Echoes of English

Anglicisms in Minor Speech Communities – with Special Focus on Danish and Afrikaans

by Henrik Gottlieb (Author)
Monographs 522 Pages


In today’s world, the English language exerts an unprecedented influence internationally, and its echoes are present in almost all languages. These echoes, also known as Anglicisms, are no longer limited to English-sounding loanwords. The English impact includes a wide range of linguistic phenomena, all of which are discussed in this book, presenting a taxonomy accommodating all types of linguistic outcome of contact with English. While the outlook remains international, the focus is on Danish and Afrikaans, two Germanic languages spoken in societies with very different histories involving English. A number of chapters present diachronic corpus studies showing that the English influence on Danish in the 21st century resembles the impact felt by Afrikaans speakers already in the 20th century.
"The book is highly original and differs markedly from other works on Anglicisms. For instance, the author takes advantage of his knowledge of the field of translation studies to write a thought-provoking chapter on translation (including subtitling and dubbing) as a vector for English influence. The initial chapters give the state of the art in studies on Anglicisms on the world stage (not just for Danish), drawing on the work of many scholars, expressed in a multitude of languages. The argumentation of the book is based on hands-on research, much of which was carried out by the author himself. The style is an excellent compromise: a measured, authoritative language with a bright conversational lift. It will appeal to both students and a broader readership."
John Humbley, Professor emeritus, Université Paris Diderot

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Preface
  • Contents
  • List of tables and figures
  • Chapter 1: The notion of ‘Anglicism’: When definitions disagree
  • 1. English: from first language to first second language
  • 2. Coming to terms: English dictionaries and the notion of Anglicism
  • 3. Defining ‘Anglicism’ in contact linguistics
  • 4. Anglicisms as neologisms
  • 5. The notion of ‘language contact’
  • 5.1. Personal contact
  • 5.2. Impersonal contact
  • 5.2.1. Cultural exports I: Original products
  • 5.2.2. Cultural exports II: Translated products
  • 5.2.3. Cultural exports III: Partially translated products
  • 6. Defining ‘sources’: Where do words come from?
  • 6.1. Anglicisms and their disputed etymology
  • 7. The charm of Anglicisms: Should they make sense?
  • 8. The fate of Anglicisms in recipient languages
  • 8.1. The semantic functions of Anglicisms
  • 9. Dictionaries – and Anglicisms – compared
  • 9.1. General evaluation: size, scope, contents
  • 9.2. Relay Anglicisms in the six dictionaries
  • 10. The six dictionaries as tools for assessing the impact of English
  • Chapter 2: Analyzing Anglicisms
  • 1. Toward a systematic approach to Anglicisms
  • 2. Metaphors we die by: The English killer and the flood of Anglicisms
  • 3. Danish attitudes to English and Anglicisms
  • 4. Getting the definition right
  • 5. Creating a taxonomy of Anglicisms
  • 5.1. Active Anglicisms
  • 5.2. Reactive Anglicisms
  • 5.3. Code-switching
  • 6. Anglicisms: Cuckoos or multiple births? Some Danish examples
  • 7. Survival of the fittest? A hierarchy of success
  • 8. Not all is English that glitters
  • Chapter 3: Anglification through translation
  • 1. Foreignization: The Trojan horse in translation (studies)?
  • 2. Domestication vs. foreignization: A matter of degrees
  • 3. English and the lopsidedness of translation: A quantitative overview
  • 4. The impact of translation(s) from English
  • 5. The notion of ‘minor language’ and the size of English
  • 6. Relay translation: a symptom of imbalance
  • 7. Translationese: definitions and ramifications
  • 7.1. Translationese in the making: Studying a Danish literary translation
  • 7.2. Translationese via dubbing and subtitling: different modes, same effect?
  • 8. Subtitling: introducing or limiting Anglicisms in Danish?
  • 9. Monosemiotic media: Anglicisms gaining ground in original texts
  • 10. Epilogue: Beyond translation
  • Chapter 4: The spread of Anglicisms in Danish
  • 1. Worrying about the influence of English
  • 2. Measuring Anglicism richness
  • 3. Counts of Anglicisms in post-2000 Danish lexis
  • 4. Anglicism density studied
  • 4.1. Existing studies
  • 4.2. The Danish newspaper study
  • 4.3. Data gathering and short overview of results
  • 4.4. The newspaper data: genres and types of English influence
  • 4.5. Pragmatic borrowings: The ultimate type of Anglicism?
  • 4.6. Danish print media’s use of Anglicisms in 2014 vs. 2000
  • 5. Modest numbers, great effects
  • Chapter 5: Danish Anglicisms - Invisible successes?
  • 1. The background: English and the world language system
  • 2. English moving from foreign to second language
  • 3. The Danish situation: Anglicisms in an emerging ESL society
  • 4. Looking beneath the surface: ‘Invisible’ multi-word units as a test case
  • 5. Methods and material of this study
  • 5.1. Electronic sources and data gathering
  • 6. The success of non-randomly selected English-based expressions
  • 6.1. i det lange løb < in the long run
  • 6.2. dag ind og dag ud < day in and day out
  • 6.3. få enderne til at mødes < make ends meet
  • 6.4. når det kommer til … < when it comes to …
  • 6.5. det faktum at … < the fact that
  • 6.6. have sex < have sex
  • 6.7. Conclusions regarding the non-random searches
  • 7. Randomly selected English-based constructions: Less successful?
  • 7.1. få tjek på < check out
  • 7.2. fjernundervisning < distance learning
  • 7.3. peppe op < pep up
  • 7.4. opsparinger < savings
  • 7.5. bakke op < back up
  • 7.6. varm kartoffel < hot potato
  • 7.7. Conclusions regarding the random searches
  • 8. The fate of single-word Anglicisms in Danish
  • Chapter 6: Are all Anglicisms pseudo-English? Quantifying pseudo-Anglicisms in Danish
  • 1. Defining pseudo-Anglicisms
  • 2. Pseudo-loans and internationalisms
  • 3. When is a loan ‘false’ or ‘pseudo’?
  • 4. The term ‘borrowing’: Misleading yet useful
  • 5. Pseudo-Anglicisms: Conceived by mistake or for fun?
  • 6. Qualifying and quantifying neologisms
  • 7. Pseudo-Anglicisms: How common are they?
  • 8. Types of pseudo-Anglicisms
  • 8.1. Core vs. peripheral pseudo-borrowings: where to draw the line?
  • 9. Danish pseudo-Anglicisms: Room for systematic observations
  • 9.1. Clippings
  • 9.2. Recombinations
  • 9.3. Neosemantizations
  • 9.4. Mixed categories
  • 9.5. Beyond our categories: vocal pseudo-Anglicisms
  • 10. On finding and counting Danish pseudo-Anglicisms
  • 11. A listing of frequent Danish pseudo-Anglicisms
  • 11.1. Clippings
  • 11.2. Recombinations
  • 11.3. Neosemantizations
  • 11.4. mobbing and whiskers: two Danish examples of neosemantization
  • 11.5. Neosemanticized clippings
  • 12. The nature of Danish pseudo-Anglicisms
  • 13. Are pseudo-Anglicisms passé in Danish?
  • 14. ‘English’ coinages abroad feeding back into English
  • 14.1. Coinages made in Denmark
  • 14.2. Coinages in other speech communities
  • 15. Chinese pseudo-Anglicisms: Defying the local norms of writing
  • 16. Transmitted Anglicisms: Another ‘pseudo’ aspect
  • 17. The future of pseudo-Anglicisms
  • 18. Are all Anglicisms pseudo-English?
  • Chapter 7: From Germanisms to Anglicisms: Shifting loyalties in Danish
  • 1. Linguistic borrowing, a never-ending power play
  • 2. Anglo-Saxons bearing gifts
  • 3. The future of Danish: Use it or lose it
  • 4. “It used to be German”: Before the Anglification of Danish
  • 5. A diachronic comparison of Germanisms and Anglicisms in Danish
  • 5.1. Ten hand-picked Germanisms: the data
  • 5.2. Interpreting the ‘hand-picked’ data
  • 5.3. Twenty randomly selected Germanisms: the data
  • 5.4. Interpreting the ‘random’ data
  • 6. The usefulness of longitudinal studies and the role of German(isms)
  • Chapter 8: English-inspired naming habits in Denmark and beyond: Prestige lost & found
  • 1. Naming habits and the role of English
  • 2. Defining English names
  • 3. Methodology: Statistics, multiple given names and spelling variants
  • 4. English names in America, Britain, and Scandinavia
  • 5. How English and ‘international’ names became mainstream in Scandinavia
  • 6. English names in Europe outside Scandinavia
  • 7. English names outside Europe
  • 8. From babies to entire populations: English names are still rare in Denmark
  • 9. The social connotations of English names
  • 10. English names: From shibboleths to internationalisms
  • 11. The case of William
  • 12. Choosing English names not perceived as English
  • 13. Epilogue: English middle names, Danish storms, and names for English tastes
  • Chapter 9: When English is seen as a threat: The case of South Africa
  • 1. South Africa – a testbed for the advances of English?
  • 1.1. Facts of life in South Africa
  • 1.2. Language equality in South Africa: an illusion?
  • 1.3. Language-political strategies in South Africa
  • 2. The role of English in past and present South Africa
  • 2.1. English in South African media
  • 3. Anglification – and how to assess it
  • 4. The color of Afrikaans
  • 4.1. Demographical facts
  • 4.2. Anglification or petrification?
  • 5. English and Afrikaans: Cohabitation and rivalry
  • 5.1. A historical outline
  • 5.2. Aspects and prospects of Anglification
  • 6. English influence in South Africa: Terms, definitions, and connotations
  • 7. Dictionary definitions of Anglicism: Description vs. prescription
  • 8. Contact-induced change, bilingualism, and convergence
  • 9. The lure of English in South Africa
  • 10. The Anglification of Afrikaans: Attitudes and metaphors
  • 11. Purism and the survival of Afrikaans
  • 12. Outsiders’ attitudes to Afrikaans
  • 13. Standardization and Standard Afrikaans
  • 14. ‘Invisible’ English language features in Afrikaans
  • 15. Internationalisms, Anglicisms, and the role of translations
  • 16. Translationese and domain loss: English for sure
  • 16.1. English influence via newspaper translations
  • 16.2. The English-Afrikaans tug-of-war in the broadcast media
  • 17. English-Afrikaans code-switching
  • 18. Consequences of code-switching in South African media
  • 19. South Africa and beyond
  • Chapter 10: Different Echoes, same English song?
  • 1. A multitude of attitudes and approaches to Anglicisms
  • 2. Danish and Afrikaans: Different histories
  • 3. Anglification: Afrikaans way ahead of Danish
  • 3.1. Language economy
  • 3.2. Hyper-Anglification
  • 3.3. Phonemic imports
  • 3.4. Word (dis)order
  • 3.5. Prepositional choices
  • 3.6. English-induced changes of frequency and/or valency of existing words
  • 3.7. Increasing use of English-based verbs and adjectives
  • 3.8. ‘Bastards’ and tautologies: Ugly, yet hardly ducklings
  • 3.9. English-looking words being revived or boosted
  • 3.10. Loss of semantic distinctions
  • 3.11. Prescriptive attitudes toward English
  • 4. Contemporary Danish between purism and Anglification
  • References
  • Index of Anglicisms
  • Index of Languages
  • Subject index
  • Series index

←14 | 15→

List of tables and figures

Chapter 1: The notion of ‘Anglicism’: When definitions disagree

Table 1: Native speakers of English by 2016

Figure 1: The form ‘Anglicism’ in the GloWbE corpus

Figure 2: The form ‘Anglicisms’ in the GloWbE corpus

Table 2: Integration of Anglicisms – a typology of changes

Table 3: The reasons behind lexical borrowing

Table 4: Standard arguments for and against the use of Anglicisms

Table 5: Historical vs. genetic origins: Danish as a relay language?

Table 6: Raw data on the six dictionaries investigated

Table 7: The types of Anglicisms included in the six dictionaries

Table 8: A fraction of the alphabet compared

Table 9: Relay Anglicisms in the Danish dictionary

Table 10: Relay Anglicisms in the German, Norwegian, and Swedish dictionaries

Chapter 2: Analyzing Anglicisms

Table 1: Key parameters in categorizing Anglicisms

Table 2: Active Anglicisms

Table 3: Reactive Anglicisms

Table 4: Code-switching and domain loss

Figure 1: Early 20th-century Danish written code-switching in advertising

Figure 2: Early 21st-century Danish written code-switching in advertising

Figure 3: The cover of the spring 2015 issue of the Danish Opel magazine

Table 5: Korpus 2000 search for the lemma ‘bivirkning’: first 22 hits of 355

Table 6: Korpus 2000 search for the lemma ‘sideeffekt’: all 22 hits

Table 7: Diachronic overview of ‘bivirkning’ and ‘sideeffekt’

Table 8: Ten randomly selected occurrences of the lemma ‘sideeffekt’ (2015–17)

Table 9: Ten randomly selected occurrences of the lemma ‘bivirkning’ (2015–17)

Table 10: The Anglicism ladder of success

Table 11: Same etymon, different destinies

Table 12: Danish genitive choices with inanimate agents

Chapter 3: Anglification through translation

Table 1: Importance of translations

Table 2: Most common source languages for book translations

←15 | 16→

Table 3: Most common target languages for book translations

Table 4: Importance of English in translation

Table 5: Importance of English translations in Denmark

Table 6: Provenance of books translated into Danish / Dutch

Table 7: Languages translated into Danish (1979–2008)

Table 8: Translations from English in Denmark (2016 estimates)

Table 9: Levels of ‘invisible’ English influence

Table 10: English shining through in retranslation

Table 11: Examples of translationese in Italian dubbing

Figure 1: Danish-Danish subtitling: Only the established Anglicism survives

Figure 2: Intrusive Anglicism replaced by established English calque

Chapter 4: The spread of Anglicisms in Danish

Table 1: The importance of English in Danish neology

Figure 1: Percentages of new English, Italian, French, and Latin loanwords in the German loanword dictionary “Deutsches Fremdwörterbuch” (1988)

Table 2: Berlingske in 2000: 39% of all Anglicisms are pre-1945

Table 3: Berlingske 2014: Only 22% of all Anglicisms are pre-1945

Table 4: Information 2000: 33% of all Anglicisms are pre-1945

Table 5: Information 2014: Only 15% of all Anglicisms are pre-1945

Table 6: Ekstra Bladet 2000: 58% of all Anglicisms are pre-1945

Table 7: Ekstra Bladet 2014: 35% of Anglicisms are (still) pre-1945

Table 8: Danish Anglicisms 2000 vs. 2014: Modest increase?

Table 9: Large increase? Different counting yields different results

Table 10: ‘Invisible’ Anglicisms gaining ground by 2014

Table 11: Does genre matter? (Berlingske 2014)

Table 12: Translations and sports remain first movers

Chapter 5: Danish Anglicisms: Invisible successes?

Figure 1: Concentric circles of English

Table 1: i det lange løb

Table 2: dag ind og dag ud

Table 3: få enderne til at mødes

Table 4: når det kommer til + Noun Phrase

Table 5: det faktum at …

Table 6: have sex

Table 7: Results of the non-random searches focusing on phraseology

Table 8: Random entry 1 – DDO Vol. 1, p. 100: afklare [sort out]

Table 9: Random entry 2 – DDO Vol. 2, p. 200: fjernundervisning [distance learning]

Table 10: Random entry 3 – DDO Vol. 3, p. 300: kolorit [color]

Table 11: Random entry 4 – DDO Vol. 4, p. 400: opsparing [saving(s)]

←16 | 17→

Table 12: Random entry 5 – DDO Vol. 5, p. 500: solidarisk [solidary]

Table 13: Random entry 6 – DDO Vol. 6, p. 600: ømtålelig [delicate; sensitive]

Table 14: Results of the random searches focusing on phraseology

Table 15: Randomly selected Danish single-word items and their synonyms

Table 16: Developments in semantic market share 1995–2015

Chapter 6: Are all Anglicisms pseudo-English? Quantifying pseudo-Anglicisms in Danish

Figure 1: Time Manager™

Figure 2: Danish high-frequency pseudo-Anglicisms

Table 1: Neosemantization criteria

Table 2: Types of pseudo-Anglicism

Table 3: Danish pseudo-Anglicisms: clippings

Table 4: Danish pseudo-Anglicisms: recombinations

Table 5: Danish pseudo-Anglicisms: neosemantizations

Table 6: Danish pseudo-Anglicisms: neosemanticized clippings

Table 7: Danish pseudo-Anglicisms: types

Table 8: Danish pseudo-Anglicisms: dating

Table 9: The development of selected pseudo-Anglicisms in Danish

Figure 3: Danish chocolate with a pseudo-English name

Figure 4: Hybrid English-German wordplay

Figure 5: Pan-European English neologism

Figure 6: A standard Chinese hybrid-character license plate

Chapter 7: From Germanisms to Anglicisms: Shifting loyalties in Danish

Table 1: Competing -isms in Danish: ten manually selected pairs

Table 2: Developments in semantic market share: ten manually selected pairs

Table 3: Competing -isms in Danish (randomly selected, sorted according to word class)

Table 4: Competing -isms in Danish: Sorted according to success of Anglicisms

Figure 1: The late-2018 version of the Danish “Bezzerwizzer” game

Figure 1: The late-2018 version of the Danish “Bezzerwizzer” game

Chapter 8: English-inspired naming habits in Denmark and beyond: Prestige lost & found

Figure 1: The many spellings of Mohammad in Danish society

Figure 2: Spanish-speaking America influencing Scandinavian naming habits

Table 1: Most popular baby names in America and Britain (England and Wales) 2012

←17 | 18→

Table 2: Most popular male baby names in America, Britain, and Scandinavia 2015

Table 3: Most popular female baby names in America, Britain, and Scandinavia 2015

Table 4: Frequency and share of English baby names in Scandinavia (2015)

Table 5: The internationalization / Anglicization of boys’ names: Norway

Table 6: The internationalization / Anglicization of girls’ names: Norway

Table 7: The internationalization / Anglicization of boys’ names: Sweden

Table 8: The internationalization / Anglicization of girls’ names: Sweden

Table 9: The internationalization / Anglicization of boys’ names: Denmark

Table 10: The internationalization / Anglicization of girls’ names: Denmark

Figure 3: Foreign vs. national orthographic variants in Denmark: Two English boys’ names

Figure 4: Foreign vs. national cognate names in Denmark: Two girls’ names

Table 11: Most popular baby names in Germany 2016

Figure 5: The German Kevinometer

Table 12: Most popular baby names in Flanders 2014

Table 13: Most popular baby names in Spain 2015

Table 14: Most popular baby names in Slovenia 2015

Table 15: The names of the Danes in 1971

Table 16: The names of the Danes in 2017

Table 17: The fall and rise of William

Figure 6: The fall and rise of William in the UK

Table 18: Baby boys baptized William across social classes in Århus parishes, Denmark

Figure 7: Ranking of William as Danish baby name 1997–2015

Figure 8: Percentage of Danish baby boys named William 1997–2015

Figure 9: English boys’ names in Denmark 1985–2016: matching curves

Figure 10: Percentage of Norwegian baby boys named William 1880–2015

Figure 11: An English semantic loan meets a German family name

Figure 12: Self-censorship of Danish company name

Chapter 9: When English is seen as a threat: The case of South Africa

Table 1: South African Vital Statistics

Figure 1: Dominant population groups in South Africa

Table 2: Home Languages in South Africa

←18 | 19→

Figure 2: Mapping the majority languages in South Africa

Table 3: Race and home language in South Africa

Table 4: First home language by population group

Table 5: 19th-century Afrikaans anti-English poem

Figure 3: Afrikaans: victimization never forgotten

Table 6: Examples of ‘cognitive’ types of Anglicisms

Table 7: The ‘Anglicism’ concept in English-language reference works

Table 8: The ‘Anglicism’ concept in Dutch reference works

Table 9: The ‘Anglicism’ concept in Afrikaans reference works

Table 10: The ‘Anglicism’ concept in Danish reference works

Table 11: Types of language contact

Figure 4: The term follows the thing: ‘co-existing’ pastry in English and Afrikaans

Table 12: Contemporary attitudes to Anglification: Afrikaans vs. Danish

Table 13: An established English loanword in the South African languages

Figure 5: IsiXhosa-based SABC slogan: “South [Africa] for sure”

Table 14: Anglo-American dominance in intranational communication

Table 15: An example of Afrikaans-based code-switching

Chapter 10: Different Echoes, same English song?

Figure 1: A Danish ‘lockerskab’

Table 1: The success of ‘akavet’

←20 | 21→

Chapter 1: The notion of ‘Anglicism’:
When definitions disagree

1. English: from first language to first second language1

The ‘Echoes of English’ discussed in this book should be seen as waves of impact on languages other than English.2 This impact ranges from individual lexical imports to systemic structural changes in the languages involved. Although this work belongs in the field of contact linguistics, whenever English is involved, the ‘contact’ of that label is a misnomer. In most speech communities, this ‘contact’ is a one-way phenomenon; English is hardly ever impacted by its linguistic counterparts. Rather than ‘contact linguistics’, what we see today between English and practically all other languages is unilateral impact; the term ‘impact linguistics’ might be more true to what is going on between English and the world’s more than 6,000 other languages. But what is meant by ‘English’, and how does that language fare in terms of native speakers?

Ever since the infancy of the former British empire, and especially since the onset of the Hollywood-based American media dominance in the first half of the twentieth century, English has been in a no-lose situation. Still, the increasing use of English must be seen against a backdrop of relative decline in terms of native English speakers. Today, native – or rather, first-language – speakers of English make up a smaller percentage of the world’s population than one or two generations ago. In 1975, about 310 million people out of the global population of 3.9 billion lived in Anglophone countries, amounting to 8.0 percent. In 1999, some 380 million people out of 6.1 billion were English native speakers, constituting only 6.2 percent. By 2016 (partly due to low fertility rates in the Anglosphere,3 a key term here defined as “countries and territories where English is the most spoken home language”, and partly due to the availablity of more reliable figures) this share had dropped, once again, to a mere 5.1% of the total world population ←21 | 22→of 7.3 billion – with some 369 million individual native speakers of English worldwide, as seen in Table 1.6

Table 1: Native speakers of English by 2016

  Population (millions)4 Native English speakers (millions)5
United States 324 256
United Kingdom 64 60
Canada 35 21
Australia 23 18
South Africa 54 5
Ireland 5 5
New Zealand 4 4
Total 509 369

Thus, native English speakers’ share of the global population had decreased by 36 percent over the years 1975 to 2016 – a dramatic development, even considering the ‘stricter’ definition behind the 2016 figures, yet one shared with most other European languages. And, as pointed out already in 1999 by a British linguist (Graddol 1999: 62),

[t];he apparent decline in the position of English native speakers does not necessarily herald a decline in the importance of the English language. The future status of English will be determined less by the number and economic power of its native speakers than by the trends in the use of English as a second language.

Although an ever-increasing share of the world’s population speak English as a foreign or second language, the Anglosphere remains what it was centuries ago; no speech communities have switched to English as their home language in post-colonial days.7 The Anglosphere (still) consists of the USA, (Anglophone) Canada, ←22 | 23→Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand, with the UK as the dominating force in the 19th century, and the US having the upper hand since the early 20th century.

So, rather than impressing the world with its number of native speakers, the real victory for English lies in its importance outside the Anglosphere, i.e. as a default second language, as a lingua franca, and as a major relay language for translators and interpreters. After the demise of the Soviet Union, and with China’s global aspirations and India’s continued emphasis on English, the number of people on this planet for whom the first foreign language is not English, is historically low.8 Today, most of those who (are able to) speak English are native speakers of some other language. In fact, the majority of the world’s population are (at least) bilinguals, and most of these are exposed to English every day – in the shape of (American) brand names, ads and commercials, as well as Anglophone lyrics and titles of all kinds, plus the numerous types of online and broadcast media, including subtitled Anglophone TV and film productions9.

Moreover, a growing international elite read news, technical documentation and books in English, and, last but not least, they communicate in English – often with other non-native speakers. English is now a truly global lingua franca.

The increasing growth and importance of English as a second and foreign language has several communicative and language-political implications, one of which is the topic of this volume: the English influence on other languages – with a special focus on Danish and other Germanic languages, including Afrikaans. Before trying to assess that influence in vivo – which is done in later chapters of this volume – this chapter will conclude with an in vitro investigation of how the English impact is charted in dictionaries of Anglicisms in four Germanic speech communities: Germany, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.10

←23 | 24→

2. Coming to terms: English dictionaries and the notion of Anglicism

Before taking a closer look at these dictionaries of Anglicisms – whose differences turn out to be more striking than their similarities – let us consult a few English-language standard reference works for a definition of the very term ‘Anglicism’.

Starting in America, the 1999 edition of the Random House Webster’s Concise College Dictionary operates with four definitions:

1. a Briticism.

2. an English word, idiom, etc., occurring in or borrowed by another language.

3. the state of being English; characteristic English quality.

4. any custom, manner, idea, etc., characteristic of the English people.

Needless to say, only the second – interlingual – sense of ‘Anglicism’ is of relevance to us here. A similar definition is found in other Anglophone sources, including the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English (third edition, 1995), which offers only one definition:

an English word or expression that is used in another language


ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2020 (May)
English influence Language politics Language change Linguistic borrowing Naming South Africa
Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2020. 522 pp., 69 fig. col., 8 fig. b/w, 65 tables.

Biographical notes

Henrik Gottlieb (Author)

Henrik Gottlieb is an associate professor of English at the University of Copenhagen. He holds an MA in English and Applied Linguistics and a PhD in Translation Studies. He has published widely on the English influence on minor languages, especially Danish, since 1999. In 2008, he lived and guest-lectured in South Africa.


Title: Echoes of English