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"Foreign Words in the English Language"

Post on: August 16, 2021

In our day to day living, we may have used foreign words in our English usage – while speaking and writing; sometimes not knowing that it is borrowed from another language. For example, the word ‘bungalow’ whose origin is from India, means a one-storey house — usually surrounded by a ‘veranda’, another foreign word.

We may have overlooked the obscure foreign terms as we are bombarded with “infobesity” or information overload. However, some of these terms may be worth knowing as it gives a feeling of empowerment in our daily activities, while meeting our clients, doing presentation etc. As we unleash such phrases in the course of our communication, it makes us feel knowledgeable and enhances our self-image. Not forgetting, being likened to a repository of information.

1. Carte Blanche
This is a French term that means having a ‘freehand’ where one has the right to act as he wishes.
(The contractor was given carte blanche to refurbish the house).

2. Déjà vu
This is another French term that means ‘already seen’. It is a bizarre feeling that one has already experienced what is happening at present.
(When I visited the school in the remote village, strangely a sense of déjà vu set in).

3. Ergo
A Latin term that means ‘therefore’ or ‘as a result’.
(The boys were playing cricket next to the house; ergo, the prime suspect for the broken window).

4. Fait Accompli
A French term that means ‘accomplished fact’.
The committee members were presented with a fait accompli instead of calling a meeting to discuss the policy matters.

5. Dacha
A Russian term that means a house or a country cottage, usually used as a holiday home during summer.
(The former classmates had their yearly get-together in their teacher’s dacha in Moscow).

6. Ad Nauseam
A Latin term that means ‘to the point of disgust or sickness’.
(Stanley had the knack of talking ad nauseam about how clever he was during his undergraduate days).

7. Aficionado
A Spanish term that means a person who is knowledgeable and appreciates an interest fervently.
(Being an art aficionado, Donald takes pride in identifying the painter of any art pieces).

8. Faux pas
A French term that means a social blunder.
(Talking on handphone during a musical performance is a huge faux pas).

9. Alfresco
An Italian term that literally means in the fresh; in the open.
(You can dine alfresco and view the motorcade which passes by the restaurant).

10. Doppelgänger
A German term that means a look-alike of a living person. (literally ‘double goer’).
(The movie star was thrilled to meet his doppelganger from a faraway region).

These words may not be heard regularly; however, they never fail to tickle the ear and amuse the mind… The Jolly Good Times hopes these terms come in handy in your everyday usage. If it’s worth knowing, it has to be shared — invite your kakis (buddies) to Like us on Facebook and our Website.

By Shaji Thomas Varughese

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Jolly Good Times is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. All information on this site is provided “as is”, with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information…”


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