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The English Language

Words Borrowed from Other Languages

Hundreds of words from 146 languages

Click on a letter link below to locate a language.
Click the language link to display a table of words borrowed into English from that language.

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z

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Borrowed Words Search.

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Introduction

The English language has an enormous amount of words that have been borrowed (or loaned) from other languages. This is a collection of tables listing words from the many languages that have contributed words to English. For some languages the word list is complete; for others (French, Greek, Latin, Arabic, Spanish) only a selection of borrowed words is given as there are so many. There are brief explanations for most words and the original literal meaning if appropriate.

Please note that some word derivations are disputed by etymologists.


A

An Indo-European language spoken in South Africa and Namibia: apartheid, commando, slim, trek...

The extinct Language of the Assyrian and Babylonian Empires in Mesopotamia (the modern day Iraq). The language is a member of the Afro-Asiatic family: Babylon, cherub, Orion, ziggurat...

An Indo-European language spoken in Albania and the Kosova region of Serbia: Carpathian...

A member of the Algonquian family of language spoken in North America: caribou, Massachusetts, racoon, tomahawk...

A version of the English language spoken in the United States of America (North America): blizzard, hangover, OK, teenager...

An Afro-Asiatic language spoken in Ethiopia: Negus...

A Sino-Tibetan language spoken in Eastern China: ketchup, tea...

A precursor of the English language spoken in England before 1000AD. Anglo-Saxon is (like its modern counterpart) an Indo-European language: Easter, Tuesday, Welsh, Yule...

An Afro-Asiatic language spoken on the Arabian Peninsula, in much of the Middle East and in North Africa: alcohol, calibre, monsoon, zero...

An almost extinct Afro-Asiatic language spoken in Syria and Palestine before 200AD: Jesus...

A language spoken in parts of Chile and also known as Mapuche: Chile, poncho...

An Andean-Equatorial language spoken in coastal Colombia and the Caribbean: cacique, iguana, tobacco...

A version of the English language spoken in Australia: aborigine, nugget, walkabout...

An extinct Indo-European language spoken in ancient Perisa: bronze, magic, paradise...

An Andean-Equatorial language spoken in the Bolivian Andes and parts of Peru and Northern Chile: alpaca...


B

An Indo-European language spoken in the Pakistani Himalayas: polo...

A Niger-Congo language spoken in the West African countries of Mali, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast: juke, jumbo...

A language spoken in Northern Spain and South West France that is unrelated to any other language in the world: anchovy, bizarre, jingo...

An Afro-Asiatic language spoken in Sudan and Eritrea: Beduin...

An Indo-European language spoken in Bangladesh and North East India: bungalow, dinghy...

An Indo-European language spoken in Western France: carol, gaberdine, garrote, valet...

The extinct language of the Byzantine Empire. A member of the Indo-European family: diaper...


C

A Sino-Tibetan language spoken in Southern China, Hong Kong, UK and USA: chopsuey, lychee, wok...

A language spoken in northern South America and the Caribbean. It belongs to the Carib family: barbecue, cannibal, maize...

An Indo-European language spoken in Catalunya, in North East Spain: capsize, paella...

An Iroquoian language spoken in North America: Sequoia...

An Algonquian language spoken in North America: Alabama, Oklahoma...

An Indo-European language spoken in the Cornwall region of England: bludgeon, gull...

An Algonquian language spoken in North America: Eskimo, opossum, skunk, squaw...

An Indo-European language spoken in Croatia and Bosnia: cravat...

A Macro-Chibchan language spoken along the Atlantic coast of Panama in Central America: Panama...

An Indo-European language spoken in the Czech Republic: pistol, polka, robot...


D

An Indo-European language spoken in Denmark: fog, kidnap, ombudsman...

A Pama-Nyungan language spoken in Australia: boomerang, budgerigar, koala, wallaby...

An Indo-European language spoken in the Netherlands and Belgium: boss, cookie, lottery, yacht...


E

The extinct language of Ancient Egypt. It is a member of the Afro-Asiatic family: ammonia, ebony, ivory, paper...

The extinct language of pre-Roman Italy: April, ceremony, cistern, Saturn...

An Altaic language spoken in Siberia: shaman...

A Niger-Congo language spoken in Ghana, Togo and other countries in West Africa: voodoo...


F

An Indo-European language spoken in the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic Ocean: skua...

An Indo-European language spoken in Iran and Afghanistan. Also called Persian and Iranian: checkmate, lemon, shawl, tambourine...

An Uralic language spoken in Finland and parts of Russia: sauna...

An Indo-European language spoken in Northern Belgium: brick, duffel, gas, hunk...

An extinct Indo-European language spoken in Central Europe during the 8th century AD: coat, marshall, skate, wallop...

An Indo-European language spoken in France, Belgium, Swizerland, Canada, Louisiana (a USA state), West Africa, the Caribbean and Indo-China: ambulance, diplomat, parachute, sauce...


G

An Indo-European language spoken in Scotland (UK) and Ireland: bard, golf, slogan, whisky...

An extinct Indo-European language spoken in pre-Roman France: ambassador, carpenter, lawn, Paris...

An Indo-European language spoken in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Central Europe: blitz, dollar, muffin, quartz...

An Indo-European language spoken in Greece, Cyprus, Middle East and Northern Egypt: athlete, democracy, metropolis, museum...

An Andean-Equatorial language spoken in Paraguay and Southern Brazil: jaguar, Paraguay, Uruguay...

An Indo-European language spoken in Gujarat state in Western India: tank...

A Pama-Nyungan language spoken in Australia: kangaroo...


H

A creole language spoken in Haiti: meringue...

An Afro-Asiatic language spoken in Northern Nigeria: juju...

A Malayo-Polynesian language spoken on the islands of Hawaii: hula, ukulele...

An Afro-Asiatic language spoken in Israel: amen, gauze, kosher, messiah...

An Indo-European language spoken in Northern India: bangle, Himalaya, jungle, shampoo...

A Khoisan language spoken in Southern Africa: gnu, kudu...

An Uralic language spoken in Hungary and the region of Transylvania in Romania: coach, goulash, paprika, sabre...


I

A Niger-Congo language spoken in Nigeria: tango...

A Niger-Congo language spoken in Nigeria: okra...

An Indo-European language spoken in Iceland: eider, geyser, saga, Viking...

An Eskimo-Aleut language spoken in Siberia and Alaska: anorak, husky, igloo, kayak...

A language spoken in North America: Canada, Kentucky, Ohio...

An Indo-European language spoken in Italy and Switzerland: bankrupt, fascist, opera, umbrella...


J

An Altaic language spoken in Japan: judo, karate, soy, tycoon...


K

A Niger-Congo language spoken in Northern Angola: banjo...

A Niger-Congo language spoken in Angola and Congo: bongo, chimpanzee, funky, zombie...

An Altaic language spoken in Korea: hangul, kimchi, tae kwon do...


L

The extinct language of the Roman Empire. It is an Indo-European language: calendar, data, maximum, uniform...

An Indo-European language spoken in Latvia: sleazy...

An Indo-European language spoken in Lithuania: eland, sable, silk...


M

A Malayo-Polynesian language spoken on the island of Madagascar: aye-aye, raffia...

A Malayo-Polynesian language spoken in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei: amok, bamboo, gong, orang-utan...

A Dravidian language spoken in South India: atoll, copra, teak...

A Sino-Tibetan language spoken in most of China as well as Taiwan, Singapore and parts of Malaysia: Japan, kowtow, kung fu, typhoon...

A Malayo-Polynesian language spoken in New Zealand: haka, kiwi...

An Indo-European language spoken in Central India: dhow, chit...

A Malayo-Polynesian language spoken in the Pacific Marshall Islands: bikini...

A Mayan language spoken in Southern Mexico and Guatemala: cigar, shark...

A language spoken in North America: Illinois...

An Algonquian language spoken in North America: toboggan...

The extinct Pre-Hellenic language spoken in Minoan Crete: Taurus...

An Algonquian language spoken in North America: Connecticut...


N

An Uto-Aztecan language spoken in Mexico and Central America: chocolate, guacamole, Mexico, tomato...

An Athapascan language spoken in North America: Utah...

An Uralic language spoken in Siberia: parka...

An Indo-European language spoken in parts of Nepal and Himalayan India: Gurkha, panda...

The 11th century language of France and England. It is an Indo-European language: accuse, chivalry, justice, parliament...

The extinct language of the Vikings (or Norsemen) from Scandinavia. It is an Indo-European language: berserk, husband, reindeer, window...

An Indo-European language spoken in Norway: fjord, iceberg, ski, walrus...


O

An Algonquian language spoken in North America: Mississippi, Ottawa, totem...

A language spoken in North America: Nebraska...


P

An Uto-Aztecan language spoken in North America: Arizona...

The extinct language of the ancient Mediterranian empire of Phoenicia. It is an Afrio-Asiatic language: Bible, gypsum, purple...

The extinct pre-Celtic language of Scotland: Caledonia, fife...

An Indo-European language spoken in Poland: horde, mazurka...

An Indo-European language spoken in Portugal, Brazil, Angola and Mozambique: breeze, flamingo, marmalade, molasses...

An Algonquian language spoken in North America: Chicago...

An Indo-European language spoken in Southern France: boutique, crusade, limousine, pilgrim...

An extinct Afro-Asiatic language spoken in ancient Carthage: map, purse...


Q

An Andean-Equatorial language spoken in Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia. It is the language of the Inca Empire: cocoa, guano, Inca, llama...


R

An Indo-European language spoken in Romania: Dracula, pastrami...

An Indo-European language spoken in parts of Switzerland: avalanche...

An Indo-European language spoken in large parts of Europe. It is the language of the Romani (Gypsy) people: cosh, gigolo, pal...

An Indo-European language spoken in Russia and large parts of Central Asia: bistro, cosmonaut, mammoth, vodka...


S

An extinct language of pre-Roman Italy. It is a member of the Indo-European family: lingua...

An Uralic language spoken in Lapland in Northern Scandinavia: tundra...

An ancient Hindu language from Northern India. It is a member of the Indo-European family: Aryan, candy, orange, sugar...

An Indo-European language spoken in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia: vampire...

A Niger-Congo language spoken in Zimbabwe, in Southern Africa: Zimbabwe...

A language spoken in North America: Idaho...

An Indo-European language spoken on the island of Sri Lanka: rogue, tourmaline...

An Iroquoian language spoken in North America: Dakota, Kansas, Minnesota, tepee...

A Niger-Congo language spoken in South Africa and Lesotho: milo...

An Indo-European language spoken in Spain, the southern USA, several islands in the Caribbean, Central America and most of South America: canyon, guitar, patio, tornado...

The extinct language of the Sumerian and Babylonian Empires: abyss, cane...

A Niger-Congo language spoken in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and the island of Zanzibar: dengue...

An Indo-European language spoken in Sweden and parts of Finland: boulder, mink, smorgasbord, Tungsten...

An Indo-European language spoken in Switzerland: chalet, glacier, moraine...

An Indo-European language spoken in Switzerland: bivouac, muesli...

An extinct Afro-Asiatic language spoken in ancient Syria: abbot, damson, Mammon...


T

A Malayo-Polynesian language spoken in northern Philippines: boondocks, yo-yo...

A Malayo-Polynesian language spoken in Tahiti: tattoo...

A language spoken in the Caribbean: guava, hammock, hurricane, potato...

A Dravidian language spoken in South India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore: anaconda, curry, mango, pariah...

An Altaic language spoken in the Crimea region of Russia: shashlik...

A Dravidian language spoken in South India: mongoose...

A Niger-Congo language spoken in Sierra Leone: cola...

A Sino-Tibetan language spoken in Thailand: Siamese...

A Sino-Tibetan language spoken in Tibet, Nepal and North India: lama, sherpa, yak, yeti...

A Malayo-Polynesian language spoken on the Pacific island of Tonga: taboo...

An Indo-European language spoken on the Caribbean island of Trinidad: limbo...

A Niger-Congo language spoken in Botswana and parts of South Africa: tsetse...

An Andean-Equatorial language spoken in the Peruvian and Brazilian Amazon: cashew, maraca, piranha, tapioca...

An Altaic language spoken in Turkey, Cyprus and parts of Bulgaria: caviar, kebab, tulip, yoghurt...


U

An Indo-European language spoken in Ukraine and the Black Sea: balaclava, Cossack...

An Indo-European language spoken in Pakistan and North India: balti, Pakistan, purdah...


W

An Indo-European language spoken in Southern Belgium: rabbit...

An Indo-European language spoken in the UK region of Wales: corgi, cwm, maggot, penguin...

A Pama-Nyungan language spoken in Australia: billabong, kookaburra...

A Niger-Congo language spoken in Senegal and Gambia: banana, chigger, yam...


Y

An Indo-European language spoken in Europe, Israel and North America by the Jewish community: bagel, glitch, nosh, schmuck...

A Niger-Congo language spoken in Nigeria: dashiki...


Z

A Niger-Congo language spoken in South Africa: impala, mamba...

A language spoken in Mexico: Apache...

© 2006 KryssTal


Borrowed Words Search

A search engine for the borrowed words database consisting of nearly 2000 words from over 130 languages. Search for individual words or by language, continent, language family, and type of word.


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External Etymology Links

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