Foreign words and phrases | Sunday Observer

Foreign words and phrases

19 September, 2021

The English language has borrowed a large number of foreign words and phrases. Here are some of them.
Draconian (Greek) severe, harsh and cruel
Some countries adopt draconian measures to control population growth.
Dramatis personae (Latin) the characters in a play
Dramaturge (Greek) a dramatist or a person with skills and experience of theatrical writing and techniques
Dreck (Yiddish) something that is of very bad quality
Readers of magazines find a lot of good stuff and dreck.
Dressage (French) a competition in which a horse performs a complicated series of movements in answer to signals from its rider
They won gold medals in the showjumping and dressage events.
Duffle (Dutch) a coarse woolen material used for making bags and coats
The captain was in a blue duffle coat and steel helmet.
Dumdum (Hindi) a soft bullet that causes serious wounds because it breaks into pieces when it hits its target
The rebels used dumdum bullets to inflict serious wounds on the government troops.
Dungarees (Hindi) loose trousers that have a square piece of cloth that covers your chest
Most of the workers were wearing dungarees and hats.
Duplex (Latin) a type of house that is divided into two parts so that it has two separate homes in it
Nancy used to live alone in a luxurious duplex.
Eau de Cologne (French) a sweet smelling liquid used to make you feel fresh and smell nice
Maryanne doused herself liberally in Eau de Cologne before attending the party.
Eau de toilette (French) a lightly scented perfume
Eau de toilette is cheaper than pure perfume.
Echelon (French) a rank or level of authority in an organisation
Their clients are drawn from the highest echelons of socie ty.
Éclair (French) long cake covered with chocolate and filled with cream
Eclat (French) praise and admiration
Sam’s new play has been greeted with great éclat.
Eco (Greek) relating to the environment Always buy eco-friendly household products.
Ego (Latin) the opinion that you have about yourself
Siva had the biggest ego of anyone I have ever met.
Eid (Arabic) a Muslim festival that marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting
Elan (French) a style that is full of energy and confidence
The bomb attack was planned and led with great elan.
El Dorado (Spanish) a place of very great wealth The little town in the hills was a real El Dorado for those seeking peace.
Elite (French) the cream or the best part of something, often referring to the most select persons in society
The country was ruled by a group of privileged elite.
Elixir (Arabic) a magical liquid that is supposed to cure people of illness and make them young
The new wave of technology should prove an economic elixir.
Ellipsis (Greek) the sign “…”used in writing to show that some words have deliberately been left out of a sentence
Elysium (Greek) a place of complete happiness
Embargo (Spanish) an official order to stop trade with another countryThe company was accused of trying to break the oil embargo.
Emeritus (Latin) a professor who is no longer working but has kept his previous job title as an honour Unlike most of his contemporaries, Brian refused to use the honorary title of ‘professor emeritus’ except when undertaking public speaking engagements.