10 Words That You Think Are Of English Origin But Actually Aren’t

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10 Words That You Think Are Of English Origin But Actually Aren't 1

English, as a separate language, came into being much later in history. Modern English evolved from the Germanic group of languages and went through many changes in the process. The language that we speak today is not ‘pure English’ but a mixture of various languages, given the masculine nature that it has. There are various “loanwords” and borrowings and you wouldn’t even know when you speak a foreign word as they have blended so well with English.

Here’s a list of words that you thought were of your go-to language but actually aren’t:

1. Gift

The word ‘gift’ is actually an evolved version of the Scandinavian word ‘yift’ which meant present.



2. Scientist

This is originated from the Latin word ‘scientia’, coined by William Whewell in 1835.



3. Cashier

Having its roots in the middle Dutch word ‘cassier’, this isn’t a original English word as well.



4. Chemistry

Borrowed from the ancient Egyptian word ‘khemia’, meaning transmutation of earth.



5. Cobra

It is a shortening of the Portuguese word “cobra-de-capelo” which literally means “snake with a hood”.

Common Cobra


6. Tornado

Came into the language from Spain, the original word being ‘tornada’.


7.  Boycott

The word ‘boycott’ is actually a loanword from Irish, with its meaning remaining unchanged.



8. Dance

Believe it or not, ‘dance’ is actually a French word.



9. Prayer

Due to the Norman conquest in Britain, the French words gained more power in the country. The list of French loanwords is endless. You can check it out here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_words_of_French_origin

An Indian Christan holds a crucifix beside the tomb of Mother Teresas after a special mass insidse the Missionaries of Charity in the eastern Indian city of Calcutta on October 19, 2003.Pope John Paul II will beatify Mother Teresa of Calcutta at a Vatican ceremony on Sunday, marking the last step before sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church for a nun already dubbed the 'Saint of the Gutters'.REUTERS/Sucheta Das


10. Jungle

This word has its origin in the Hindi word ‘jangal’ and the Sanskrit word ‘jangala’, which means ‘arid’.



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