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Author: stevenjklein Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 13647  
Subject: English words that sound foreign Date: 10/23/2012 7:02 PM
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Just for fun: Can anyone think of some English words that sound as if they should belong to some other language? I don't mean loan words that we use in English, but English words that sound like they might be French, German, Russian, etc.

What got me thinking about this: I was paging through The Big Book of Jewish Humor and I came across a list of "English words that sound as if they ought to be Yiddish."

I don't agree with all their choices, but I think conniption, mishmash, and fear-laden definitely qualify.

The book also includes an excerpt from Philip Roth's Portnoy's Complaint, in which the title character shares a story about making a similar mistake when he was in the 1st grade:

I was asked by the teacher one day to identify a picture of what I knew perfectly well my mother referred to as a “spatula.” But for the life of me I could not think of the word in English.

On a related note: I once remember my Bubbe (grandmother) saying she was looking for the "grotchke." I knew a similar Yiddish word, tchotchke, but that's not what she was saying.

Finally she found what she was looking for. It was the key to the padlock on her garage door. Grotchke = garage key.
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