70 borrowed words 70個英語外來詞(之五)

更新時間 2013年 9月 13日, 星期五 - 格林尼治標準時間13:07
  • A man wearing brogues

    The word brogues comes to English from Scottish and Irish Gaelic.

    Brogues are low-heeled, leather shoes or boots with decorative perforations (holes).

  • A bungalow

    The word bungalow comes from the Gujurati bangalo, which means 'low, thatched house'.

  • An error message

    The English word glitch, which means a problem with a machine or computer, is thought to be from Yiddish glitsh or German glitsch meaning 'a slip'.

    It was first used in American English in the 1960s by hardware engineers before becoming more widely popular.

  • Violence at football match

    The violence of football hooligans was a big problem at football matches in 1970s Britain.

    The name 'Hooligan' first appeared a music-hall song in the 19th Century about a rough and rowdy Irish family of that name, which is thought to be a based on the Irish surname Houlihan.

  • A soldier in uniform

    Khaki is the dust-coloured material often used in military uniforms.

    It comes from Farsi originally but entered English from Urdu.

  • A man bowing to the Queen

    Kowtow comes from Mandarin and literally means to 'bow deeply to someone as an act of respect'.

    In English it's also used figuratively to mean giving too much respect to authority.

  • A scared woman

    It's thought the word nightmare, meaning a very bad or distressing dream, evolved from the Middle Dutch word nachtmāre and the German word nachtmahr.

    Nightmares happen at 'night'; the 'mare' part refers to an evil spirit that was thought to cause these terrifying dreams.

  • Two men embracing

    Pal was borrowed from a Romany (Gypsy) word meaning 'brother, comrade'. In English it means buddy or mate.

  • A person wearing pyjamas

    Pyjamas are loose-fitting clothes for sleeping in, and the word was taken from payjama in the old Hindustani language. The original word came from Persian and meant 'leg garment'.

  • Rickshaws

    Rickshaw comes from the Japanese word jinrikishaw, which means 'man power carriage'.

  • Safari

    The word safari was introduced to English in the late 19th Century.

    It's taken from the Swahili word safari which means journey or expedition. This in turn came from the Arabic word for journey, سفر safar.

  • Two men chatting

    The verb to schmooze is believed to come from the Yiddish shmuesn, meaning to talk, converse or chat, and also the Hebrew word shemu'oth meaning news or rumours.

  • A glass of vodka

    Vodka comes from Russian and is made up of the noun voda meaning 'water' and ka at the end which makes it mean 'little water'.

    For our linguist friends, ka is called a 'diminutive suffix', which indicates the noun before it is smaller than things of that type usually are - hence 'little water'.

  • Whisky

    Whisky comes from the Gaelic word uisgebeatha which literally means 'water of life'. Take note that the word is spelled differently in different places; you'll find Irish 'whiskey' but Scotch 'whisky'; 'whisky' is the usual spelling in Britain and 'whiskey' is more popular in the U.S.

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