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Updated on Dec 24, 2019. Posted on Dec 20, 2019

If You Can Name The Origins Of 7/10 Of These English Words, You're Basically A Linguist

English is basically just 14 other languages in a trench coat.

  1. "Iceberg"

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    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    It's from Dutch!

    In the Dutch word "ijsberg," "ijs" means "ice," and "berg" means "hill."

  2. "Algorithm"

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    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    It's from Arabic!

    It probably passed from Arabic to medieval Latin to Old French to Middle English.

  3. "Piano"

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    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    It's from Italian!

    It's also an abbreviation of pianoforte.

  4. "Leg"

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    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    It's from Old Norse!

    It's probably a version of the Old Norse word "leggr."

  5. "Beluga" (as in the whale or sturgeon)

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    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    It's from Russian!

    It makes sense if you consider that the Beluga whale is found in the Arctic. The Russian word it's borrowed from is "belukha."

  6. "Acrobat"

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    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    English borrowed it from French which borrowed it from the Greek "akrobatos."

  7. "Similar"

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    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    It's from Latin!

    The Latin word "similis" means "like."

  8. "Balloon"

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    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    It's from French!

    There's a chance it's from Italian, but it's probably from the French word for "large ball."

  9. "Moose"

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    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    It's from East Abnaki (or Abenaki)!

    Abnaki is a group of Native American languages, and moose are especially prevalent in North America. (The origin of “moose” explains why its plural form doesn’t match the plural of “goose,” which has Germanic origins.)

  10. "Hamster"

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    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    It's from German!

    The word for "hamster" in German is just "hamster."