You can’t get through the day (or night) without Arabic

My latest article for The Week is on words that English got from Arabic. We’ve taken more than you might think, but I look at just 15… including some that you probably can’t go very long without.

15 English words we stole from Arabic

(PS Let me remind you that the magazine writes the title after I’ve written the article and sent it to them.)

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5 responses to “You can’t get through the day (or night) without Arabic

  1. Very interesting article. Regarding magazine, in Spanish we have the word almacén for storage, which seems to be related to the Arabic makzin.

  2. Thanks James, this is a reminder of how quickly language migrates and adapts. What do you make of Charles Hill-Tout’s research into similarities between Dene and various Chinese dialects?

    • I’m not really familiar with Hill-Tout’s work. Can you recommend a good source to find out more about it?

      • Hi James,

        Charles Hill-Tout was an early settler in British Columbia. I learned of him, and his writings on Salish culture, when I was helping a friend, guiding canoe trips on the Lillooet.

        (from The 49th Shelf)
        Charles Hill-Tout
        Charles Hill-Tout devoted many years to ethnographic and anthropological field work among the Salish people of the west coast recording their customs, stories and art. The Salish People is a four volume collection of all the field work done by Charles Hill-Tout in the period 1895 to 1911, divided by specific geographical and cultural areas.

        Best,

        Alan

  3. Wow! Thanks for sharing! I had no idea!

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