Most funny English word you had learned.

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pawelk1986
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05 Oct 2016, 10:40 am

I'm Polish i learned English as foreign language.

I remember when i was during English lesson learned new word "pollution" i cannot stop laugh because in Polish we had word "Polucja" for nocturnal emission, when i talked about it with my friends, we cannot stop poking fun of it :mrgreen:



Sweetleaf
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05 Oct 2016, 11:51 am

There are words that sound the same and mean different things such as:
-they're, their and there
-by, bye, and buy
-sale, sail and cell
I have always found that to be kind of funny and figured it would make it confusing to learn for people learning English.



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05 Oct 2016, 6:08 pm

I like this old-english one:

þorn
the name of the letter thorn, written with the letter thorn (as it would have been in old-english), which transcribes to th in modern english, and looks like this: þ

it's still there in the king james bible, but then gradually got lost as printing got widespread, and european type didn't include this one, which today is still found in icelandic. so they used y as a substitute, hence "Ye old Shoppe".
It was never pronounced as Y in these instances though, that's a modern thing.

it's also part of my favourite smiley. as it never gets transformed from the purely typographic to some stupid illustration


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charlesarnot
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12 Oct 2016, 4:04 pm

Words that pronounced differently despite the way which have written:

For example,

Lieutenant - pronounced as /lɛfˈtɛnənt/

Bouquet - pronounced as /bʊkeɪ/

Genre - pronounced as /(d)ʒɒnrə/

and so on



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12 Oct 2016, 4:42 pm

ensemble - For its strange pronunciation, like charlesarnot's examples.

alfresco - According to Wiktionary, it comes from Italian, but I associate it with many instances in which I've seen al fresco used in Spanish to refer humorously to exposed body parts.

ginkgo - It comes from Japanese, a language with notably strict phonotactics allowing few deviations from the pattern optional consonant - vowel for each syllable (that's why an English word or phrase like restaurant or ice cream is borrowed as risutoran or aisukurimu, respectively). How is this possible, since ginkgo features a consonant cluster which strains a bit even the unusually permissive English phonotactics? Because it isn't a Japanese word at all! Mark Rosenfelder explains it much better than I ever could:

Mark Rosenfelder wrote:
While we're at it, could we please fix the word ginkgo, which is not only difficult and irregular, but doesn't reflect any proper Japanese word? The Japanese characters (銀杏) can be read two ways: as icho:, they refer to the tree; as ginnan, to the fruit. The second character can be read kyo: in other words, so someone misread the combination as ginkyo:, and someone else mangled this into ginkgo.


Hou tu pranownse Inglish


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naturalplastic
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12 Oct 2016, 8:26 pm

The kinda "funny" you mean?

We native speakers sometimes experience what youre talking about when reading old books in which words were used slightly differently than they are now.

Dad told us about a Victorian era novel he was reading in which the characters were constantly "ejaculating".

In 19th century "ejaculate" was used mean "exclaim", or "blurt out words". And in the drawing room scene Dad was reading the characters were having a heated exchange in which one guy "ejaculated such and such", which caused the other guy "ejaculate so and so". Needless to say it created a very strange visual for a late 20th century English speaking reader!



pawelk1986
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13 Oct 2016, 1:31 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
The kinda "funny" you mean?

We native speakers sometimes experience what youre talking about when reading old books in which words were used slightly differently than they are now.

Dad told us about a Victorian era novel he was reading in which the characters were constantly "ejaculating".

In 19th century "ejaculate" was used mean "exclaim", or "blurt out words". And in the drawing room scene Dad was reading the characters were having a heated exchange in which one guy "ejaculated such and such", which caused the other guy "ejaculate so and so". Needless to say it created a very strange visual for a late 20th century English speaking reader!


LOL :mrgreen:
I'll tell you something better in the most important Polish national epic "Pan Tadeusz"

was mentioned that main hero had "Pas z Kutasami" - Belt with kutases" in Old Polish Language kutas just means just decorative tassel at the ending of belt
https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kutas_(element_ozdobny)
https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pas_kontuszowy

While in Modern Polish language word Kutas means far more different than in the past :mrgreen:



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13 Oct 2016, 2:37 pm

Sweetleaf wrote:
There are words that sound the same and mean different things such as:
-they're, their and there
-by, bye, and buy
-sale, sail and cell
I have always found that to be kind of funny and figured it would make it confusing to learn for people learning English.
Speaking for myself, they never confused me. Having 'the' in front of changing the ending of a noun was weird though, and they way English capitalizes names of weekdays, months and languages was very strange, as we only capitalize actual names. We also only have one word for am/are/is, so that too was hard to remember.


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naturalplastic
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13 Oct 2016, 9:23 pm

Sweetleaf wrote:
There are words that sound the same and mean different things such as:
-they're, their and there
-by, bye, and buy
-sale, sail and cell
I have always found that to be kind of funny and figured it would make it confusing to learn for people learning English.


Hmmm....
I can see why someone would confuse "cell" with "sell", but not with sail/sale.
Must be a dialect thing.



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02 Nov 2016, 5:25 pm

Once when we were kids my brother, coming up with new and unusual names to insult me, called me a "neuron". I really don't know why being called a brain cell would be insulting, though.



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07 Nov 2016, 5:41 pm

Vomitory, which is defined as "an exit or outlet."

Smellfungus, which is defined as a person who is "an extreme pessimist."

Mugwump, which is defined as "a politician who is part of a third party or does not follow any political party."


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pawelk1986
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07 Nov 2016, 8:54 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
The kinda "funny" you mean?

We native speakers sometimes experience what youre talking about when reading old books in which words were used slightly differently than they are now.

Dad told us about a Victorian era novel he was reading in which the characters were constantly "ejaculating".

In 19th century "ejaculate" was used mean "exclaim", or "blurt out words". And in the drawing room scene Dad was reading the characters were having a heated exchange in which one guy "ejaculated such and such", which caused the other guy "ejaculate so and so". Needless to say it created a very strange visual for a late 20th century English speaking reader!


For example, in Old Polish language
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Polish_language
Word "kutas" was used for decorative tassels attached to
Pas Konuszowy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pas_kontuszowy
It was it was distinctive item of clothing Polish nobleman, and the word "kutas" was still used until XIX (Poland doesn't exist at sovereign state at that time period but that sad detail"

Our Polish national poet, author of the Polish national epic "Pan Tadeusz" tells the story of a young Polish nobleman Tadeusz Soplica, from which epic took its title, which is involved in the preparations for the invasion of Russia at the side of the great Polish friend, Napoleon Bonaparte.

But that's not it one of the scenes describes the outfit of our main character, among other things, a belt with "kutases"
there would be no wonder if not the fact that the Polish language, like any other language in the world is evolving, and the confluence of the time the word "kutas" has changed its meaning and is now a vulgar term for male penis and means as much as "DICK" :D :mrgreen:

I do not have to forget that the young students (usually 13-15 years old kids because it's in learning program for that age during Polish language lessons, instead read with anointing the greatest Polish epics can not stop the laughtercoming to this passage



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07 Nov 2016, 9:19 pm

pawelk1986 wrote:
I'm Polish i learned English as foreign language.

I remember when i was during English lesson learned new word "pollution" i cannot stop laugh because in Polish we had word "Polucja" for nocturnal emission, when i talked about it with my friends, we cannot stop poking fun of it :mrgreen:


Poland stronk.



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08 Nov 2016, 1:34 am

The most confusing thing is possibly the use of prepositions. They can be so different from what I'm used to that I can't even guess. That's one of the hardest things really.

One funny thing is how objects sit in English.
The car sits in the parking lot.
Yeah, just how does it do that?
In Norwegian, objects usually either stand or lie, which makes more sense. A book can both lie and stand, depending on its angle. It cannot sit however.


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25 Nov 2016, 1:58 pm

Revenant (as in the movie, The Revenant) I have never heard the word until the movie came out. Is it even a real word, and what does it mean?