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8 Comments

  • Courgettes aren’t native to Britain nor are aubergines, since the Normans came over and invaded Britain they must’ve brought their courgettes and aubergines with them. The English, not having ever seen either of these vegetables before, must’ve heard the Normans/French refer to these vegetables as courgettes and aubergines and not having their own word for them decided to call them the same thing.

    Alternatively the English could’ve gone over there seen these vegetables, tasted them and liked them but didn’t know what to call them so they decided to ask. I think you can work it out.

  • The initial question is VERY simple. English is a COMPOSITE language, and hence the most powerful, as recognised as the international language of literature. The language has been born out of Celtic, Scandanavian, German, Latin, Spanish, Dutch etc etc. The more appropriate question would be why are the French so isolationist when language is concerned and deny themselves a more colourful and expansive potential for expression. Also, the Canadian “English” is a bastardised version of English & Americana, hence mis-spelling colour as color, which was born from lack of education in the colonies and using phonetics rather than the correct, historic spellings.

    If you wonder why things like through and threw are different it is because they used to be PRONOUNCED differently. Linguistics is an evolutionary process, both nationally and regionally (hence local accents and coloquialisms). Applying the terms “WRONG” to English from a descendent? LMAO

  • 1. Tomato by definition is a FRUIT, it grows on a plant above ground. 2.Tomato in England is pronounced as it always has been in the English language, in america they changed the pronunciation as part of their act of independence. 3. In England we didn’t have your so called eggplants, so we went by the Anglo-french spelling.

  • Actually, zucchini in italian is “zucchina/e”. It’s curious to see how in American English zucchine/linguine and other words changed their final letter in “i”.

  • Curious indeed. As an Italian speaker I find it hard to ask for a panini, or a biscotti. And what if I want two? paninis? biscottis? horrible…

  • This article is absolutely hilarious. Having lived in many different countries, I always find it rather charming when the inherently parochial struggle to come to terms with the greater world.

    Thanks to Ian for an excellent summary of the whys and wherefores.