10 English Words Originating in Foreign Languages

1. karaoke (Japanese)

Karaoke is when a recording of a popular song plays, and everyday people sing the song by accompanying the lyrics displayed on a screen. From Japanese kara + ōke.

English Words from Foreign Languages

2. pajamas (Hindi)

Pajamas are loose, comfortable clothes worn for sleeping. From Hindi/Urdu pāyjāmā, loose-fitting trousers.

English Words from Foreign Languages

3. sofa (Arabic)

A long seat full of cushions. This can also be called a couch. From Arabic ṣuffa.

English Words from Foreign Languages

4. ketchup (Chinese)

A type of thick, smooth, tomato sauce – usually used on hamburgers and hot dogs, and with french fries. From Malay kicap and Chinese kê-chiap.

English Words from Foreign Languages

5. portrait (French)

An image of a person (especially showing the face) – can be a painting or photograph. From the past participle of portraire, to portray.

English Words from Foreign Languages

6. alligator (Spanish)

A type of reptile with large teeth and powerful jaws. From Spanish el lagarto, the lizard.

English Words from Foreign Languages

7. confetti (Italian)

Small pieces of colored paper that are scattered in the air during celebrations. From Italian confetto (candy), from the custom of throwing candy on festive occasions.

English Words from Foreign Languages

8. noodle (German)

A long, narrow, thin strip of dough. Usually used in soups or to accompany other dishes. From German Nudel.

English Words from Foreign Languages

9. sketch (Dutch)

Sketch can be a noun or a verb, meaning a simple, rough, approximate drawing (or to make such a drawing). From Dutch schets.

English Words from Foreign Languages

10. coconut (Portuguese)

The fruit of the coconut palm tree – a hard, thick shell surrounding a large seed that contains white flesh and liquid. From Portuguese coco.

English Words from Foreign Languages

Image sources: AZcentral, FASTILY, matrox, Japalac, Tom Woodward

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