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6. French Words.
- Besides the large additions to our language made by the Norman-French, we have from time to time imported direct from France a number of French words, without change in the spelling, and with little change in the pronunciation. The French have been for centuries the most polished nation in Europe; from France the changing fashions in dress spread over all the countries of the Continent; French literature has been much read in England since the time of Charles II.; and for a long time all diplomatic correspondence between foreign countries and England was carried on in French. Words relating to manners and customs are common, such as soirée, etiquette, séance, élite; and we have also the names of things which were invented in France, such as mitrailleuse, carte-de-visite, coup d'état, and others. Some of these words are, in spelling, exactly like English; and advantage of this has been taken in a well-known epigram :—
The French have taste in all they do,
For Nature, which to them gave goût,1
To us gave only gout.
The following is a list of French words which have been imported in comparatively recent times :
The Scotch have always had a closer connection with the French nation than England; and hence we find in the Scottish dialect of English a number of French words that are not used in South Britain at all. A leg of mutton is called in Scotland a gigot; the dish on which it is laid is an ashet (from assiette); a cup for tea or for wine is a tassie (from tasse); the gate of a town is 1 Goût (goo) from Latin gustus, taste.
called the port; and a stubborn person is dour (Fr. dur, from Lat. durus); while a gentle and amiable person is douce (Fr. douce, Lat. dulcis).
7. German Words.-It must not be forgotten that English is a Low-German dialect, while the German of books is New HighGerman. We have never borrowed directly from High-German, because we have never needed to borrow. Those modern German words that have come into our language in recent times are chiefly the names of minerals, with a few striking exceptions, such as loafer, which came to us from the German immigrants to the United States, and plunder, which seems to have been brought from Germany by English soldiers who had served under Gustavus Adolphus. The following are the German words which we have received in recent times :
8. Hebrew Words. These, with very few exceptions, have come to us from the translation of the Bible, which is now in use in our homes and churches. Abbot and abbey come from the Hebrew word abba, father; and such words as cabal and Talmud, though not found in the Old Testament, have been contributed by Jewish literature. The following is a tolerably complete list—
9. Other Foreign Words.—The English have always been the greatest travellers in the world; and our sailors always the most daring, intelligent, and enterprising. There is hardly a port or a country in the world into which an English ship has not penetrated; and our commerce has now been maintained for centuries with every people on the face of the globe. We exchange goods with almost every nation and tribe under the
sun. When we import articles or produce from abroad, we in general import the native name along with the thing. Hence it is that we have guano, maize, and tomato from the two Americas; coffee, cotton, and tamarind from Arabia; tea, congou, and nankeen from China; calico, chintz, and rupee from Hindostan; bamboo, gamboge, and sago from the Malay Peninsula; lemon, musk, and orange from Persia; boomerang and kangaroo from Australia; chibouk, ottoman, and tulip from Turkey. The following are lists of these foreign words; and they are worth examining with the greatest minuteness :
Admiral (Milton Azure.
(The word al means the. Thus alcohol the spirit.)
Koran (or Al
10. Scientific Terms.-A very large number of discoveries in science have been made in this century; and a large number of inventions have introduced these discoveries to the people, and made them useful in daily life. Thus we have telegraph and telegram; photograph; telephone and even photophone. The word dynamite is also modern; and the unhappy employment of it has made it too widely known. Then passing fashions have given us such words as athlete and asthete. In general, it may be said that, when we wish to give a name to a new thing a new discovery, invention, or fashion-we have recourse not to our own stores of English, but to the vocabularies of the Latin and Greek languages.