Via the ever entertaining Jenny Davidson’s Light reading blog, I got a link to this piece, which is a review by Christian Tyler of a book called The secret life of words: how English became English by Henry Hitchings:
Did you know, for instance, that “cushy” has nothing to do with cushions but is from khush, Hindi for “pleasant”?
Of course, the movement of words from English to other languages is equally interesting:
It’s intriguing to note that the movement of words has not just been one way: Swahili has the charming kiplefti for a traffic island, and Japanese engejiringu for an engagement ring.
Take a look!