Do you know YOUR “English”?

Words adapted in the English language




The history of English language began in ancient of times where people seek information and understanding. It is believed to have evolved in German and Anglo Saxon eras. Many of the words that appeared in the dictionaries are adapted and borrowed from different tribes and countries where it is widely used and has become the English language. Below are the common words that have been existent in foreign countries and later adapted to the English language:

            1.       Person – This word comes from the Latin word “persona” and was adapted in French language and eventually made it to the English dictionary.

2.       Zero – This word comes from Arabic and almost all words of our numeracy and mathematics can be traced back to Arabic.

3.       Tsunami – This is a Japanese word which means “harbor wave”. This was first used in English in 1896.

4.       Fest – this abbreviation of the word festival, is a word that came into English from French by way of Latin in the 14th century. But it’s actually the German word for a celebration like “Octoberfest”.

5.       Court – This French word refers to the place of the king. It is where a person is placed to answer questions about accusations.

6.       Anonymous – This is originated for the Greek work anonumos which defined as someone without a name.

7.       Guru – a Sanskrit terminology which means someone who is an expert on a subject matter, or a teacher. It also means someone who is influential, has an exceptional knowledge.  

8.       Karaoke – One of the common words that are borrowed from Japan. This term stands for “an empty orchestra. This form of entertainment took over the world 20-30 years ago.

9.       Alcohol – This is actually an old Arabic word “la-kuhul’. In those days, Kohl was made of finely powdered antimony produced by the chemical process of sublimation.

10.   Dentist – You may say that you are going to the “toother” because that is how the French people refer to someone who takes care of your teeth. Tooth in French is dent, and the dentist is a “toother”.



It is funny how the language evolves and the English language is not an exception. Many words have been forgotten and many adaptations happen. Do you know that the English vocabulary has comprised of different origins? Take a look at the below information:

Latin                                                                                                              29%
French (Includes Anglo-French)                                                                 29%
Germanic Languages (Old/Middle English, Old Norse, Dutch)              26%
Greek                                                                                                              6%
Other Languages/Unknown                                                                         6%
Derived from Proper Names                                                                        4%


Now that we reveal the history of English words we use every day, the richness of it is undeniably a collaboration of many nations to come up with international understanding. There are a lot of speculations that Americans are the true “English language users” which immediately revoked by the people in England and said that they are the original English. After all, who owns English? And please be careful with your language.




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