Old English words and meanings list

September 20, 2021
Of the word or words

To find a list of English words of foreign origin, you can go to Wikipedia. They have a gigantic list of English words from many languages, including: African, Czech, Malay, Hawaiian, Persian, Tagalog, and many more. There are 61 pages to this list, each page containing one language or country of origin. Here is a sampling of what is available:

  • African - banana, jumbo, yam, zebra
  • Chinese - ketchup, pekoe, shanghai
  • French - catalogue, essence, gourmet, justice, massage, perfume, regret, terror
  • Norwegian - fjord, krill, ski, slalom
  • Welsh - corgi (dog), crag, penguin

More Lists

  • Alarm - Italian - to arms
  • Ballot - Italian - small pebble or ball, people would vote by casting a pebble into a box
  • Cantelope - Italian - singing wolf, a town in Italy where the melon was grown
  • Companion - from both Spanish and French, but with a Latin root - one with whom you would eat bread
  • Denim - French - the cloth was developed in Nimes and called Serge di Nimes, later shortened to di Nimes, then to denim. It was also made in Genoa, Italy, hence the name “jeans”
  • Genuine - Italian - placed on the knees. In Rome, a father placed a newborn on his knee to legally claim it as his
  • Muscle - Latin - little mouse, when you flex a muscle, it was called a little mouse that runs beneath your skin
  • Night - German - first meant “day” because the day began at sunset, like many other ancient civilizations
  • Ostracize - Greek - pottery, if someone was a danger to the town, the people would write their vote on chunks of pottery to decide to banish him or not
  • Slogan - Celtic - two words together that mean battle cry
  • Victim - Latin - an animal that was to be sacrificed
  • Worm - Old English - dragon

Other Interesting Words

  • There are many interesting or unusual words in the English language. There are also some unique ways of looking at them. Here are some examples:
  • Queueing is the only word with five vowels in a row.
  • Iouea contains all vowels and is a sea sponge.
  • Fashion and cushion are the only words that end with “shion”.
  • Suspicion, scion, and coercion are the only words that end in “cion”.
  • Having all vowels in order or reverse order are: abstemious, facetious, unnoticeably, subcontinental, and uncomplimentary.
  • These words have six consonants consecutively: catchphrase, latchstring, sightscreen, watchspring, and watchstrap.
  • These words all have more than one doubled letter: addressee, balloon, bookkeeper, coffee, committee, keenness, roommate, and succeed.
  • Allegator - a person who alleges
  • Batrachomyomachy - to make a mountain out of a molehill
  • Bowyang - a strap holding your pants legs
  • Bumbershoot - umbrella
  • Cantankerous - grouchy
  • Comeuppance - just dessert
  • Crapulence - uncomfortable after over-eating or over-drinking
  • Discombobulate - confuse
  • Eructation - belch
  • Fard - paint on the face or makeup
  • Fartlek - refers to a training routine
  • Firkin - small barrel
  • Flummox - to frustrate
  • Formication - the sensation of ants crawling on your skin
  • Hobbledehoy - clumsy or rude boy
  • Lollygag - to move slowly
  • Mollycoddle - to spoil a person
  • Skedaddle - move quickly
  • Snollygoster - untrustworthy person
  • Vomitory - an exit
  • Yahoo - hillbilly

These are all words meaning absurd, nonsense, or silliness: cockamamie, codswallop, flibbertigibbet, folderol, gobbledygook, godwottery, kerfuffle, malarkey, and rigmarole.

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