Yes, you read it right! There are so many words in English that are borrowed from different languages. Latin, French, Germanic, Greek are some of the origins of the words that we use daily.

This list will definitely surprise you!

1. Court

From Old French cort, from Latin cohors, cohort- ‘yard or retinue’. The verb is influenced by Old Italian corteare, Old French courtoyer. In French this means the king’s residence and was often the place to which someone was called in order to respond to accusations.

2. Dollar

Early Flemish or Low German daler, from German T(h)aler, short for Joachimsthaler, a coin from the silver mine of Joachimsthal (‘Joachim’s valley’), now Jáchymov in the Czech Republic. This comes from Czech through Dutch. Its roots are connected to the origins of the mint itself: a factory where coins and currency is produced.

3. Leg & Skin

Both words come from Old Norse and replaced “shank” and “hide” upon their arrival. Although the words still exist in English, they are used only for animals once slaughtered.

4. Person

From Old French persone, from Latin persona ‘actor’s mask, character in a play’, later ‘human being’. It was adopted by the French language and then eventually made its way into English.

5. Skipper

From Middle Dutch, Middle Low German schipper, from schip ‘ship’.

6. They

From Old Norse their, nominative plural masculine of sá ; related to them and their, also to that and the.

7. Very

From Old French verai, based on Latin verus ‘true’.

8. War

Late Old English werre, from an Anglo-Norman French variant of Old French guerre, from a Germanic base shared by worse.

7. Zero

From French zéro or Italian zero, via Old Spanish from Arabic ṣifr ‘cipher’. In fact, many of our words related to numeracy, mathematics and trade can be traced back to Arabic.

Most of the words in this blog are originated from Old Norse. It was a North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and inhabitants of their overseas settlements during about the 9th to 13th centuries.

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