70 borrowed words 70個英語外來詞(之四)

更新時間 2013年 9月 12日, 星期四 - 格林尼治標準時間12:22
  • An alligator

    The word alligator comes from the Spanish 'el lagarto', which means 'the lizard'.

    It's thought early Spanish explorers to Florida gave the creatures this name.

  • Lollipops

    The word candy came into English from the French sucre candi 'crystallized sugar', which is thought to derive from Arabic sukkar 'sugar' and qandī 'candied' - in turn based on Sanskrit khaṇḍa 'piece' (of sugar).

  • A corgi dog wearing a fire engine outfit

    Apparently, the word corgi comes from the Welsh word corgi: 'cor' meaning 'dwarf' and 'ci' or 'gi' meaning 'dog'.

    A corgi is a small, short-legged dog. In the UK, the corgi is a special favourite of the Queen of England. She has owned more than 30 corgis. So, if you have a corgi you have a special connection with Her Majesty, the Queen of England.

  • A curry

    Possibly from the 1680s, the word curry comes from the Tamil word kari, which is a relish or sauce for rice.

    In the past, people would claim that the national dish of England was fish and chips or a 'Sunday roast' but today, the most popular dish is curry.

  • Gadgets

    From tin-openers to smartphones, most of us couldn't live without our gadgets.

    Scholars are still debating its origins, but there are strong associations with 19th century sailors who used the word, which may derive from the French gâchette 'catchpiece of a mechanism' to refer to any small mechanical object which they couldn't remember the name for - or didn't have.

  • Jazz musician Jamie Cullum

    Jazz music was born in the African-American communities of the Southern states of the USA.

    And, like many aspects of the music, the word also has African origins. Possible origins include the Mandinka word jasi and the Temne word yas.

  • A kiosk

    The origins of the word kiosk are found in the French kiosque, the Turkish köşk and Persian kūshk. In modern British English, the word kiosk refers to small, often wooden, structures from which newspapers, snacks and tobacco are sold. Telephone boxes are sometimes referred to as telephone kiosks.

  • A man at the gym

    A muscle is in fact a little mouse, if you trace the word back to its Latin origin 'musculus'. Flexing a muscle was thought to look like a little mouse running beneath your skin.

  • An owl

    The modern German word for owl is eule. In Dutch it's uil; in Danish ugle. Why so similar? They are all derived from the ancient Germanic uwwalon - which is a word that describes an owl's nightly call.

    In modern British English, the sound an owl makes is often written down as 'to-wit, to-woo'.

  • A sheep, cow and pig, mutton, beef and pork

    A sheep, a cow and a pig went to market, a meat market, and there they were turned into food.

    Thanks to the French language we can now differentiate between the live animals and the ready-to-eat versions; 'sheep' becomes 'mutton', 'cow' becomes 'beef' and 'pig' becomes 'pork'. Look out for these words on a menu near you.

  • A group trekking in the desert with camels

    Trekking is an increasingly popular holiday or weekend activity.

    The word comes from the Afrikaans word trek, which refers to a long or difficult journey or migration, often by ox wagon.

  • A tsunami

    The word tsunami comes from Japanese, meaning 'harbour wave'.

    As we can see from the picture they can be devastatingly powerful.

  • Tuna fillets

    Tuna comes from Spanish 'atún' and it's believed to have entered the English language around the 1800s.

  • A zombie

    Horror movies are full of zombies - scary dead people who move as if they were alive.

    The word is thought to originate from the West African words zumbi meaning 'fetish' (Kikongo), and nzambi meaning 'god' (Kimbundu). The word may also be influenced by the Spanish word sombra, which means 'shade' or 'ghost'.

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