Can you take a loan and still get richer! A language can do that. Most languages have these ‘loanwords’ but English in particular has benefited a lot from these ‘borrowed words in English’. The story behind these words are fascinating, intriguing and surprising. Getting to know these stories is one of the best way to learn and remember new words and improve vocabulary. Before you take this vocabulary quiz here is an interesting story from the annals of ‘origin of English words’.

Jagannath is a form of Vishnu, the Hindu god for preservation. Millions of devotees take part in the annual public procession where the deities are put in a huge chariot. When the early European visitors witnessed it first, they had never seen a spectacle like this. In a frenzy, many devotees would throw themselves in front of the chariot. But once the chariot gains the momentum it becomes unstoppable and crushes everything that comes in front of it. As you might have guessed, Jagannath was borrowed as ‘juggernaut’.

Take the Quiz on the ‘Origin of English Words’

Brouhaha

barukh hab-ba 'blessed be he who comes'

Ombudsman

a government appointee who investigates complaints by private persons against the government

Politburo

the chief executive and political committee of the Communist Party

Nocturnal

active at night

Plethora

in excess; comes from Greek for "fullness."

Schadenfreude

delight in another person's misfortune

Rendezvous

“a place for assembling of troops.” Now it also means, assembling of friends, a date or an appointment.

Shampoo

chāmpo; head rub

Honcho

hanchō, head, chief

Nirvana

"extinction, disappearance" of the individual to the universal.

Take another quiz on the ‘origin of English words’

Foreign words in English language

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