Why is the English word of Chinese origin “Shih Tzu” used to refer to a dog breed not known in Chinese as “Shih Tzu”?

It is well known that it comes from a Wade-Giles transcription of the Mandarin Chinese word for “lion dog” (獅子狗 shih1-tzu0-kou3, from 獅子 “lion” + 狗 “dog”). This is part is indubitable. There’s no doubt about it. In spite of that, there are a couple of problems. The English Wikipedia article for Shih Tzu and … Read more

Are words from other languages(especially European ones) also appropriated in the English language, like they do in case of Hindi/Sanskrit?

I observe that there are many words in Hindi/Sanskrit, the pronunciation of which, are appropriated by the International(especially US) English speaking crowd, for example:- Yoga Avatar Ramayan Mahabharat Krishna etc.(Believe me, there are many, it’s just that they are not coming on my mind right now) I think that words from other languages(especially European ones) … Read more

Do you capitalize yakuza?

When referring to the infamous Japanese criminal organization, which sentence would be correct? The yakuza member picked up his glasses, scooped some of the jewelry and loose change into his pockets, and whistled a tune as he excitingly strolled away from the scene. or The Yakuza member picked up his glasses, scooped some of the … Read more

Schools and Shoals

School, as a group of fish, entered Middle English: late Middle English: from Middle Low German, Middle Dutch schōle, of West Germanic origin; related to Old English scolu ‘troop’. (NOAD) Shoal, meaning the same thing, entered English two to five hundred years later in the 16th century: late 16th century: probably from Middle Dutch schōle … Read more

How to know if a word borrowed from another language is now an official English word

I posted here a question asking how to say “kilig” (a Filipino word that means a feeling of joy, agitation, or happiness felt when someone you fancy, love, or like makes an unexpected gesture of sweetness) in the shortest way possible in English. See the post here: Word/phrase to describe the kind of joy that … Read more

History of additional sounds introduced to English

Today I was curious about the rarity of the consonant cluster sr in the English language. I found a WordReference forum from 2006 that asked about the matter. The general response is that because English historically lacks the sr cluster, native speakers are unfamiliar with it, and unlikely to produce it. (The most familiar word … Read more

What’s an example of a ‘cheville’ word in english?

The dictionary.com word of the day is ‘Cheville‘ and it explains it as such: A word or expression whose only function is to fill a metrical gap in a verse or to balance a sentence. Can anyone give some examples of these words? Answer One possible example is noted in this sonnet (the “Oh,” in … Read more

Is the etymology of “salary” a myth?

Since, perhaps forever, I had always ‘known’ that the English word salary was derived from the Latin salarium, to the time when Roman soldiers were paid in salt for their service. Salt was a highly-prized and sought-after commodity due to its ability to preserve food and was, in part, also responsible for the development of … Read more