The English language that is spoken by one billion people around the world is a linguistic mongrel, its vocabulary a diverse mix resulting from centuries of borrowing from other tongues. From the Celtic languages of pre-Roman Britain to Norman French; from the Vikings' Old Scandinavian to Persian, Arawak, Cantonese, Hawaiian, Hebrew, Inuit and Erdu - amongst a host of others - we have enriched our modern language with such words as tulip, slogan, doolally, avocado, moccasin, ketchup and ukulele.
With 80 entries describing the history of words, this is an entertaining exploration of the origins of the words that we have borrowed from other languages over the course of 1500 years.
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