New Words from Foreign Languages

J   Monday, February 24, 2003, 21:18 GMT
Are there things that English lacks a word for? Is the English lexicon deficient in some places?

Perhaps you think that English is a great language but you just can't do without you favorite word. What word is that?

What words would you add into the linguistic melange that is English?
What words would you like to take away?
deaptor   Monday, February 24, 2003, 22:06 GMT
I think there are many of them when it comes to thing that are not used in English speaking countries. Some of this sing are very simple,
for example "fortochka". It is a small opening pane in the case window. As far as I know in the UK and the US, you don't have case window, but sash window.
jack Doolan   Tuesday, February 25, 2003, 00:30 GMT
A PUKKA SAHIB walked across the VERANDA of his DONGA and woke the PUNKAH WALLAH. Then he made a cup of CHAR , drank it and then sat down on his CHARPOY.

Most of these words are from India. 'Veranda' came into English from India but it was a Portuguese word at first.

One old loan word in English -

Dollar- from German "Thaler"
cmhiv   Tuesday, February 25, 2003, 00:30 GMT
I think that American English does better than all of the other countries that speak English in the "coining words" department. But, every country does this, I think the USA does it more.
Jim   Tuesday, February 25, 2003, 02:59 GMT
Okay, Cmhiv, you maybe right, I know that you're not trying to say that American English is better than any other dialect so I'm going to refrain from an all-out attack but let me just shed a little doubt on you're statement.

J also asks "What words would you like to take away?" this could probably run its own thread but two of the first words I'd get rid of are "washroom" and "restroom". It's a bloody toilet. You neither go to the toilet to wash nor to rest. These are two words that were coined in America. In Australia the word "dunny" was coined for the same purpose. It's a made-up word but at least it's honest. Who has done better in the "coining words" department here?

In Japan they call the comb-over "bar-code hair". I think that this should be added to English. It's an apt description of this stupid hair-style. It's slightly insulting which should serve as a reminder to all those considering adopting this style to think again. I heard that on TV once a man with bar-code hair had his scalp read by the laser at the cashier and it actually registered a product.
Lommers   Tuesday, February 25, 2003, 03:13 GMT
i wash my hands after i use the toilet, bud, i don't know about you. ;) i guess "washroom" and "restroom" are just euphemisms from when people were too uptight to talk about bodily functions. i don't see that there's anything so wrong with them. if you guys like using the word "toilet" for this room, we don't really care. but i personally (and i assume most of my compatriots) prefer bathroom or restroom. but i guess the good thing about all of this fuss over whether it should be called a "toilet" or "bathroom (etc)" is that we're now thoroughly familiar with all possible terms, and there shouldn't be much confusion!
Jim   Tuesday, February 25, 2003, 03:46 GMT
That's true, there is no confusion caused. Anyway my purpose wasn't to revive again but to point out two examples of where American English has done poorly in the "coining words" department. Sure, you wash your hands after you use the toilet but washing your hands is not the purpose of the place. You get undressed before you go to bed and you get dressed after you wake up but nobody goes around calling a bedroom a "dressingroom". You wash your dishes after dinner but where it's done is called a "kitchen" not a "dishroom". Silly euphemisms invented by uptight people aren't worth keeping.
Lommers   Tuesday, February 25, 2003, 03:57 GMT
well, you have to admit that "bathroom" in america often makes as much sense as "toilet," because you're almost as likely to find either in our rooms over here. i think it's a pretty funny conversation in general. you have a point about euphemisms, there comes a point where they should die out, but all the same i don't think that restroom is going anywhere anytime soon stateside. (washroom is actually not very common anymore as a synonym for toilet, i actually hear this in more terms of laundry rooms nowadays)
Jim   Tuesday, February 25, 2003, 04:16 GMT
If there's a bath in it, then, sure it's a bathroom but I still think you're uptight if you say "I'm going to the bathroom." when you really are going to the toilet. That's interesting, I've never heard "washroom" for a laundry room.
cmhiv   Tuesday, February 25, 2003, 04:40 GMT
I am refering to those spurt-of-the-moment things people make up. When you come across something new that you have to explain to people, you might have to make up a new word or something. This is something that the America people are good at, in my opinion.

As for the "toilet," I call it a toilet here in America, and most people other than my family look at me like I just said something disgusting. But in the American defence, in most American places of urination/defication, there is a bath-tub, a sink and a toilet. Now, I know that there is little "resting" going on in here, but unlike in most European places of urination/defication, there is more than just a toilet. I am refering to homes; not public places. I do not know why I am even trying to defend the Americans calling it a toilet. I guess I have come to realise that being American for me is the fact that half of my ancestors went to America for a better life, so, in "honour" of them, it does me good to be American; but an English-American at that.

And that was totally off topic, so just forget about the last half of my last paragraph.
Jack Doolan   Tuesday, February 25, 2003, 05:56 GMT

"Dunny" = "Convenience" if you're going to be prim = "toilet" if you wish to be clearly understood, which is from French words implying a 'wash and brush up' = "little boys/girls room" if you're being arch/silly and "shithouse" if you're coarse. I like the French word "pissoir" which most English speakers, even those without much imagination can understand.
Thomas Crapper   Tuesday, February 25, 2003, 13:57 GMT
toilet = an object which is IN the "bathroom/restroom".

If you are going to the kitchen (in general), would you say:
"I'm going to the stove."?

In this context, it seems proper usage would be:
"I'm going to USE the toilet." or
"I'm going TO the bathroom."

Me? .... I go to the head. =)
Simon   Tuesday, February 25, 2003, 14:08 GMT
J'urine dans le pissoir et puis je secoue mon petit zobinet pour eviter que des gouttes de pipi trempent mon cale├žon.

Ooooh, Frenchie, you're so romantic....
pablo   Tuesday, February 25, 2003, 14:29 GMT
i don't find this sentence romantic...
Simon   Tuesday, February 25, 2003, 14:31 GMT
It was a joke in poor taste. The bit in English was ironic.