Can words be borrowed from “dead” languages?

1 Answer



When I first read this question, I had to ask myself what is meant by the word "borrowed". Does "borrow" indicate a word that was originally from a dead language (say, Latin) but has been included as a valid word in the English language? Or does "borrow" indicate a word that can be used on a one-time basis?

And then I realized that it really didn't matter - the answer is yes - words from other languages, including dead ones, can migrate into usage in English.

And there are words in the English language that were originally Latin. For example:

"I stepped off the plane onto "terra firma"!

"it's nothing, a non-issue!"

And so on. Below is a link to 100 words in Latin, some more common and some less so, but it's a start to look what has made the migration from one language to another.