America’s Language Reflects its International Origins: Foreign Words in English

word flagHappy Birthday Nation of Immigrants!

As we celebrate the 239th birthday of the United States this year, we are also embroiled in a political debate about immigration and what it means to be a “real” American. Perhaps July fourth is a good day to reflect on our origins. And to reflect on the fact that if it were not for massive immigration, both voluntary and involuntary, the United States would not exist as it does today. Just look at the many words in American English that come from other languages.

English Words of Indian Origin

...which is an Indian word

…which is an Indian word

Loot
Jungle
Khaki

Bungalow
Cheetah
Guru
Thug

zeroEnglish Words of Arabic Origin

Algebra
Assassin
Harem
Mattress
Safari
Sofa
Sultan
Sherbet
Tariff
Zero

English Words of African Origin z_zebra

Banana
Chimpanzee
Cola
Dengue
Jamboree
Jumbo
Voodoo
Zebra
Zombie

43_lolitaEnglish Words of Spanish Origin

Adios
Cigar
Guerrilla
Hurricane
Lolita
Macho
Platinum
Ranch
Siesta
Vanilla

English Words of Italian Origin graffiti

Artisan
Balcony
Cartoon
Dome
Gallery
Graffiti
Medal
Replica
Saloon
Villa

KITSCHEnglish Words of German Origin

Blitz
Frankfurter
Hamburger
Kitsch
Kindergarten
Lager
Pilsner
Wanderlust
Zeitgeist

English Words of Portuguese Origin samba

Breeze
Cashew
Cobra
Coconut
Commando
Mosquito
Potato
Samba
Tank
Teak


happy fourth of july

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