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#205327 - 04/03/12 04:01 PM French words that are now anglicized  
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tiberall Offline
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This has been a topic I've thought about ever since I took a Teaching Company course on the History of the English Language. I got to thinking about the fact that much of the English language is French based due to the Norman conquest in 1066. Much of our legal vocabulary is of French origin (appeal, plea, justice, evidence, etc). But these words sound English to us. Others don't even though they are part of English now, like a la carte and art nouveau. What I'm wondering is what is the last French word that has been absorbed into English that no longer sounds French to us? How long does it take for a word to lose its foreignness?

#205342 - 04/05/12 11:30 AM Re: French words that are now anglicized [Re: tiberall]  
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That would be really hard to trace. And I think it never looses it's foreignness, only we no longer notice it.

#205343 - 04/05/12 12:29 PM Re: French words that are now anglicized [Re: BranShea]  
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Originally Posted By: BranShea
And I think it never looses it's foreignness, only we no longer notice it.


What is the difference?

#205344 - 04/05/12 12:58 PM Re: French words that are now anglicized [Re: tiberall]  
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I'm not quite sure how one would even measure the "foreignness" of a loanword. Perhaps have a text for people to read out loud and see how they pronounce some loanwords, or if they hesitate before the words or phrases. If people pronounce a word by naturalizing its "foreign" pronunciation into something more accommodating to English phonetics, that word has probably been "anglicized". Although some words never seem to lose their "foreignness", e.g., deja vu (even if it has lost its accents), schadenfreude (part of whose definition seems to include the German language or the German people).


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
#205347 - 04/05/12 06:36 PM Re: French words that are now anglicized [Re: gooofy]  
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Originally Posted By: gooofy
Originally Posted By: BranShea
And I think it never looses it's foreignness, only we no longer notice it.


What is the difference?


And I think it never looses it's foreigness, only we got used to it.

That any better gooofy?

#205348 - 04/05/12 07:57 PM Re: French words that are now anglicized [Re: tiberall]  
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Beef might be a good example of a loanword having lost its foreignness. It's taken on the good English plural beeves.

#205351 - 04/06/12 07:46 AM Re: French words that are now anglicized [Re: Faldage]  
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Ha, beeves and beverages. We're used to the word 'beverages' but just give beverage one second look and it makes you laugh.

It's taken on the good English plural beeves

Do you really consider words that passed from English to American as loanwords too? It's all English to me.

#205352 - 04/06/12 11:31 AM Re: French words that are now anglicized [Re: BranShea]  
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Originally Posted By: BranShea
It's taken on the good English plural beeves

Do you really consider words that passed from English to American as loanwords too? It's all English to me.

Beef is from the Old French buef, (Modern French boeuf). The f > v in the plural is from the Old English voicing of unvoiced consonants between vowels, cf. wife/wives, knife/knives.

#205353 - 04/06/12 11:40 AM Re: French words that are now anglicized [Re: Faldage]  
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And in France when you want a steak you can order a 'steak de boeuf' but more often it's just 'bifteck'. That's what makes languages an amusing thing.

#205366 - 04/06/12 06:31 PM Re: French words that are now anglicized [Re: tiberall]  
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Re etymology of mayday/m'aidez: I think the "m'" stems from "moi", as in "aidez-moi", not from "me", tho the meaning's the same ...

#205390 - 04/08/12 12:13 AM Re: French words that are now anglicized [Re: BranShea]  
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gooofy Offline
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Originally Posted By: BranShea
Originally Posted By: gooofy
Originally Posted By: BranShea
And I think it never looses it's foreignness, only we no longer notice it.


What is the difference?


And I think it never looses it's foreigness, only we got used to it.

That any better gooofy?


No, it's pretty much the same.

#205417 - 04/09/12 07:09 PM Re: French words that are now anglicized [Re: gooofy]  
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Doldrums.

#205431 - 04/11/12 04:00 AM Re: French words that are now anglicized [Re: tiberall]  
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An anglicized word I often see in e-mail group posts is "wala" meaning an expression of surprise when something good happens with little effort on one's part. From the French "voilą." I was attributing it to ignorance, but I guess it's just anglicization.

#205432 - 04/11/12 04:32 AM Re: French words that are now anglicized [Re: LlamaLadySG]  
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this too shall pass
or it could be anglicization from ignorance.

#205440 - 04/12/12 02:35 AM Re: French words that are now anglicized [Re: tiberall]  
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Hmm--smacks of Araby or India to me. Though I suppose they could have borrowed it from French...?

#205445 - 04/12/12 11:02 AM Re: French words that are now anglicized [Re: Jackie]  
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Or either you're thinking of wallah.

#205454 - 04/13/12 01:36 AM Re: French words that are now anglicized [Re: tiberall]  
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I was, yes.

#205458 - 04/13/12 11:08 AM Re: French words that are now anglicized [Re: Jackie]  
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Tromboniator Offline
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I've seen the wallah spelling, as well as wala, walah, and walla, when voilą was clearly the intended meaning.

#205465 - 04/13/12 03:08 PM Re: French words that are now anglicized [Re: Tromboniator]  
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I've seen the wallah spelling, as well as wala, walah, and walla, when voilą was clearly the intended meaning.

All these spellings indicate a change in pronunciation from /'vwala/ to /'wɑlɑ/.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
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