Lexical Inventory

The Early Modern English Period was a period of great lexical enrichment. When English had reasserted itself as the main language of communicative purposes, many new terms had to be invented. The lack of words for religious,battle, scientific, and medical use, as well as the contact with other peoples led to borrowings of terms from other languages.

The following terms present only a small excerpt from borrowed foreign words during the Early Modern English Period :

  • From Latin:
alphabet, category, climax, dilemma, energy, gigantic, hydraulic, icon, maniac, monopoly, nausea, orgasm, paradox, pseudonym, rheumatism, sarcasm, skeleton, tactic, tragic, thesaurus

  • From Greek:
agonism, agnostic, bibliography, demagogue, drastic, economist, orthodox, semantic, topic

  • From or via French:
apology, bizarre, dialect, epilogue, hygiene, mathematics, method, odee, satire, scene, symmetry, trophy, vest.

  • From or via Italian:
algebra, balcony, bandit, bankrupt, granite, manage, motto, opera, stanza, telescope, tempo, volcano

  • From or via Spanish:
avocado, banana, cargo, cockroach, embargo, guitar, masquerade, Negro, potato, tobacco, tornado

  • From other languages:

Algonquian: racoon, skunk

Dutch: brandy, cruise, easel, landscape, yacht

Chinese: tea

Malay: ketchup

Norwegian: troll

Tamil: anaconda, curry

Turkish: kiosk, pasha, yoghurt