Tuesday, 22 September 2009


I came across a new word today, one I simply have to have, because it says something so economically. It's lagniappe and I saw it at Language Log.

It means something thrown in as a free extra. It's pronounced lan-yap and comes from the US, from American French, via American Spanish, from Quechua.
Merriam-Webster dates it from 1844

I'll be looking for a chance to use it.


Mary said...

Speaking of new words, recently I heard a word spoken that I had only ever read and was surprised by it - then I realised I had no preconceived notion of how to say it. Sigil. It was said with a soft g.

parlance said...

I've never heard it said, either. Interesting. Presumably the speaker knew how to say it.

I've read somewhere that lots of words are changing their pronunciation because people are reading them rather than hearing them said, so they just say them how the letters sound.