Many Hungarian words are taken from different languages. There are also words of French, Turkish and German origin. Of course, many Hungarian words have English origins. But is there a reverse way, are there words in English with Hungarian origins? The answer is yes, and in this article we present some of them.
László József Bíró lived between 1899 and 1985. He was a Hungarian journalist, painter and inventor. His best-known invention was the ballpoint pen. Others had experimented earlier, but László Bíró was responsible for the spread and development of the modern instrument. Bíró recognised that the ink used to print newspapers dried faster and remained on the paper without smudging. Thus Bíró’s name became synonymous with the ballpoint pen.
The Csárdás is a traditional Hungarian folk dance. The name comes from the word csárda, meaning tavern. The Csárdás is the most characteristic Hungarian dance style. The dance originated in Hungary but quickly became popular in the surrounding regions. The origin of the dance dates back to the 18th century. The Csárdás is characterised by the alternation of rhythm. After a slow tempo start comes the fast, happy part. The musical themes of the couples’ dance were used in the music of Ferenc Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Johannes Brams and others.
This form of light cavalry armoury developed in Hungary in the 15th century. The lightly armed hussars struck the first blow at their opponents by breaking out of the ring of shields. Many believe it derives from the Hungarian word ‘húsz’. In the time of King Matthias, twenty to twenty serfs were required to add one soldier to the king’s army. However, linguists deny this.
Read alsoHungarian words that do not exist in English
Several linguistic sources confirm that the Hungarian term ici-pici became the English itsy-bitsy. It is said to have been popularised by members of the Hungarian film crew in Hollywood in the 1930s.
Everyone knows the famous Hungarian paprika. Paprika is of great importance in Hungarian gastronomy. There are a few similarities between paprika and chilli. In many languages, there is no distinction between pepper and paprika. In Hungary, it began to be used in the Middle Ages instead of the expensive pepper. The word pepper comes from the South Slavic word papar, paparka, then paprika, which became paparka with the diminutive. It also became the starting point for international usage.
Read alsoEnglish words that are derived from the Hungarian language — Part II
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