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89 English Words That Come from Other Languages [with Pronunciation and Examples]

You probably already find the number of words in English a little dizzying, but did you know that many of them actually came from other languages? Maybe even from your language?

That means some words will be really easy for you to learn, so you can quickly expand your English vocabulary.

Let’s explore 45 common words that English “took” from other languages.


From French

In some ways, English, French and German are almost like three siblings who grew up together. Each language influenced the other two in some way, but one of the biggest influences on English was French.

In fact, from the 9th century until the 14th century, a form of French was even the “official” language in the courts of England! During those years, the common (non-royal) people spoke an older form of English, while the kings, queens and members of the court spoke French. And to make it more confusing, most documents were written in Latin.

As you can imagine, there was a lot of mixing between those languages. So let’s look at some interesting English words that still “look French.”

One more note: Be sure to listen to the pronunciations for these originally-French words. Many are probably said differently than you might expect!

1. Art

The word “art” originated from the Latin ars which originally meant “skill” or “craft”. It came to English through Old French.


She enjoys abstract art

2. Beef

“Beef” came to English from the Old French word boef. But that’s not the only meat name with French origins! “Mutton,” “veal” and “pork” are all thought to be derived from Old French.


Cut the beef into slices and serve it with the sauce.

3. Ballet

This is a form of dance that developed in France. 

Keep in mind that you don’t pronounce the “t” at the end. Instead, the second syllable should sound like “lay,” with the same vowel sound as the letter “a.”


My niece and nephew are in ballet class, so I watched their 5-hour ballet performance on Saturday. It was pretty long.

4. Cafe

It is written both with the accent mark (“café”) and without it (“cafe”) in English.

“Cafe” comes from the French word for “coffee,” but it’s also very similar the word for coffee in many other languages. 


I’ve only got about 20 minutes for lunch, so I’ll just stop at a cafe for a quick sandwich.

5. Country

Originally from Latin, the English word “country” likely comes most directly from the Old French word cuntree.


I prefer to live in a hot country

6. Croissant

A croissant is a type of pastry or bread that is light and flaky. A similar type of bread in English is a “crescent roll.” 


Tina really loves to make croissants because they taste better than other types of bread.

7. Dance

The word “Dance” likely comes from the Old French verb dancier which means “to dance”.


He danced her across the floor.

8. Dragon

An awful lot of animal names (mythical and otherwise) can be traced back to French, but let’s face facts: “dragon” is the most fun. Other animals who owe their names to French include griffin, phoenix, dolphin, squirrel and more. You can guess which ones are real.


A dragon guarded the treasure.

9. Entrepreneur

An “entrepreneur” is a person who starts their own company. Other common forms of the word include “entrepreneurship” (a noun) or “entrepreneurial” (an adjective).


Elon Musk, the man who started SpaceX and Tesla Motors, is one of the most famous entrepreneurs in the world.

10. Faux pas

This phrase describes making a social mistake. It has several silent letters, including the “x” and the “s.”

If you make a “faux pas”, then the mistake usually isn’t very big and doesn’t hurt anyone physically, but it can make people uncomfortable.


I committed a pretty big faux pas last night. I kept trying to offer Maria beers, but I completely forgot that she stopped drinking alcohol three years ago!

11. Fruit

The word “fruit” passed through Old French (as fruges) before making its way to English.


We have a fruit bowl on the table. 

12. Genre

In French, this word means “kind” or “style.” In English, it’s used to describe a category of something, especially when talking about entertainment.

You’ll especially hear people using this word to talk about books, movies and music.


Roy likes many types of music, but his favorite genre is heavy metal.

13. Hors d’oeuvre

These are small bits of food that are served at special events, usually parties. They’re very similar to appetizers, but appetizers are usually served before a larger meal.


We were invited to Tina and Roy’s engagement party. We expected a big meal, but there were only hors d’oeuvres. That was okay, though, since we weren’t that hungry.

14. Liberty

It means to be free to choose, think and act as you like. While “liberty” is a popular word in the US, it isn’t an original English word. It originated from Latin libertas (“freedom”) before passing through Old French liberté.


He lost his liberty privileges and, with them, his equilibrium.

15. Lingerie

This is used to describe women’s underwear or sleepwear that is usually sexy or special in some way.


These days, before some women get married, their friends give them a lingerie shower.” That’s when the woman’s friends all get together and give her lingerie as a wedding gift.

16. Music

The origins of “music” go back to Greek and Latin, but before hitting the English language, it passed through Old French as musique.


What type of music are you listening to?

17. People

The Latin word populus transformed into the Anglo-Norman French word poeple, which later became the English word “people.” My, how far we’ve come.


Around 108 billion people have ever lived on our planet.

18. Renaissance

In French, this means “rebirth,” but in English it is often used to describe the historical period between 1300 and 1600 when art and science developed a lot.


I don’t know much about art, but I do know that Michelangelo and Raphael were two of the most famous artists from the Renaissance period. 

19. Rendezvous

In English, this word is used to describe either a place where people plan to meet, or the action of meeting a person at a specific time.


We’re in a new city, and I’m sure you all want to explore it a bit. It’s 2:00 now, so let’s rendezvous back here at 6:00. Then we’ll go to dinner.

20. Very

Yes, even a simple word like “very” came through French. It likely originated with the Old French word verai, which meant “true.”


It’s very likely that he will join us on this trip. 

That’s not a comprehensive list and there are still more English words and phrases that come from French.

From German

As I already explained, a lot of German words are also used in English

21. Delicatessen

A “delicatessen” (abbreviated “deli”) is a shop where you can get sandwiches, coffee and other small foods. This comes from the German word Delikatessenwhich means “fine/fancy foods,” but in English it just describes the place where you can buy those foods.

Some of the most famous delis are in New York, including Katz’s Delicatessen


Delicatessens used to be more common in New York, but many are going out of business.

22. Fest

A “fest” is any kind of party, celebration or festival. In both English and German, it’s commonly used as a suffix (a word part added to the end of a word), and the most common one is Oktoberfest. Oktoberfest officially happens every year in Munich, Germany, but many other cities have their own Oktoberfests.


We went to Oktoberfest in Munich, it was crazy. There were so many people, and all of them were drunk!

23. Gesundheit

In German, this word means “health.” Especially in the United States, people often say “Gesundheit!” as a response when someone sneezes (others often say “bless you”).


When I sneezed, my aunt said “Gesundheit!”

24. Hamburger

A hamburger is a sandwich consisting of fillings—usually a patty of ground meat, typically beef—placed inside a sliced bun. This traditional American cookout food actually comes from the name of the German city, Hamburg.


They served hot dogs and hamburgers at the cookout.

25. Kindergarten

Translated literally, this word means “children’s garden.” It’s a common type of school in many parts of the world. Children often go to a year or two of kindergarten when they’re 5 years old before they start elementary school.


Our daughter is going to turn 5 next year, so we’ve been trying to find a good kindergarten for her.

26. Neanderthal

Neanderthals were humans like us, but they were a distinct species called Homo neanderthalensis. The word “Neanderthal” comes from another German place name. Thal used to mean “valley,” though now it’s spelled as Tal. Therefore, Neanderthal refers to the “Neander Valley,” which is where some of the first fossils of Neanderthals were discovered.

It’s now used in English when someone is very old-fashioned and not willing to change.


They were pushed back by Neanderthal security guards. 

27. Nix

This comes from the German word Nichts, meaning “nothing.” So the next time you ask your server to nix the ketchup on your hamburger, you’ve just used two German words and one Chinese word!


I wanted to get the day off, but my manager nixed it.

28. Poodle

Everyone knows the word “dachshund” comes from German, but they’re not the only German dogs on the block. This canine name originally came from the Low German word puddeln, meaning “splash in water.”


My friend’s poodle is the best dog I know! 

29. Waltz

A “waltz” is a type of formal dance. The word is also used to describe the type of music that plays during those dances, and it can also be used as a verb to describe the action of dancing this dance.


My friends say that dancing the waltz is easy, but I can’t do it. I’m just not coordinated, and everyone says I have “two left feet.” 

30. Rucksack

A rucksack is another name for a backpack. “Ruck” comes from the German word Rücken (back) and sack is another German word which means either “bag” or, as you probably guessed, “sack.”


Alan is going to travel to Europe this summer, but he’s planning on only taking one rucksack. He’ll have to pack carefully if he wants everything to fit!

For even more words like this, check out this article with 76 other German loanwords.

From Yiddish

You may not have ever heard of Yiddish, but it’s a Germanic language that was common among Jewish people in Eastern Europe. Today it’s mostly spoken in Israel, Eastern Europe and some parts of the United States where Jewish families settled but is an endangered language.

Because of historical immigration, some Yiddish words may be more common in American English than in British English. Also, since it is a Germanic language, many Yiddish words are similar or even the same as German words.

31. Glitch

A “glitch” describes a small problem, but usually it’s a problem that doesn’t make it impossible to finish something.


I planned to go downtown to meet with Betty, but I ran into a glitch: The bus wasn’t running because it was a holiday. So I took a taxi instead.

32. Klutz

A “klutz” is a person who is very uncoordinated or clumsy. In other words, klutzes often have accidents and break things.


My cousin Charlotte is a real klutz. Every time she goes into a souvenir shop, she always seems to break two or three things, and then she has to pay for them!

33. Spiel

In Yiddish (and German), this word can mean “play,” but in English it’s used to describe a quick speech or story which has usually been said/told many times. Often a spiel tries to convince you of something.


My uncle Thomas believes a lot of conspiracy theories. When we ate Thanksgiving dinner, he did his whole spiel about how the government is controlled by lizard people!

34. Schmooze

This is a verb that means to talk with someone in a very friendly way, often to gain some benefit for yourself.


At the meeting, the professors were schmoozing with the president of the club. They want his club to donate money to the university.

From Spanish

Like French, Spanish is another Latin-based language that has influenced English. A lot of this Spanish influence is especially noticeable in American English, so many of these words could be less common in British English.

35. Guerrilla

In Spanish, this word literally means “little war.” In both Spanish and English it can be used to describe an unofficial group of people fighting the government. In English, it’s most commonly used as an adjective, in phrases like “guerrilla warfare” or “guerrilla marketing.”

Note that in Spanish, the “ll” sound is different than in English. As a result, in English this word sounds basically the same as “gorilla,” the animal.


The guerrilla fighters took control of the capital of the country, which gave them control of the government.

34. Macho

This word describes a person who is very strong or masculine. It can also be used to describe a person who is arrogant about his manhood. It’s also been used in the name of a professional wrestler and a popular disco song from the 1970s.


Peter is a real macho guy, but that’s annoying sometimes. He says that “real men don’t cry,” but I think he’s wrong.

35. Patio

In English, “patio” generally describes an area outside a house which often has a table and chairs, but no roof.


It was very hot today, so we decided to go out to the patio to drink a cold glass of lemonade. There are some trees there, too, so the sun wasn’t as bad.

36. Plaza

A “plaza” describes a public open area in a city, which can sometimes be called a “square.”

“Plaza” is also used in the names of many shopping malls, corporate building areas or other large open areas. If you’re a native Spanish speaker, notice that the pronunciation in English has a vibrated “z” sound, not a soft “s.”


Victoria needed to buy some Christmas presents for her friends, so she went downtown to the new shopping plaza to check out some of the stores that were recently opened.

37. Piñata

This is a happy word that describes a toy that is filled with candy. At parties, children take turns trying to break it open with a stick so the candy will fall out.


We had a birthday party for our 3-year-old boy, but we thought he was probably too young for a piñata. We thought all the kids would get hit in the head with the stick.

38. Savvy

It’s how we call a person who makes good judgments. The word “savvy” likely originates from the Spanish word sabe, which means “knows.”


Many people are no that politically savvy

39. Siesta

A “siesta” is another name for “nap,” but it’s generally a nap that one takes in the middle of the day, especially after eating or while taking a break from work.

People often take siestas in hot countries because the middle of the day is when the heat is most intense. So it’s a good time to stay inside and sleep!


Wow, I ate that big plate of spaghetti and now I’m feeling super tired. I think I’ll take a quick siesta before I get back to work.

40. Tobacco

“Tobacco” is a type of plant and its leaves are dried and used for smoking. While the word is likely influenced by native languages, the English word “tobacco” was derived from the Spanish word tabaco.


I have never smoked tobacco in my life. 

41. Vanilla

“Vanilla” is a spice that is used to flavor food like ice cream or can also be used in fragrances. The English word “vanilla” likely comes from the Spanish word vainilla, which itself comes from the Latin word for “pod.”


Vanilla ice cream is my favorite!

From Japanese

While English and Japanese do not share common roots, the cultures have crossed paths many times throughout the years and ultimately borrowed words from each other. 

42. Honcho

The Japanese word 班長 (hanchō) refers to a chief or leader in both Japanese and English. It can also be used as a verb meaning to organize or to supervise a project, for example. 


I was recently asked to honcho the new marketing project. 

43. Skosh

You might use the word “skosh” without even noticing where it came from. It’s used to refer to a small amount and comes from either the Japanese word  少し (sukoshi) or the word すこし (sukoshi), both of which mean “a little.”


Next time just add a skosh of salt to your eggs. 

44. Karaoke

You probably know what karaoke is. It’s when you sing along with the tune of a popular song while reading the lyrics from a screen. There are karaoke bars in many countries, including the US and the UK, but it’s most commonly associated with Japan.


Mitch really likes singing karaoke, even though he doesn’t have an amazing voice. But that doesn’t matter—the important thing is to have fun with friends!

45. Karate

Like karaoke, you probably recognize this word. It describes a popular martial art that originated in Japan. There, the word “karate” means “empty hand,” since you don’t need any special equipment or weapons to do it.


Lisa has a black belt in karate, so you’d better not try to steal her things.

46. Ninja

This word means “spy” in Japanese, but in English it’s used to describe a person who can move and attack silently, without being seen. People also associate ninjas with fighters who wear masks and all-black clothing, even though that may not be historically true.

In modern use, people who can do something incredibly well are often called “ninjas.” This is especially common in technological fields.


You should try Karl’s cookies—they’re delicious! Karl is a real baking ninja!

47. Origami

“Origami” is the art of folding small pieces of paper in order to form them into interesting shapes. Some origami can be really detailed and incredible!


If you want to try origami, it’s very easy to start. You just need some small pieces of paper. But if you want to become an expert, it could take years of practice.

48. Tsunami

This is a gigantic (very large) sea wave that is usually caused by an earthquake.

Unfortunately, the word tsunami has become more well-known ever since the 2004 Southeast Asia tsunami and the 2011 Japan tsunami. Those events killed hundreds of thousands of people.


Those recent tsunamis were terrible, but at least they made people more aware of the dangers of tsunamis.

From Native American Languages

When Europeans arrived to the Americas, they encountered millions of natives. The native groups had their own languages, and many of those influenced English.

Many of the Native American words were for place names, and others were adapted and changed to make them easier to pronounce in English.

These words are usually more common in American English than in British English.

49. Chocolate

“Chocolate” came to English after passing through Spanish, but originally it was xocolatl in the Nahuatl language of modern-day Mexico. 


If you don’t know what chocolate is, then I feel very sad for you.

50. Moccasin

Depending on who you ask, you will probably hear different ideas about what a moccasin is. But at least everyone will agree that it’s a type of informal shoe.


I don’t like the cold winter weather in general, but I do enjoy wearing my warm moccasins when I’m inside.

From Chinese

In English, “Chinese” is used to refer to the different dialects of the languages in China and Taiwan, even though “Mandarin” is the actual name of the one with the most speakers.

If you look a bit closer, you’ll find that English has actually taken some pretty cool words from Chinese!

51. Dim sum

Dim sum” is a style of food that’s common in southern China (specifically in and near Hong Kong). 

The word originally meant “touch your heart,” but now it’s just used to describe a meal in a restaurant where the guests have many choices of small dishes of food. Many of the foods are steamed in bamboo baskets, and there are also other dishes like soup and fried bread.


Tony invited us to eat dim sum and we had a wonderful time! The food was delicious, and the little pieces were actually easy to eat with chopsticks.

52. Gung-ho

In Chinese this phrase means “work together,” but in English it’s used casually to express that you’re excited or enthusiastic about something. We generally use it as an adjective.


I was really gung-ho to eat dim sum, but when we got to the Chinese restaurant it was closed for a holiday! We were all really disappointed.

53. Kung fu

“Kung fu” is another popular style of martial arts. In kung fu, generally fighters only use their hands and feet, but not weapons. 


I’m tired of bullies beating me up. I’m going to learn kung fu so I can defend myself if they attack me again!

54. Tofu

This is a word that originated from Chinese (as dou fu). But before it was adopted into English, it passed through Japanese and became “tofu.”

In Chinese, dou means “bean” and fu means “rotten” or “sour.” It sounds gross when you put it that way, but it can actually be pretty tasty! 


I know you’re vegetarian, but this restaurant has lots of great options! For many of the dishes you can just substitute the meat with tofu or another vegetarian option.

55. Typhoon

A typhoon is just another name for a hurricane or a cyclone.  If it’s in the Pacific Ocean near Asia, it’s called a typhoon.

The word was reinforced by the Chinese word taifeng, which means “big wind.” There were also some possible influences from other languages like Greek, Arabic and Portuguese!


In 2014 Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines and caused a lot of damage. It was one of the biggest typhoons ever recorded. 

56. Yin and yang

In Chinese, yin represents feminine, dark and nighttime, while yang represents the opposite: masculine, light and daytime things. In English, these words are used to represent any opposites.


Mary is the yin to Peter’s yang. They’re complete opposites, but they have a happy marriage. I guess it’s true that “opposites attract”!

57. Ketchup

Ketchup may seem as American as burgers and cookouts, but the word itself may come from the Cantonese word 茄汁 (qié zhī), which means “tomato sauce.”


Could you please pass me a bottle of ketchup, please?

58. Chin-chin

In English and Chinese, it’s a drinking toast expressing good wishes before drinking. The word stems from the Mandarin word 請 (qǐng), which means “please.”

Thank you for the great night, let’s have the last drink! Chin-chin!

59. Brainwashing

It’s a term used in English to describe the process of manipulating a person’s beliefs, emotions and behaviors. It might not sound Chinese, but there’s a very good explanation for that.

“Brainwashing” is actually a literal translation of the Chinese word 洗腦 (xǐ nǎo). It originated in Chinese during the Korean War, referring to the practice of coercion and mind control.

It took off in the U.S. soon after.


The prisoners of war were subjected to intense brainwashing.

From Arabic

Though Arabic and English look incredibly different, many English words have their roots in Arabic since it is one of the oldest languages in the world. 

60. Admiral

In English, an admiral is a high-ranking naval officer who is responsible for commanding fleets or groups of ships.

“Admiral” comes from أمير (pronounced amyr and sometimes translated as “emir”), which refers to a leader.


Horatio Nelson was the greatest admiral in the history of the Royal Navy.

61. Alcohol

We all are probably familiar with this word. But did you know that the word “alcohol” is derived from the word الكحل (alkahal), which meant “the kohl,” which originally referred to a powder.


I’m seriously thinking about cutting down on alcohol in January. 

62. Algebra

“Algebra” is a branch of math where you solve equations. “Algebra” comes from الجبر (aljabar), which originally referred to putting together broken parts.


Algebra was my least favorite subject at school. 

63. Average

In math, it’s the mean number from a set of numbers. In English, we also use this word to describe when something is typical or usual. “Average” originally came from عوار (eawar), which referred to damage to goods. Merchant-marine law changed the meaning.


It was an average experience for me. 

64. Lemon

These bright yellow fruits have an interesting history. Coming from the word ليمون (leemoon), it passed through French before making its way to English.


Eating lemons can boost your immune system. 

65. Sheikh 

A “sheikh” is a ruler or leader of a group of people in Arab cultures. It’s used in English as a title for rulers in some countries, instead of words like “king” or “president.”

For example, the current leader of Dubai, Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, is a sheikh.


When meeting sheikhs, many foreign leaders hold hands with them as a sign of respect or friendship.

66. Sofa

“Sofa” likely started as the Arabic word صفّة (sofa) before entering the Turkish language, then the French language, then the English language. That’s quite a journey!

67. Zero

“Zero” comes from the word صفر (sifr), though it passed through Spanish, Italian and French before it entered the English language.

From Russian 

Even though Russian and English look and sound very different they are actually both a part of the huge group of languages known as Indo-European.

68. Beluga

It’s a small whale with white teeth living mainly in Arctic waters. The type of sturgeon comes from the Russian word белуга (beluga), while the type of whale comes from белуха (beluhka). Both ultimately trace back to белый (belee), which means “white.”


The beluga whale is known as the “canary of the sea” because of its unique vocalizations.

69. Babushka

In Russian, this word means “grandmother,” but in English it usually refers to a scarf or head covering that you might imagine an old Russian woman wearing.

So if a girl or woman wears a scarf to keep her head warm, sometimes people jokingly call her a “babushka.”


I saw an old lady wearing a babushka walking down the street. She was carrying many shopping bags and having trouble walking, so I offered to help her carry her bags.

70. Disinformation

It means to give false information to mislead someone on purpose. “Disinformation” comes from the Russian word дезинформация (dezinformatsiya), which was the name of a KGB propaganda department.


The government’s disinformation campaign was designed to confuse the public and conceal the truth about the controversial policy.

71. Mammoth

It’s a large, extinct species of elephant that lived during the Ice Age. In English, this word is also used to say when something is huge or gigantic. “Mammoth” comes from the Russian word мамонт (mamont), which likely had Siberian roots.


The construction project required a mammoth amount of concrete and steel to complete the towering skyscraper.

72. Shaman

A “shaman” is a mystical expert who can function as a healer. This word for a tribal priest comes from the Russian word шаман (shaman), which likely comes from the Evenki language of Siberia.


The tribal shaman performed a sacred ritual to connect with the spirits of nature.

From Portuguese

With two languages that take so much of their vocabulary from Latin, you can expect lots of overlap and similarities. Here are the words we have just straight borrowed!

73. Bossa nova 

There are many Portuguese loanwords in English. Bossa nova, which means “new wave” in Brazilian Portuguese, describes a kind of relaxing music. 


You may think that you don’t know any bossa nova songs, but you almost certainly have heard a version of the “The Girl From Ipanema.” It’s a great bossa nova song, but it’s also the stereotypical example of “elevator music.”

74. Cashew

It’s a nut in the shape of a kidney that is rich in oil and proteins. “Cashew” is derived from the Portuguese word cajú, which likely came from the now-extinct Tupi language.


Try eating a few cashews as a snack, it’s a healthier option. 

75. Cobra

Cobra is a poisonous snake from Africa and southern Asia. The word “cobra” is a shortening of cobra de capello, a Portuguese phrase meaning “snake with hood.”


At the zoo, we saw a black cobra

76. Flamingo

While some may claim “flamingo” has Spanish origins, there’s also an argument that it may have come from Portuguese. The bright pink birds have not yet weighed in on the conflict.


A beautiful flamingo was standing gracefully on one leg in the pond at the zoo.

From Swedish

While the writing and pronunciation of a word may sound quite different in Swedish than in English, there is actually a lot more commonalities than you might expect between these two languages that share Germanic roots. 

77. Moped 

“Moped” (pronounced with two syllables: mo-ped) is a combination of the Swedish words “motor” and “pedaler.” Those words are nearly the same as their English equivalents “motor” and “pedals.”

It’s basically a bicycle with a motor. Many people call scooters or small motorcycles “mopeds,” but that’s not technically correct.


When I got my driver’s license, I really wanted a car. But cars are too expensive, so I bought a moped from my friend Ronnie instead.

From Italian

Like many of the other languages on this list, Italy and English share Germanic roots so many words sound similar, but others are just borrowed, like these.

78. Allegro

“Allegro” in music means to be performed at a brisk speed. In Italian, allegro means “cheerful.” Most other musical terms also came from Italian. 


The last piece of the composition was in allegro form. 

79. Alto

In English, “alto” often refers to a female singer with a lower voice, though the word actually comes from the Italian word alto, which means “high.”


Amy Winehouse is one of the best alto singers of all time. 

80. Apartment

In English, an apartment is a set of rooms on one floor of a building. “Apartment” likely comes from the Italian word appartamento (though it also passed through French before entering the English language).


He lives in an apartment on the third floor. 

81. Broccoli

It’s a very popular green vegetable. Did you know that the word “broccoli” comes from the Italian word broccoli, which is the plural of broccolo.


My mom made me eat steamed broccoli with every meal I had for lunch. 

82. Cartoon

In English it means a simple drawing in a somewhat humorous style. It’s also an animated film for kids.  “Cartoon” likely comes from the Italian word cartone, which were full-scale drawings used to prepare for paintings or frescoes.


We watched the Pocahontas cartoon on TV last night. 

83. Cauliflower

It’s a white vegetable and you can actually make a nice grilled cauliflower steak! “Cauliflower” comes from Italian word cavolfiore, which literally means “flowering cabbage.”


I tried roasting cauliflower for dinner yesterday and it was delicious. 

84. Cello

It’s an instrument in the violin family. “Cello” comes from the Italian word violoncello, which is the diminutive of violone, a type of double bass.


Have you done an hour of cello practice yet?

85. Paparazzi 

“Paparazzi” is actually the plural form of the Italian word paparazzo. It’s used in English to describe a photographer or a group of photographers who take pictures of celebrities. Then they sell the photos to magazines or newspapers.

They’re not a very popular profession, as they take away celebrities’ privacy, but they were the subject of a popular song a few years ago.


When Princess Diana died in 1999, many people believed that the paparazzi were responsible for her death. Those photographers were constantly following her everywhere. 

86. Piano

We are familiar with this large keyboard instrument. Did you know that “Piano” is a shortening of the Italian word pianoforte?


I learned to play piano in a music school near my house. 

87. Soprano

“Soprano” is the highest singing voice and has the same meaning between languages. The word comes directly from the Italian soprano.


He composed this piece specifically for sopranos. 

88. Violin

The violin is a stringed musical instrument that has four strings and is played with a bow. The word “violin” came to English from the Italian word violino, which is a diminutive of viola (a slightly larger stringed instrument).


The sound of the violin reminds me of my childhood. 

From Korean

Just like K-Pop, the Korean language has had an influence on English.

89. Taekwondo 

For our final word, we’ll look at another martial arts term. In Korean, taekwondo means “kick fist art” (pretty cool, right?!) and in English it’s used to describe the popular martial art.


After writing this article, I now want to learn a martial art. I’d like to learn taekwondo, but I want to learn how to use swords and other weapons, so it might not be the best option for me.


Wow! That was a lot of words, but I’m sure that you’ll have no trouble learning them. In fact, you probably already recognized some of them.

You don’t have to memorize this list! In fact, it’s always better to learn new words in context by hearing, seeing and reading them used naturally.

For example, to practice these and other words, consider a resource like FluentU.

Look for words you recognize in English content and media to discover even more easy vocabulary words you may already know.


Until the next time we rendezvous, I hope you’ll stay gung-ho for learning new English vocabulary! Adios, amigos!

And One More Thing...

If you like learning English through movies and online media, you should also check out FluentU. FluentU lets you learn English from popular talk shows, catchy music videos and funny commercials, as you can see here:


If you want to watch it, the FluentU app has probably got it.

The FluentU app and website makes it really easy to watch English videos. There are captions that are interactive. That means you can tap on any word to see an image, definition, and useful examples.


FluentU lets you learn engaging content with world famous celebrities.

For example, when you tap on the word "searching," you see this:


FluentU lets you tap to look up any word.

Learn all the vocabulary in any video with quizzes. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.


FluentU helps you learn fast with useful questions and multiple examples. Learn more.

The best part? FluentU remembers the vocabulary that you’re learning. It gives you extra practice with difficult words—and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. You have a truly personalized experience.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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