Pseudo-anglicisms [ang-gluh-siz-uhms] are words in languages other than English which were borrowed from English but are used in a way native English speakers would not readily recognize or understand.

Pseudo-anglicisms often take the form of compound words, combining elements of multiple English words to create a new word that appears to be English but is unrecognizable to a native speaker. It is also common for a genuine English word to be used to mean something completely different from its original meaning.

Pseudo-anglicisms are related to ‘false friends’ or ‘false cognates’ (words that appear to share a common root, but that do not). Many speakers of a language which employs pseudo-anglicisms believe that the relevant words are genuine anglicisms and can be used in English, which may cause misunderstandings. When many English words are incorporated into many languages, language purists often look down on this phenomenon, terming it (depending on the importing language) ‘Denglisch,’ ‘Franglais,’ or similar neologisms. ‘Spanglish’ is a creole (an informal mixed language) that can be considered a variety of Spanish with heavy use of English or a variety of English with heavy use of Spanish.

The term ‘autostop’ (or just ‘stop’) refers to ‘hitchhiking’ in a number of languages including French, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish. A digital video projector is referred to as a ‘beamer’ in Dutch, German, and Romanian. In Dutch, German, and Italian a ‘spa’ is a ‘beauty farm.’ In Arabic, Greek, and Turkish ‘cornflakes’ refers to all breakfast cereal. An ‘Evergreen,’ in Danish, Dutch, German, Italian, Serbian and Swedish is an enduringly popular song. ‘Luna park’ (derived from the name of an amusement park in New York) can refer to any amusement park in Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Polish, Turkish, and Russian).

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