What words has English borrowed from other languages since 2000?

English has always had a long tradition of borrowing words from other languages but it’s hard for me to come up with any salient examples from hyper-modern vocabulary. Most of the new words seem to originate in English and then spread to other languages. Have there been cases of it happening the other way around recently?

I think that it’s been a gradual process of integrating the words, especially from Spanish, that we already use as part of our “slang” vocabulary. I can’t think of an example that we recently imported wholesale and immediately became an accepted English word. The only example I can immediately think of of my hypothesis is “bodega”, the use of which seems to have become more accepted and widespread than it was 15 years ago. But it was already in use before that, just not so much as to become as widely understood as it is now.

The obvious way to research this is to go to the OED webpages on updates since 2000:

If you click on the link that says “full list”, you’ll get the webpage for the March 2016 updates. If you click on the link that says “previous updates page”, you’ll get the webpage that gives links to the equivalent lists for every quarter from March 2000 to now. Most of the updates aren’t from other languages, but if you look through the lists you will find all the words you’re looking for.

New Filipino words, including “mani-pedi.” Not exactly a language group, but interesting nonethless.

And yeah, that page links to a lot of words from other languages, albeit ones I’m not entirely familiar with.

Thank you for the informative link.

NB the first two words on the 3/16 new word list are foreign borrowings:

épicerie, means “grocery store” from French

ang moh, a mainly south Asian racial epithet for Whites, from a Chinese Southern Min dialect.

I am curious as to why épicerie is listed first.

é, b, c, d, e, f, g…

Edit: my dumb joke aside, it looks like no other word on the list starts with a nonstandard character. The é is made with a different keystroke/ASCII code from a regular “e”. My guess is that the list was automatically alphabetized using a program that puts all nonstandard characters at the beginning of the list.

Emoji would an interesting one since it’s a Japanese word with a root originally from English.

Sort of like Pokemon (pocket monster) or Karaoke (empty orchestra)

“Mani-pedi” from Filipino? IAMNALexicographer, but that sounds like baloney, or slavery to first printed evidence or some formal constraint of “imported from,” and not etymological (socio-etymological, whatever the technical field is).

Shortened words, rhythmic snap from normal English. It also I doesn’t make any sense because “manicure” and “pedicure” are not (exclusively) Filipino words, if they’re present at all.


“Wiki” originates in Hawaiian, IIRC. Was anyone using that in English before 2000?

“Schadenfreude” was in English dictionaries in the 1980s, but the use was very rare. It appeared in periodicals less than 100 times between 1995 and 1999, but use began to grow by leaps in 2000. In 2003, a reporter asked Martha Stewart if she thought people were experiencing schadenfreude at her arrest, and this seemed to trigger an avalanche of incidences of the word. In 2009, After Deadline posted an article called “The Age of Schadenfreude.”

Filipino has borrowings from both Spanish and English, for some reason which escapes my mind right now… and it’s not as if it’s uncommon for a word which originally was borrowed to become another word’s parent, it happens all the time. It’s perfectly possible that the name mani-pedi for getting both at the same time entered the English language via Filipino nail parlors.

Well, here’s the entry if you want to review it. The first two printed entries, from 1972 and 1975, appear to be from Filipino-English sources. I suppose you can say they could have had two separate etymological sources, but the first instances of the words in printed English have been from the Philippines.

Yes, that was my point.

It is by no means the same case as, classically, “ennui” in English is.

I still don’t see so much a point as a wobbly bit… etymological dictionaries do work from written sources, is this the first time you’ve noticed?

I’m curious whether there are instances of its use in the Phillipines in a different language prior to its appearance in English. That word list is Filipino, which is a cultural group, not a linguistic group; there are plenty of other languages in the Phillipines. However, it may appear on this list of Filipino words despite originating in English, given that English is a common language in the Phillipines.

Mostly food words, I’d imagine, with some occasional esoteric terms. E.g.:

acai (Portuguese/Tupi-Guarani; berry; in June 2007 OED update)

bukkake (Japanese; sex act; not in OED AFAICT)

pho (Vietnamese; noodle dish; in March 2006 OED update)

shawarma (Turkish/Arabic; grilled meat dish; in June 2007 OED update)

And then there are loanwords used as slurs, such as Arabic “hajji”, originally an honorific but used in US military slang as a derogatory expression.

I’m assuming it’s a word that came from English that gained currency in the Philippines as part of the local dialect of the English language, just like how you have a lot of “Indian English” words like “prepone” and “timepass” and so on that came from the local dialect of English. So, I guess, yes, it’s not a foreign word in the sense that it originates in a foreign language, but rather a regional dialect word.

Maybe. It could also be that “manicure” and “pedicure” in English led to “mani” and “pedi” in Tagalog or Chavacano or something, and then in that language “mani-pedi” was coined, and then brought back into English. I don’t know.

I was thinking that myself, and I guess that depends on how you want to classify that word. I guess a foreign re-borrowing of an English word or something. I wonder if there are other examples of this – I would think there must be some, where a word enters the local language as an adaptation of an English word and then gets borrowed back out into English from that language.

Would “emoji”, mentioned earlier, count?