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Pseudo-anglicisms are words in languages other than English which were borrowed from English but are used in a way native English speakers would not readily recognize or understand. Pseudo-anglicisms often take the form of portmanteau words, combining elements of multiple English words to create a new word that appears to be English but is unrecognisable to a native speaker of English. It is also common for a genuine English word to be used to mean something completely different from its original meaning.

Pseudo-anglicisms are related to false friends or false cognates. Many speakers of a language which employs pseudo-anglicisms believe that the relevant words are genuine anglicisms and can be used in English.

When many English words are incorporated into many languages, language enthusiasts and purists often look down on this phenomenon, terming it (depending on the importing language) Denglisch, Franglais or similar neologisms.

Pseudo-anglicisms in various languages

Chinese

  • BB call — pager
  • DM — flyer, brochure, junk mail (from "direct mail")
  • kǎo — to photocopy (from the first syllable in "copy")


Czech

  • serverwebsite ("server" is also called "server")


Danish



Dutch

  • Beamer (also in German) — video projector
  • Box — (large, toddler-sized) cot
  • Camper (also in Italian) — recreational vehicle (RV) or campervan
  • Camping (also in other European languages) — campsite
  • Coffeeshop — a store selling cannabis (or, colloquially, other psychedelic drugs)
  • Dumpstore meaning an army surplus store
  • Fitness (also in many other European languages) — fitness training as a kind of gymnastics - also: gym, as indication of the place where you have your fitness training.
  • Happy end (also in other European languages) — happy ending
  • Hometrainer — low level consumer fitness machines especially for indoor rowing or cycling
  • Junk — a drug addict (in English that would be Junkie)
  • Occasion - bargain (especially a car sold at a favourable price), or even: second-hand car. Originally a French loanword with the meaning of "bargain" and pronounced as in French, it is now often pronounced as in English
  • Oldtimer (also in German) — vintage car
  • Panty (also in Spanish) — pantyhose
  • Pocket for what is commonly known as a paperback
  • Sheetstransparencies or computer presentation slides
  • Smoking (also in many other European languages) is not a smoking jacket in the Edwardian sense, but a dinner jacket or tuxedo
  • String (also in French, German and Russian) refers exclusively to a G-string
  • Topfit (also in German) — perfectly physically fit
  • Touringcar - refers to a Coach and not a Touring car, which is both an automobile body shape and classification of racing car.


Filipino languages

  • Bad shot - To get on someone's bad side or to make a bad impression.
  • Bad trip - An unfortunate situation. May mean "bummer".
  • Banca - Outrigger canoe
  • Bold - May refer to nudity
  • Bold movie - A movie with nude or sexually-explicit scenes
  • Chancing - To make a sexual advance
  • C.R. (Comfort Room) - Toilet, bathroom
  • Gimmick or Gimik - A night out with friends. Also, any offering during evening hours by clubs, bars and restaurants to lure customers in.
  • Slang - May refer to strong foreign accents and pronunciation.


French



German

  • Air-Condition — abbreviated from Air conditioning
  • Beamer (also in Dutch) — video projector
  • Beautyfarm (also in Italian) — spa
  • Body Bag — shoulder bag. The bag which is slung across the midriff in English is called cross-body bag. In Germany, Body Bag is a registered trademark.
  • Castingshow — talent search television series
  • Car (Switzerland only; also in French) — motor coach
  • Dressman — male model
  • Ego-Shooter — first-person shooter (derived from Latin "Ego" = "I")
  • Flipper (also in French and Italian) — pinball machine
  • Fotoshooting — photo session
  • Funeralmaster — undertaker. The term is a creation of a public-relations manager of the German untertaker's federation to modernize their image.
  • Funsport — a sport primarily practised in leisure time and for fun
  • Handy — mobile phone
  • Happy end (also in other European languages) — happy ending
  • Highboard — a table-high cupboard
  • Hometrainer — exercise bicycle
  • Horrortripbad trip
  • Inboard-Kamera — onboard camera
  • Inliner — inline skates (shoes)
  • Kickertable football (ironically, variations on the German word "Fußball" (soccer), are used in English)
  • Leader(innen)board — provisional ranking; in English leader board is only used in professional golf and for a collection of important rules and statements of a Christian sect
  • Logical — riddle/puzzle to be solved by logical thought
  • Longseller — long-term (best)seller
  • Messie — a "pack rat", a person engaging in compulsive hoarding
  • Oldtimer (also in Dutch) — vintage car (or bike or aircraft or boat)
  • Playback (also in other languages) — lip sync
  • Pressing (in sport; also in Italian) — forcing
  • Public viewing — showing of football matches on giant screens in public
  • Pullunder, often Pollunder or Polunder — sweater vest
  • Puzzle — jigsaw puzzle
  • Rumpsteak — sirloin steak.
  • Shootingstar — successful newcomer (sports, music, literature, business, politics...)
  • Shorts — any short trousers but only when they are part of the outer garments; if underwear is meant this is indicated. Traditional or functional short trousers are never called Shorts.
  • Slipper — lace-less shoes
  • Smoking (also in many other European languages) is not a smoking jacket in the Edwardian sense, but a dinner jacket or tuxedo
  • Showmaster — show host
  • Talkmaster — talk show host
  • topfit (also in Dutch) — perfectly physically fit
  • Twen — anyone who is in his/her twenties, or the age itself


Hungarian

  • Autóstop (also in other European languages) — hitchhiking
  • Drillthree of a kind in poker.
  • Farmer means "denim" as well as "(blue) jeans" made of denim
  • Happy end (also in other European languages) — happy ending
  • PendriveUSB flash drive
  • Playback (also in many other European languages) — lip-synch (in songs)
  • Póker means both the poker hand four of a kind and the game poker itself.
  • Tréning (cf. "training") — jogging suit
  • Wellness — feeling well by expensive means, especially in a chic hotel near a spa


Israeli Hebrew

  • On de feys (און דה פייס)— ‘(feeling) very bad’, cf. the otherwise non-existent English *on the face.
  • Golf (גולף) — turtleneck sweater
  • Tréning (טריינינג) — 'tracksuit', cf. English training
  • Tramp (טרמפ)— hitch-hiking
  • Mammy (מאמי) — sweetheart
  • Fan (פן) — blow drying


Italian



Japanese

  • — title for a person in office
  • video game, portmanteau of "family" and "computer"
  • - portmanteau of "lolita" and "complex"
  • — a condominium apartment
  • — slim or skinny
  • — a woman's figure (particularly if slim or skinny)


Polish



Portuguese

  • Cooper — To jog.
  • OutdoorBillboard, using the English adjective as a noun.
  • ShoppingShopping mall, using the English gerund as a noun.
  • Smoking (also in many other European languages) is not a smoking jacket in the Edwardian sense, but a dinner jacket or tuxedo. However in Brazilian Portuguese, its name is tuxedo /tu'ʃɛdu/.
  • "Videogame" - (Brazilian Portuguese) Game console, although the term "console" is also used. The videogames themselves are simply called "games", "jogos" (the standard translation for "game") or less ambiguously "jogos de videogame" (Console games).


Romanian



Russian



Spanish

  • Basket - basketball
  • Body – bodice
  • Boxer — boxer shorts
  • Camping (also in other European languages) — campsite
  • Fitness (also in many other European languages) — fitness training as a kind of gymnastics
  • Footing (also in French and Italian) — jogging
  • Lifting (also in Italian, Romanian,French and Swiss German) — facelift
  • un nuevo look — a makeover (hair etc.)
  • Parking (common use but still not recognized by RAE, also in French and Russian) — parking lot (US) or car park (UK, Aus)
  • Panty (also in Dutch) or pantipantyhose
  • Peeling (also in other European languages) — facial or body scrub
  • Playback (also in many other European languages) — lip-synch (in songs)
  • Puenting (from puente, bridge) — a sport that involves jumping from a bridge. It is similar to bungee jumping except for the fact that the cord is non-elastic and that the jump ends in a pendulum-like movement.
  • Slip — briefs
  • Smoking (Esmoquin) (also in many other European languages) is not a smoking jacket in the Edwardian sense, but a dinner jacket or tuxedo
  • Snow (common use but still not recognized by RAE) — an abbreviation for "snowboard" as sport. The board is called tabla de snow
  • Zapping (also in French, Italian and German) — channel surfing


Swedish

  • Smoking (also in many other European languages) is not a smoking jacket in the Edwardian sense, but a dinner jacket or tuxedo.
  • Walkman (as in a small portable cassette player) is usually replaced with "freestyle", despite the fact that the word does not fit particularly well with Swedish phonotactics or grammar. Actually, Freestyle was the name chosen for marketing purposes in Swedenmarker.


Turkish

  • Basket - basketball
  • Bodybodybuilding
  • Fitness (also in many other European languages) – fitness training as a kind of gymnastics
  • Flirt - generally used as dating
  • Cola (derived from Coca-Cola) – refers to any soft drink
  • Playback (also in many other European languages) – lip-synch (in songs)
  • Smoking or smokin (also in many other European languages) - tuxedo
  • String (also in other European languages) refers exclusively to a G-string


Yiddish

  • cherry lights red headlights
  • hitshn to hitchhike
  • payday salary/payment


Sources



See also



References

  1. See p. 250 of Zuckermann, Ghil'ad 2003, ‘‘Language Contact and Lexical Enrichment in Israeli Hebrew’’, Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, (Palgrave Studies in Language History and Language Change, Series editor: Charles Jones). ISBN 1-4039-1723-X.
  2. According to linguist Ghil'ad Zuckermann, this pseudo-anglicism might have "been influenced by Italian fili ‘threads’ (plural of Italian filo ‘thread’. ) Italian feeling is used in Italian pop music, for example in the song Pensami per te (‘Think about me for your sake’) (by Cogliati/Ciani/Cassano), sung by Anna Oxa, which includes Tra di noi c’é uno strano feeling che ci lega ormai ‘Between us there is a strange feeling that binds us by now’."See p. 102 of Zuckermann, Ghil'ad 2003, ‘‘Language Contact and Lexical Enrichment in Israeli Hebrew’’, Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, (Palgrave Studies in Language History and Language Change, Series editor: Charles Jones). ISBN 1-4039-1723-X.


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