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Maciamo
24-10-06, 09:18
About half of the words in English come from French or Latin. A certain category of French words can be directly translated into English by adapting the spelling and/or pronuciation. For instance, most of the words ending in -toire in French will end in -tory in English, and those in -eux become -ous. For some reason, not all such words were translated, and some were that have since disappeared in French (e.g. compulsory, ubiquitous, obnonxious). Many just keep the exact same spelling, like most words in -ment or in -tion.

As a daily speaker of both languages, I sometimes feel the urge to use such words that exist only in one of the two languages, but could very well exist in the other, or maybe did exist a few centuries ago but have been dropped since then. I just do not understand why such words as "convenir" (to be convenient) and "inconvenient" exist in French, but not "convenient", one of the most common adjectives in the English language.

I would like to propose some new words in English, which I couldn't find in the dictionary but seem to be perfectly fitted for the English language. The purpose is to add nuances which do not exist in English yet.


- exutory => "outlet", but only in the sense of "outlet to someone's feelings", not a shop. Apparently the word used to exist in English (still listed in the 1913 version of the Merriam-Webster), but ceased to be used.

- nocive => "noxious" (it just sounds better)


I wish I could find an equivalent for the missing words in English listed here (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=21309), but none of them can really be rendered into English by adapting the spelling (possibly "abonnement" or "bricolage").

Kinsao
24-10-06, 18:13
Oh yes, I know what you mean! :silly: (Sometimes I find myself using a French word in mistake for an English one that doesn't really... exist :souka: :bluush: ) Although I rather like the word 'noxious', because I'm a big fan of the letter X, which I think is underused. :giggle: (Must definitely be my English side coming out! ^_^) I think expanding the vocabulory is good! :cool:... unless it becomes too confusing of course! :mad:

Hmmm... *clicks on link*
For 'bouffer' - to eat, but used informally and for animals - I suppose in English we say 'to scoff'? :?
The word 'caricature' exists in English, mostly to describe the same thing (a satirical cartoon, or an exaggerated, usually unflattering, cartoon of a person) (that's its primary meaning).

Ooooh, I shall have to look at those words and think more! :-) --hometime is now-- XD

Maciamo
24-10-06, 19:01
For 'bouffer' - to eat, but used informally and for animals - I suppose in English we say 'to scoff'?

I knew the meaning "to show contempt", but I didn't know it also meant to eat like an animal. Learnt a new word (well, usage) today. :-)



The word 'caricature' exists in English, mostly to describe the same thing (a satirical cartoon, or an exaggerated, usually unflattering, cartoon of a person) (that's its primary meaning).

I thought that 'caricature' was only in the figurative sense of "exaggerated representation" in English (e.g. his book is a caricature of medieval life). :?

Kinsao
25-10-06, 16:21
I thought that 'caricature' was only in the figurative sense of "exaggerated representation" in English (e.g. his book is a caricature of medieval life). :?
Well you are right, it does mean that, but its first meaning is as a satirical/exaggerated drawing (as in "a caricature of Tony Blair") or you could have a caricature of anyone, even of yourself, not necessarily a famous politician or public figure... but that's the initial meaning, but because of it being an exaggeration, it came to mean that in other respects too (i.e. a book or piece of writing). :-) So it really has both meanings. Usually it's obvious from the context what someone is talking about. :)

*now has more time to think* ^^
I also have thought it would be handy to have a word like patte... although in fact we use the word 'paw(s)' for 'hands'. Like, you'd say, "Keep your paws off my wallet!" or we might say 'mitts' (which is a bit more soft way of saying something, as you might use to a child, e.g. "Here, put these on, they'll keep your mitts warm!"). Of course, 'paws' is also for an animal, but 'mitts' is only used for humans. :blush: And they are both words for hands... I don't think there is an equivalent for feet. One word that I've heard and have used for feet is 'clodhoppers', but that's only for humans too. You say it when somebody is clumsy, "I'll move this out of the way of your clodhoppers", for example.

We do use 'hoof' as a word for foot, which is an animal word of course. "You just put your hoof right on my phone!"

Gueule, now there's an interesting one, I had no idea 'gob' came from American, that's how ignorant I am >_<. It's quite well used in English now, and also 'mug', as you say. :p We also say "Shut your trap", or if someone's feeling a tad intellectual they might say "Shut your cakehole". :giggle:
No doubt there's other words for mouth, but I'm too lazy to think of them right now. :bluush:

lol - I never thought of there being another word for fishbone other than 'fishbone'! I suppose because it's all one word (run together in slightly Germanic way XD) it seems to work fine!

Kind of daft to have no single word for a slice of bread. :mad: That's where we rely on gesture! (i.e. waving the loaf in someone's general direction and saying "D'ya wanna slice?"... XD) Tartine is a word that could easily be used in English, there aren't any pronunciation problems. Although it does have... associations. :D Perhaps better to call one slice of bread a... I dunno... a breadlet, or something? @[email protected]

Cassonade... hmmm, there are so many different types of sugar, I can't imagine it. @[email protected] I only know caster sugar, Demerara sugar, Muscovado sugar... and there's a lot of others...

For superficie we just say 'area'. :-) (Or 'surface area' if you need to be exact, but really everyone already knows what you mean ^^)
Precisely I think there's no word for chaine! o.o [eupedia doesn't like my accented characters today _] I think when people say 'stereo', they often mean the whole chaine including speakers, but it isn't specific, and technically speaking the stereo is only the box.

We say 'rim' for jante (no need to say 'rim of the wheel', everyone knows from the context ^^), but there is no word for dejanter. You can't very well say 'derimming' - that has other... associations. :lol:

Ah yes, smiling/smiley. :-) Of course, there is the word, but like you say, not directly translatable in some contexts. In the example you gave, "le personnel devrait etre plus souriant", I think it would generally be translated into English as "the staff should appear more cheerful" or "give a more cheerful impression" (we wouldn't say be more cheerful because you can't control that, of course! :p).

Oh, and I found this site, which is quite entertaining:
English slang & colloquialisms (http://www.peevish.co.uk/slang/) :D

Maciamo
25-10-06, 21:00
Well you are right, it does mean that, but its first meaning is as a satirical/exaggerated drawing (as in "a caricature of Tony Blair") or you could have a caricature of anyone, even of yourself, not necessarily a famous politician or public figure... but that's the initial meaning, but because of it being an exaggeration, it came to mean that in other respects too (i.e. a book or piece of writing). :-) So it really has both meanings. Usually it's obvious from the context what someone is talking about. :)

Indeed, for most of the words I mentioned in my list of "missing words" (cartoon, area, rim...), it is usually clear from the context. But if you just say that word alone, it is confusing because the word has several meanings. You can't just say "I am going to buy some rims" without specifying it is for your cars while in French you can. Likewise not all cartoons are caricatures. An area can be a district, a country or house's land area, a geometrical form's area, a part of something (e.g. Broca's area in the brain), etc. Superficie only means the area measured in square meters/feet.

*now has more time to think* ^^


Gueule, now there's an interesting one, I had no idea 'gob' came from American, that's how ignorant I am >_<. It's quite well used in English now, and also 'mug', as you say. :p We also say "Shut your trap", or if someone's feeling a tad intellectual they might say "Shut your cakehole". :giggle:

"Geule" is not only used for "mouth", but also "face". In slang you could say "il a une belle/sale gueule" (esp. for very "wild" men).


lol - I never thought of there being another word for fishbone other than 'fishbone'! I suppose because it's all one word (run together in slightly Germanic way XD) it seems to work fine!

It's one word, but it still sounds like two (fish+bone), which make it look too simplistic (even childish) for French speakers. Only a child would say "os de poisson" in French.



Cassonade... hmmm, there are so many different types of sugar, I can't imagine it. @[email protected] I only know caster sugar, Demerara sugar, Muscovado sugar... and there's a lot of others...

This is cassonade (http://www.sucretirlemont.com/tiense/sugar.nsf/LookupID/C8EE291828FE749BC1256FC8005957B2?opendocument&Lang=fr&show=leftright&sub=Consumer%20Brands&main=Products&brand=Cassonade). It is cane sugar that has only been refined once, or not at all. Contrarily to normal brown sugar, it has not crystalised but has a sandy appearance (a bit like crumbs of sandy biscuits). It is extremely common in Belgium; people put it on cr&#234;pes or waffles, on strawberries, in cottage cheese or riz au lait, to make the "icing" of cr&#234;me br&#251;l&#233;e (the darker cassonade then), etc. I searched the web, and according to Wikipedia, modern cassonade was developed by a Belgianc company (Graeffe, now owned by Tirlemont/Tienen) in the 19th century.

Kinsao
26-10-06, 15:29
I guess for rims, we'd just say 'wheelrims"! :blush:

I know what you mean about 'fishbone'. There are quite a few words like this... like... err... kneecap, handyman, whistleblower... *too lazy to think of more* :D It seems like the German language does this even more, making veeeeeeeery long words :mad: (although I don't know German :bluush: )

lol... I google image searched 'cassonade' to see what it looks like inside the packet ^^; I think in English it's just 'unrefined sugar'. :liplick: Maybe it doesn't have a name here because it isn't really used? :? (Although the name 'cassonade' would be just as easy to use in English, too :cool: )

One word that isn't a word but that should be, is 'skronkle'. :D I use it a lot and nobody ever questions the meaning even though it doesn't exist. :D It's a bit like 'scrunch' or 'crumple' but somewhat more violent... XD Can also be used in the descriptive sense, as in, "Dammit, it's all skronkled up now!" ... It's just that both 'scrunch' and 'crumple' have quite a gentle smooshy sort of sound to them, and sometimes you just want to be more... vigorous. :D

Zauriel
27-10-06, 18:55
New terms have evolved due to the notoriety of the Enron scandal and trial. To be "enroned" is to be victimized or wronged by the company or boss you work for. An "enronian" is any employee or investor who has suffered from corporate scandal or corruption through no fault of their own. An example statement using "enroned" would be: "We went to work Tuesday and the manager informed us that the company was out of business and our services were no longer needed. We were enroned with no warning and no severance pay."

Maciamo
27-10-06, 19:11
New terms have evolved due to the notoriety of the Enron scandal and trial. To be "enroned" is to be victimized or wronged by the company or boss you work for. An "enronian" is any employee or investor who has suffered from corporate scandal or corruption through no fault of their own. An example statement using "enroned" would be: "We went to work Tuesday and the manager informed us that the company was out of business and our services were no longer needed. We were enroned with no warning and no severance pay."
There are probably thousands of words derived from a person or company's name (have you googled it ? ;-) ). But these are usually not essential words for the language, just temporary inventions.

What bothers me is that there are always very basic words missing in every language. There is no word for "cheap", "overpriced" or "convenient" in French, and no word for dozens of house-related terms in English. One that I miss most in English right now is an equivalent for the French "cloison", i.e. an "empty" wall made of plastered synthethic (or wooden) boards and not masonry. And of course other everyday words like "tartine" (slice of bread)...