Tag Archives: English

Much of English Isn’t English

Typing my first blog, circa 1958.

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Roots and Sprouts

We have “English” in America, but the language we use every day is the result of blending the roots and sprouts of Ye Old English, Danish, French, Latin, Greek, Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Dutch, and Spanish, et al. 

We explore, below, some words from other languages that have been adopted and adapted into our English language. 

Old English

Kith and kin – basically means friends and relatives. This is one of my favorite phrases, and I know a certain Dragon Master who uses it as well. However, you won’t see it much in blog posts, articles, or memes. 

Eke – as in “eke out a living.” 

To and fro – back and forth


Cog, cozy, hug, and maelstrom. 

French – Oh, mon dieu! 

There are about 10,000 French words we have adopted into our every-day English.

Déjà vu 



A la carte

Bon appetit

Hors d’oeuvre

Vinaigrette (my favorite dressing!) 




Critique (something writers love to get!) 

Déjà vu – Wait…did I mention that one before? 


It’s not just for attorneys anymore.

Ad hoc, bona fide, circa, ergo, et cetera (commonly known as etc.) habeas corpus, in vitro, per annum, per capita, quid pro quo – I’m looking at you, former guy! 

I could continue, ad nauseam…


Galaxy … far, far away



Democracy (remember what that feels like?)





Pekoe, bok choy, ginseng, won ton, wok, chow, and ketchup. Alert Heinz! 

We practice tai chi, talk about yin and yang (not ying yang), we play mahjong, and some of us worry about typhoons. 


Verandah, jungle, bandana, dinghy, pyjamas (I’ve been living in these going on two years), cashmere, bangles, and shampoo.


Tsunami, karaoke, emoji, sushi, tofu, ramen (a college dorm staple), and origami (at one time, my grandson’s obsession). 


Boss, yankee (sorry NY, it’s not the ball team), mannequin, bazooka, snoop, frolic, and iceberg (I wonder if the lookout on the Titanic knew he was screaming in Dutch?) 


Many of our own U.S. state names are from Spanish origins – California, Colorado, Florida, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Arizona. 

You would think this would make our state and some federal administrators more respectful of our Latin American brethren.  

Other words of typical use – corral, chaps, desperado, lasso, alligator, barracuda, cockroach, and everyone’s favorite little bug – the mosquito. 

And let’s not forget an American favorite, now served, infamously on Tuesdays (I could eat them every day) – TACO. 

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What “foreign” words can you think of that

we use in our American English every day?


Filed under Personal Articles, Words & Vocabulary

At nearly 57 y.o., I clicked “enroll”

DSC00929Near my 57th birthday 

On Friday, August 22, 2014, I clicked “enroll” for my first university class toward a degree. I’ve participated in other college classes – SFCC, UNM, UCLA.

My life

I married young, had a child, divorced young. I married two more times, divorced both of those losers. Throughout all this, I had to work full time to support myself, my son. I had set-backs, loads of them. I lost or sold a lot in every move, every divorce. Then I lost nearly everything in the Minot flood of 2011.

My family

I moved from Delaware to New Mexico to North Dakota to support my military son and his family. I left a lot of myself behind, each time.

I tried 

Throughout my life, I tried to go to school. English and Sign Language classes at Santa Fe Community College, a few art classes at UNM, some writing classes through UCLA Extension.

I’ve researched and studied a bunch of subjects that interested me. I’ve studied languages – from Arabic to Welsh. Through online classes, I’ve studied archeology and forensic science. I’ve read loads of books on sales and marketing, writing, editing, proofreading, publishing…

I’ve done a bunch of genealogical research – Wales, the Welsh people, Pennsylvania, coal mining…

A firstBeavers

August 22, 2014 – I enrolled for my first degree class at Minot State University. When I clicked “enroll,” I actually teared up. An MSU rep was standing by, and she gave me a high five. I told her I was a grandma. I think maybe she hugged me.

It’s gonna take me a while

I may be 75 y.o. by the time I have a diploma, but right now, that does not matter. I made a step. A step toward a degree.

I’m a student! I’m enrolled!

It’s never too late

One of the presenters made a comment that they (at MSU) don’t want us there until we’re 65. I talked to her after her presentation, and I told her I might still be there at 65 and beyond. But that’s okay.

Because it’s never too late.

dominoesThis is my right time

I’m right where I should be. The dominoes are falling gently into place.


Filed under Personal Articles