Foreign words and phrases | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

Foreign words and phrases

17 October, 2021

The English language has borrowed a large number of words and phrases from foreign languages. Here are some of them.
Geisha (Japanese) a Japanese woman who is trained in the art of dancing, singing and providing entertainment, especially for men
Genesis (Greek) the beginning or origin of something
Genie (French) a magical creature in old Arabian stories that will do what you want when you call it
Genius (Latin) a very high level of intelligence, mental skill or ability which only a few people have Wynford was an architect of genius.
Genre (French) a particular type of art, writing, or music which has certain features that all examples of this type share
Genteel (French) polite, gentle or graceful Aisha broke into a genteel run.
Genus (Latin) one of the groups into which scientists divide animals and plants
Geopolitics (German) ideas and activities relating to the way that a country’s politics, or population affect its political development and its relationship with other countries
Gestalt (German) a whole thing that is different from all its parts and has qualities not present in any of its parts by themselves
Sue is a student of Gestalt psychology.
Gestapo (German) the secret police force used by the State in Germany during the Nazi period
Geyser (Icelandic) a natural spring that sends hot water and steam suddenly into the air from a hole in the ground
Ghee (Hindi) melted butter made from the milk of a cow or buffalo, used in Indian cooking
Ghetto (Italian) a part of a city where people of a particular race or class, especially people who are poor, live separately from the rest of the people in the city
Ghoul (Arabic) an evil spirit in stories that takes bodies from graves and eats them
Ginseng (Chinese) medicine made from the root of a Chinese plant that some people think keeps you young and healthy
Glasnost (Russian) the policy begun by Mikhail Gorbachev in the USSR in the 1980s of allowing discussion of the country’s problems
Glaucoma (Latin) an eye disease in which increased pressure inside your eye gradually makes you lose your sight
Gnome (Greek) a creature in children’s stories who looks like a little old man
Goitre (French) enlargement of the thyroid gland, producing a swelling in the front of the neck
Gondola (Italian) a long narrow boat with a flat bottom and high points at each end, used on the canals in Venice in Italy.
Gong (Malaysian) a round piece of metal that hangs in a frame and which you hit with a stick to announce that a meal is ready
Gourmand (French) someone who likes to eat and drink a lot
Gourmet (French) someone who knows a lot about food and wine and who enjoys good food and wine
Graffiti (Italian) rude, humorous or political writings and pictures on the walls of buildings
The walls of the university are daubed with graffiti.
Grand Prix (French) one of a set of international races, especially a car race
Gratis (Latin) done or given without payment
Gravamen (Latin) the substance or gist of a complaint, accusation, or grievance
Grimace (French) an expression you make by twisting your face because you do not like something or because you are feeling pain
Susan’s face twisted in a grimace of pain.
Grotesque (French) a picture or sculpture of someone who is strangely ugly