Anglicism

Pseudo-anglicism

Pseudo-anglicisms are words in languages other than English which were borrowed from English but are used in a way native English speakers would not readily recognize or understand. Pseudo-anglicisms often take the form of portmanteau words, combining elements of multiple English words to create a new word that appears to be English but is unrecognisable to a native speaker. It is also common for a genuine English word to be used to mean something completely different from its original meaning.

Pseudo-anglicisms are related to false friends or false cognates. Many speakers of a language which employs pseudo-anglicisms believe that the relevant words are genuine anglicisms and can be used in English.

When many English words are incorporated into many languages, language enthusiasts and purists often look down on this phenomenon, terming it (depending on the importing language) Denglisch, Franglais or similar neologisms.

Pseudo-anglicisms in various languages

Chinese

  • BB call — pager
  • DM — flyer, brochure, junk mail (from "direct mail")
  • kǎo — to photocopy (from the first syllable in "copy")

Danish

Dutch

French

German

  • Air-Condition — abbreviated from Air conditioning
  • Backshop — a bakeshop
  • Beamer (also in Dutch) — video projector
  • Beauty-Farm (also in Italian) — spa
  • Bodybagbackpack (ironically, English has imported the German word Rucksack)
  • Bodyleotard
  • checken — understand, realize
  • Car (Switzerland only; also in French)) — coach
  • catchen — professional wrestling (from "catch wrestling")
  • Dressman (also in Dutch) — (male) model
  • Ego-Shooter — first-person shooter (derived from Latin "Ego" = "I")
  • Fitness (also in many other European languages) — fitness training as a kind of gymnastics
  • Flipper (also in Dutch, French and Italian) — pinball machine
  • Foto-Shooting — photo session
  • Funeralmaster — undertaker
  • Funsport — a sport primarily practised in leisure time and for fun
  • Handy — mobile phone
  • Happy end (also in other European languages) — happy ending
  • Horrortripbad trip (psychedelic crisis)
  • Highboard — table-high cupboard
  • Inliner — Rollers (shoes) (not strictly a pseudo-anglicism as the sport is also called 'inline skating' in English)
  • Logical — riddle/puzzle to be solved by logical thought
  • Longseller — long-term (best)seller
  • Oldtimer (also in Dutch) — vintage car
  • Pullunder — sweater vest
  • Puzzle (also in French, Spanish, Italian and Dutch) — jigsaw puzzle
  • Rockerbiker
  • Shooting-Star — successful newcomer
  • Smoking (also in many other European languages) is not a smoking jacket in the Edwardian sense, but a dinner jacket or tuxedo
  • Songtext ("Text" being a native German word) (also in Dutch) — 'lyrics'
  • Showmaster — show host
  • String (also in Dutch, French and Russian) refers exclusively to a G-string
  • Talkmaster — talk show host
  • Topfit (also in Dutch) — perfectly physically fit
  • Twen — anyone who is in his/her twenties, or the age itself
  • Wellness — feeling well by expensive means (spa, ...)

Hungarian

  • Autóstop (also in other European languages) — hitchhiking
  • Farmer means "denim" as well as "(blue) jeans" made of denim
  • Happy end (also in other European languages) — happy ending
  • Playback (also in many other European languages) — lip-synch (in songs)
  • Wellness — feeling well by expensive means

Israeli Hebrew

  • On de feys ‘(feeling) very bad’, cf. the otherwise non-existent English *on the face.
  • Tréning 'tracksuit', cf. English training

Italian

Japanese

  • — title for a person in office
  • video game, portmanteau of "family" and "computer"
  • — a condominium apartment
  • — luxury apartment (a pun in comparison with "mansion", since the Japanese oku means 108 compared to man which is 104)
  • — slim or skinny
  • — a woman's figure (particularly if slim or skinny)

Polish

Portuguese

  • Cooper — To jog.
  • ShoppingShopping mall, using the English gerund as a noun
  • Smoking (also in many other European languages) is not a smoking jacket in the Edwardian sense, but a dinner jacket or tuxedo. However in Brazilian Portuguese, its name is tuxedo /tu'ʃɛdu/.
  • "Videogame" - (Brazilian Portuguese) Game console, although the term "console" is also used. The videogames themselves are simply called "games", "jogos" (the standard translation for "game") or less ambiguously "jogos de videogame" (Console games).

Romanian

Russian

Spanish

Swedish

  • Smoking (also in many other European languages) is not a smoking jacket in the Edwardian sense, but a dinner jacket or tuxedo
  • Trafficking refers primarily to trafficking in human beings or sex trafficking, and not to smuggling in general.
  • The word walkman is usually replaced with "freestyle" (despite the fact that the word does not fit particularly well with Swedish phonotactics or grammar; actually, freestyle was the name chosen for marketing purposes in Sweden)

Turkish

  • Autostop (also in other European languages) — hitchhiking
  • Bodybodybuilding
  • Cola (derivated from Coca-Cola) refers to a soft drink
  • Fitness (also in many other European languages) — fitness training as a kind of gymnastics
  • Flirting is generally used as dating
  • Goal position in football means "scoring chance"
  • Playback (also in many other European languages) — lip-synch (in songs)

Sources

References

See also

External links

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