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List of English words of French origin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A great number of words of French origin have entered the English language to the extent that many Latin words have come to the English language. Up to 45% of all English words have a French origin.[1][verification needed][better source needed] This suggests that 80,000 words should appear in this list; this list, however, only includes words imported directly from French, such as both joy and joyous, and does not include derivatives formed in English of words borrowed from French, including joyful, joyfulness, partisanship, and parenthood. It also excludes both combinations of words of French origin with words whose origin is a language other than French — e.g., ice cream, sunray, jellyfish, killjoy, lifeguard, and passageway— and English-made combinations of words of French origin — e.g., grapefruit (grape + fruit), layperson (lay + person), mailorder, magpie, marketplace, surrender, petticoat, and straitjacket. This list also excludes words that come from French but were introduced into the English language via a language other than French, which include commodore, domineer, filibuster, ketone, loggia, lotto, mariachi, monsignor, oboe, paella, panzer, picayune, ranch, vendue, and veneer.

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The percentage of modern English words derived from each language group are as follows:
Anglo-Norman French then French: ~29%
Latin (including words used only in scientific, medical or legal contexts): ~29%
Germanic: ~26%
Others: ~16%

English words of French origin can also be distinguished from French words and expressions used by English speakers.

Although French is derived mainly from Latin (which accounts for about 60% of English vocabulary either directly or via a Romance language), it also includes words from Gaulish and Germanic languages (especially Old Frankish). Since English is of Germanic origin, words that have entered English from the Germanic elements in French might not strike the eye as distinctively from French. Conversely, as Latin gave many derivatives to both the English and the French languages, ascertaining that a given Latinate derivative did not come to the English language via French can be difficult in a few cases.

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