In my last post I pointed out that when we’ve borrowed words into English, we’ve very often dramatially Anglicised their forms. The particular example I used was “bishop” which comes from the Latin episcopus. There are other examples just as shocking, such as “church”, from the Greek kyriake (NOTE1).

A more recent example of such a shift towards a more English model is that exemplified by “garage”. This word has three main ways of being said, approximately: GARRidge, GARaazh, and gaRAAZH. These three forms represent a scale from most anglicised to least (i.e. from least to most closely resembling the original French). As you can tell, the French “zh” sound generally shifts to “j” in English.

Anyway, when a word changes to become more English, this is known as “anglicisation” — which strikes one as a word in serious need of anglicisation itself! So let’s give it a go.

“Anglicisation” means ‘to make more English’. So, “make English”. perhaps. Maybe “englishen” (like “redden” and co.) Or else simply “to english”: verbing the noun as we’re wont to do. But my favourite idea for its funness alone is “bishop-shift”; that is, to shift a word along the same lines as “bishop” itself was. (NOTE 2)

NOTE 1: Granted, this was first borrowed as *kirika and wore down along the same lines as other words, e.g., homeborn “hawk” <hafoc, or “world” <wereld, the unstressed vowels being dropped.

NOTE 2: Maybe “to english” could be “anglicise”, but “bishop-shift” could be “naturalise” (of a word)!

© 2012 – 2014 Bryan A. J. Parry

9 Responses to Bishop-shifting

  1. Amidstmost says:

    Rather than through Normans and Plantagenats, how many nowadays FLaG words are from inkhorning?

    Where shown to be most needed, why can’t we straightforwardly inkhorn: Danish, Icelandic, Norn, Norwegian etc words and give them a good old Englishening?

    Whatever the % of English is from FLaG inkhorning, I would also like to see the likewise % from Norse inkhorning.

    • bryanajparry says:

      Hi Amidstmost, what are you saying exactly? Personally, I’m not in favour of a Germanising or Germanicising Anglish, altho the northern languages can be a useful model or source of ideas. Also, I’m slightly curious as to your use of the term “inkhorn”; could you please say that but in Standard “FLaG” English?

  2. Amidstmost says:

    Hi Bryan, “inkhorning” is all about those whom have and whom would ‘rather speak fair than homely’…

    • bryanajparry says:

      Hi Amidstmost, I know what “inkhorn” is. I’m saying that I don’t understand why you are using it as you are; specifically, this is in reference to the sentence, “[…]I would also like to see the same % from Norse inkhorning”. Technically, if it is from Norse, it wouldn’t be inkhorn, surely.

  3. […] like persimmon (although, granted, many roots are ultimately borrowed, but have been “bishop-shifted” a.k.a. Anglicised, e.g., […]

  4. […] written thing’. It’s also interesting to note that “logo” is therefore a bishop-shifting of the word “logogram”. So “logo[gram]” is not homeborn English. What […]

  5. […] a “lav/lavvy” or a “loo“. The former comes from Latin lavatorium, but is a bishop-shifting thereof, so isn’t too bad. And the latter’s birth is unclear, but may be a pun on […]

  6. […] borrowed would be more obviously French as they would have had less time to become Anglicised, aka, bishop-shifted. Set English adventure, menu, and point by Swedish aventyr, meny, and poäng, for example. The […]

  7. […] English forms were more English-sounding: skelton and skelet. These would make excellent bishop-shifted forms. But could we come up with a wholly English form […]

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