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Word hunt

How good are you at spotting English words originally borrowed from other languages? Try to match the English word in the left-hand column with where it originated on the right. (Answers below.)

English word origin

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1. skirt A. Swedish

2. beef B. German

3. algebra C. Scandinavian (Old Norse)

4. friend D. French

5. gun E. native American

6. trek F. Pacific islands

7. boondocks G. Arabic

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8. guitar H. Dutch (from "vriend")

9. chowder I. Russian

10. icon J. Tagalog (Philippine language)

11. quartz K. Spanish

12. bandanna L. Hindi

13. check M. Afrikaans (South Africa)

14. tattoo N. Persian (Farsi language)

15. squash O. French Canadian (vegetable)


(1) C; (2) D; (3) G; (4) H; (5) A; (6) M; (7) J; (8) K; (9) O; (10) I; (11) B; (12) L; (13) N; (14) F; (15) E.

SOURCES: Dr. Timothy Morris, English Dept., University of Texas at Arlington; 'Words in English, Linguistics/ English 215,' by Prof. S. Kemmer, published at Web site:; Loan Words, Examples in American English; Introduction to American English (Hopkins) Dept. of Translation Studies, University of Tempere, Finland. Found at Web site:

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society