
We've had our fair share of hideous Americanisms, do they count?
 

Brenny

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Dec 8, 2008
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1,223
In recent times, the German word "schadenfreude" (i.e. taking pleasure in the misfortune of others) has come into more common use among English speakers. It is a very useful way of expressing a common emotion in one word, where English requires several. Indeed, given the magpie-like qualities of the English language in nicking words from other tongues, it is only a matter of time before it becomes a - de facto - English word.

With this in mind, I'm wondering what other foreign words could be appropriated into the English language in the future. My own nomination is the Middle-Eastern Arabic word "wasta".

Wasta - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The closest equivalent of the use of wasta in Hiberno-English are the words "pull" or "stroke" - in the sense of using power, wealth or cronyism to have decisions go your way. For example, one could use one's wasta to have penalty points quashed or to have land rezoned for one's benefit. In my opinion, the word wasta would be particularly appropriate to the nature of Irish society and politics.

Any other nominations for foreign words that should be incorporated into the English language?
There are tons of foreign words in English already! English speakers pretty good at coming up with their own words, however, unlikethe French who can't even come up with their own words for restaurant and entrepreneur.
 

Mountaintop

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May 19, 2011
Messages
1,263
From Filipino..

"Gheegle"....the urge to pinch or squeeze something because it's so adorable and cute.
 

Mountaintop

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May 19, 2011
Messages
1,263
Words that don't exist in any language, but I feel should exist in English:

'Flavourite': An amalgamation of 'flavour' and 'favourite'.
"What's your flavourite?"....."Strawberry"

Southwick: Adj, a left handed w@nker

Kellogged: Adj, that feeling of being ripped-off or cheated, like that feeling when you believe your cereal box is half empty...but then you read the disclaimer on the side that says 'contents may have levelled in transport'
 

Drogheda445

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Feb 13, 2012
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Saudade, a Portuguese word meaning a sort of nostalgia or longing for the past.
 

kvran

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May 6, 2010
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1,151
I like the German word Spießig. It describe conservative,dry, stuffy, middle class, white bread sort of people and things.

Also Gemütlich. When something is cozy, familiar and pleasant.

Example: Dinner at Grandmothers was very gemütlich despite her being so spießig.
 

Niall996

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Dec 5, 2011
Messages
12,142
I like the German word Spießig. It describe conservative,dry, stuffy, middle class, white bread sort of people and things.

Also Gemütlich. When something is cozy, familiar and pleasant.

Example: Dinner at Grandmothers was very gemütlich despite her being so spießig.
Can't see those catching on somehow.
 

Lempo

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Jun 30, 2012
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6,314
Everyone's already heard of Swedish ogooglebar, 'unattainable by an Internet search engine', and the attempts by Google Inc. on the Swedish language office to make the word Google-specific?
 

ruserious

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Jan 3, 2011
Messages
29,597
My favourite comes from the time local Corkeens were stationed in India in the 19th Century and the Grey Langur monkey delivered the now favourite Cork word: Langer.

Can mean:
You are Drunk - I'm Langers bai.
Please Vacate my area - Go on away ya Langer.
Your Private parts - I've a Langer the size of a....

As you can see it is a very versatile word that comes from Hindi but localised in Cork.
 

Warrior of Destiny

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Sep 24, 2010
Messages
2,503
Pilkunnussija.

A Finnish word that means, 'A person who believes it is their destiny to stamp out all spelling and punctuation mistakes at the cost of popularity, self-esteem and mental well-being.'
 

FloatingVoterTralee

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May 8, 2009
Messages
997
The phrase esprit d'escalier comes to mind - a witty riposte that comes to mind immediately after you've left the room/situation.
 

corporal punishment

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Nov 22, 2010
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2,889
Durchfall, german word that translates literally as Through fall and means Diahorea.
 

alloverbartheshouting

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Nov 22, 2010
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7,937
Durchfall, german word that translates literally as Through fall and means Diahorea.
Don't forget verstopfung.

I had a brilliant German teacher (from Germany, so it helped, I suppose....) and I'll never forget the day she provided these as examples of the literal nature of German so that we could break down many multi-syllabic words with confidence when translating.
slating.

Can barely speak a word of it now, mind you - use it or lose it, I suppose. Mind you, the same teacher got me an A1 in the Leaving, so I'll always remember her with respect.
 
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Mountaintop

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May 19, 2011
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1,263
Luposlipaphobia – fear of being pursued by timber wolves around a kitchen table while wearing socks on a newly waxed floor




(c)Gary Larsen, The Far Side
 
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