A list of English words of foreign origin would be quite lengthy. However, we will look at a number of words and find some sources online.
List of English Words of Foreign Origin
To find a list of English words of foreign origin, you can go to Wikipedia. They have a gigantic list of English words from many languages, including: African, Czech, Malay, Hawaiian, Persian, Tagalog, and many more. There are 61 pages to this list, each page containing one language or country of origin. Here is a sampling of what is available:
African - banana, jumbo, yam, zebra
Chinese - ketchup, pekoe, shanghai
French - catalogue, essence, gourmet, justice, massage, perfume, regret, terror
Tagalog – boondocks, manila, ylang ylang (a flower)
Welsh - corgi (dog), crag, penguin
If you would like to browse a much shorter list of English words of foreign origin, there is a good one that was put together by Westegg.com. It is a collection of curious and interesting words. Here are a few with the language of origin and the definition:
Alarm - Italian - to arms
Ballot - Italian - small pebble or ball, people would vote by casting a pebble into a box
Cantelope - Italian - singing wolf, a town in Italy where the melon was grown
Companion - from both Spanish and French, but with a Latin root - one with whom you would eat bread
Denim - French - the cloth was developed in Nimes and called Serge di Nimes, later shortened to di Nimes, then to denim. It was also made in Genoa, Italy, hence the name “jeans”
Genuine - Italian - placed on the knees. In Rome, a father placed a newborn on his knee to legally claim it as his
Muscle - Latin - little mouse, when you flex a muscle, it was called a little mouse that runs beneath your skin
Night - German - first meant “day” because the day began at sunset, like many other ancient civilizations
Ostracize - Greek - pottery, if someone was a danger to the town, the people would write their vote on chunks of pottery to decide to banish him or not
Slogan - Celtic - two words together that mean battle cry
Victim - Latin - an animal that was to be sacrificed
Worm - Old English - dragon
Other Interesting Words
There are many interesting or unusual words in the English language. There are also some unique ways of looking at them. Here are some examples:
Queueing is the only word with five vowels in a row.
Iouea contains all vowels and is a sea sponge.
Fashion and cushion are the only words that end with “shion”.
Suspicion, scion, and coercion are the only words that end in “cion”.
Having all vowels in order or reverse order are: abstemious, facetious, unnoticeably, subcontinental, and uncomplimentary.
These words have six consonants consecutively: catchphrase, latchstring, sightscreen, watchspring, and watchstrap.
These words all have more than one doubled letter: addressee, balloon, bookkeeper, coffee, committee, keenness, roommate, and succeed.
Alphadictionary.com has an article on a book which lists and explains 100 of the English language’s funniest words. Here are a few with their definitions:
Allegator - a person who alleges
Batrachomyomachy - to make a mountain out of a molehill
Bowyang - a strap holding your pants legs
Bumbershoot - umbrella
Cantankerous - grouchy
Comeuppance - just dessert
Crapulence - uncomfortable after over-eating or over-drinking
Discombobulate - confuse
Eructation - belch
Fard - paint on the face or makeup
Fartlek - refers to a training routine
Firkin - small barrel
Flummox - to frustrate
Formication - the sensation of ants crawling on your skin
Hobbledehoy - clumsy or rude boy
Lollygag - to move slowly
Mollycoddle - to spoil a person
Skedaddle - move quickly
Snollygoster - untrustworthy person
Vomitory - an exit
Yahoo - hillbilly
These are all words meaning absurd, nonsense, or silliness: cockamamie, codswallop, flibbertigibbet, folderol, gobbledygook, godwottery, kerfuffle, malarkey, and rigmarole.