Quiz: Choose the Foreign Word That Completes the Sentence
Choose the Foreign Word That Completes the Sentence
By: Allison Lips
Image: martin-dm/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

English is a mutt. Native English speakers borrow words from other languages without thinking twice about where the words originally came from. Occasionally, we don't even realize that we're not using an English word to describe something!

While prescriptivist linguists will defend the purity of the English langue and disapprove of our rampant usage of foreign words, the reality is that English speakers enjoy the variety. As James Nicoll explained on Usenet in the early 1990s, "We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle through their pockets for new vocabulary."

Obviously, English does not literally chase down other languages for words. Its speakers naturally introduce new words to their vocabulary as necessary. How else would we describe sushi, espresso, or tacos without borrowing the words from their languages of origin? For the record, the languages in question are Japanese, Italian, and Spanish.

Food isn't the only subject we adopt foreign words for. Sometimes we describe someone as having "savoir-faire" or "chutzpah," which are taken from French and Yiddish respectively. Other times, we have fun with friends and say "adios" or "bon voyage" to wish them well until next time.

Since you use foreign words all the time, test your knowledge of loanwords! Can you identify the words that correctly complete the following sentences?

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