In what languages is "English" a bad word?

One of my classmates, who does fieldwork in Mali, recently told me about the existence of the Bobo and the Bozo peoples. The Bozo, naturally, speak Bozo languages. Which got me thinking. Are there any languages in which, by some freak accident, the string of sounds [iŋglɪʃ] (“English”) means something not entirely complimentary? Aside from any associations with English-speaking people, of course. :slight_smile:

Not exactly an answer, but for the English people themselves, I’ve learned that historically people in many (especially French-speaking) areas would refer to the English as “les goddamns” So there’s definitely a slang word for the English that is a bad word, but I suppose many other countries would fit that bill also.

In Old English (how ironic), -ing is a derivative suffix… thereby implying a sort of subordinate status. The -glish part sounds like the verbal root of Old English glisian ‘to glisten’, which is closely akin to German Glitz ‘ostentatious flashiness’, maybe implying something superficial and trivial. Other than that, I got nothing.

Not quite what the OP was asking, but in Spanish stress can sometimes be diacritic, i.e., differentiate between meanings.

“Inglés” means English or Englishman.

“Ingles” means groins.

You have to be careful not to mix your englishmen with your crotches unless you really want 'em there.

The OP is looking for a word that sounds like how “english” would be pronounced in the English language but has a different meaning and that this different meaning is something derogatory.

Well, in reality Ingles sounds more like the English pronunciation of “English” than Inglés does, right?

Yes, the stress is more similar; phonetically, the “ingl” sounds like the English “engl”, but the end is different (Spanish doesn’t have an “sh” sound, for starters). And since Inglés means English, it’s a word pair which is likely to trip up EFL people when they’re speaking Spanish - it’s one of those pairs which practical jokesters simply love confusing the poor foreigners about.