Some people bemoan the ways internet slang is changing language. But the truth is, language is always evolving. Thanks to globalization, immigration, and trade between countries, English has expanded due in no small part to loanwords. Loanwords are words that have been borrowed from another language. Let’s look at some loanwords that you probably use every day.
The word for this classical type of dance is borrowed from French. We use ballet for the dance itself, but also for the act of watching people perform the dance. “I’m going to the ballet on Saturday.”
Some words have roots in multiple Romance languages, which are derived from Latin. This word is both French and Spanish. We often use it to describe a coffee shop, but if you don’t like coffee, don’t worry. These establishments usually serve other items too. “I’ll meet you at the café for some lunch.”
This word comes from Nahuatl, the language spoken by the Aztecs. The original word was “chocolātl.”
From German, this is a type of restaurant that usually serves sandwiches. You probably shorten it to deli.
In French, genre simply means kind or type, but English usually uses the word to describe a type of artistic style. “Rock and roll is my favorite musical genre!”
Stemming from Yiddish, this word refers to small inconveniences or setbacks. “There was a glitch in the system earlier this morning.”
In Chinese, this means to work together. The phrase is used in English to denote when someone is enthusiastic about something. “She’s gung-ho about finishing the project first.”
The direct translation from Japanese means “empty orchestra.” But this popular pastime in countries across the world describes the act of singing along to a song you like — usually in front of a crowd of people.
From the German word that means “children’s garden,” it’s now the name of the year of school before first grade. Don't let the spelling of this childish word trip you up. It's kinder, not kid-ner
Also from Yiddish, this word describes someone who may be uncoordinated or unbalanced. It’s common for a klutz to slip, fall, or break things by accident.
This Spanish-language word has a fairly direct translation in English. It describes men who are stereotypically masculine, maybe even buff or stubborn.
This loanword for a roofless outdoor area with a table and some chairs comes from Spanish. “We ate some barbecue on the patio.” A patio would also bee a great place to take a siesta.
From the Spanish language, this is another word for nap. “I usually have a siesta on the patio during my lunch hour to recharge.
The Japanese enjoy a tradition of making figures out of paper, and this soothing hobby (and word) comes from them.
The Italians gave us this word for photographers who stand around for long periods of time trying to catch exposing shots of public figures.
From Japanese, this word describes large, sometimes deadly, waves that occur after an earthquake.