Readers' Feedback


Page 3 of 5

Generated : 24th February 2024


Jennifer Crawford

Hi just wanted to drop you a little note to say that I think you should specify that Carib words that were borrowed came from Cuba. From the natives there called the Taino and Ciboney indians that lived there.


Margaret Hung

I found your history of the English language very interesting. I have two questions, however.

1. I always believed that the Latin contribution to English started when the Romans occupied Britain. Surely they must have introduced Latin words into the Celtic language which in turn must have influenced the language of the Germanic tribes who invaded later.

2. You say that Henry IV was the first English king since the Norman conquest to speak English as a mother tongue. Before that, were royalty and aristocracy bilingual? How well did Henry IV speak French? And his son, Henry V - would he have had communication problems with Princess Katherine as in Shakespeare's play?

PS: It's a very beautiful website as well.

KryssTal Reply: Thank you for your kind comments.

Latin began to influence the British Isles from Roman times (yes, via Celtic) and then again when Christianity arrived and again during the Age of Reason. The previous aristocracy spoke Norman French. English was spoken by the indigenous population.


David Langenberg (University of Delaware)

I have visited your "The English Language: Words Borrowed from Other Languages" site. Among the languages, you list Anglo-Saxon. Since modern English is the direct descendant of Anglo-Saxon, it is misleading to state that Anglo-Saxon words were "borrowed" into English. They've stayed with the language all the time it was evolving from Anglo-Saxon, through Middle English, and into Modern English--and never borrowed at all.

KryssTal Reply: Ahhh, well spotted.

I wanted to list those particular words as they are interesting and are pure Anglo Saxon words. Hope I'm forgiven.


Allan Metcalf

Dear Kryss,

I like your website with so many languages, so many words. You might be interested in my new book,

The World in So Many Words

published by Houghton Mifflin in Boston, ISBN 0-395-95920-9.

It has short essays on one word from each of the different languages that has contributed to English: as well-known as French and as obscure as the Fore language of New Guinea. There are 213 languages, arranged geographically so you travel the world from Europe to Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas.

My etymologies don't always agree with yours . . . but I don't intend this as a quarrel, just an observation.

KryssTal Reply: Thank you. I will certainly check out your book. As for agreement, this is not always possible as there can be many sources of information.


Jennifer Blodgett

Hey I just wanted to say that your site totally helped me out!!! I have to do a report on words borrowed from other languages and your site was the only one I could find!! You have no idea how much it helped!!! I got all my word examples from you site!!!!!!!

Thank you soooooooo much!!!

KryssTal Reply: My pleasure entirely.


Bill Gordon

Used your resourse to complete paper on borrowed English words. Thanks.

KryssTal Reply: You're welcome.


Leslie Chow

I like your web site. Very informative.

KryssTal Reply: Thank you for your kind comments.

Just wanted to add my two cents. Under Cantonese, you can add "gung ho". I know "ho" means good in Cantonese.

KryssTal Reply: It certainly sounds like a Chinese phrase - I'll check it out and add it to the list.

Of cource this gives us another UK / USA difference - we don't use "cents". We would say my "tuppeny's worth" ("two pennies").

I'm interested in your first name since your surname is obviously Chinese. Are you really Leslie (mixed family / Christian family) or is "Leslie" a name that keeps the rest of the USA happy?

My parents are from China. My mother was born in Qingdao and my father was born in Shanghai. They gave me an "American" name when I was born (actually I think it's Scottish for "little meadow". Also my last name got changed when my father emigrated. It should be Zhou.

Your web site saved me for borrowed Italian words. I'm writing a curriculum unit on German, Irish, and Italian immigration from 1840-1860. It wasn't really my choice since I get paid to write this unit but I am finding it to be very interesting.

Keep up the good work!



Hello! I'm searching for an expanded list of English words borrowed from Italian. If you know of such information online, please let me know!

Thank you very much!

Your Web site is fantastic!

KryssTal Reply: Thank you for your kind comments. Sorry about the delay in responding. You could try having a look at this site:

They may have the information you require.


Scott Dovel

Facinating list! I thought that Istanbul was a Turkish corruption of Constaninople. What are the Greek roots for Istanbul?

KryssTal Reply:

is tin polin
to the town
at the town

Thanks for the comments.


Tuomo Sarkikoski

interesting site!

SAUNA is certainly Finnish (even though the Swedish have tried to adopt it as their innovation...). I am not a specialist but I think you could add the word RAPAKIVI on your list as another Finnish word. It is a stone.

KryssTal Reply: Thank you for your kind comments.

Unfortunately, I have never heard of RAPAKIVI and it is not in my dictionary so I cannot add it.

© 2024, KryssTal