List of English words of Hungarian origin

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This is a partial list of known or supposed Hungarian loanwords in English:

biro 
From László Bíró, the Hungarian inventor of the ballpoint pen.[1] Bíró originally means judge.
coach 
From kocsi, a horse‐drawn wagon with springs above the axles. Named after the village of Kocs in which this type of vehicle was invented. The verb 'to coach' is also derived from this root.[2]
czardas 
From csárdás, a Hungarian folk dance. Csárda also means 'tavern'.
Dobos torte or Dobosh 
From Dobos torta, "Dobos cake". After confectioner József C. Dobos. Dobos originally means drummer.
fogas[3] 
an Eastern European species of fish (Sander lucioperca), cf. zander.
forint[4] 
the currency of Hungary since 1946, originally derived from Italian "fiorino," name of the Florentine currency. Cognate with English "florin" (see also pengő)
friska
From friss, a fast section of music, often associated with czardas dances (cf. lassan).
goulash 
From gulyás, a type of stew known in Hungarian as gulyás. In Hungary, 'gulyásleves' is a soup dish; leves meaning soup. Gulyás also means 'herdsman' dealing with cattle, as the noun gulya is the Hungarian word for cattle herd. (This can cause confusion with native Hungarian speakers, as Hungarians generally understand unqualified "gulyás" to mean "gulyásleves", the soup, instead of referring to the international goulash as "pörkölt".)
hajduk
From hajdúk, "bandits". Outlaw, guerilla fighter. The original Hungarian meaning was "cattle drover".
halászlé
, or Fisherman's Soup, a very hot and spicy river fish soup with a lot of paprika. (The actual Hungarian halászlé is not always made with hot paprika, unlike the internationally-known soup.)
hussar 
From Hungarian huszár, a light cavalry soldier. The Hungarian word originally meant "freebooter" and was further derived via Old Serbian husar, gusar, gursar ("pirate") from Italian corsaro ("pirate"), i.e. the same root as that of English corsair.[5]
Itsy-bitsy 
is sometimes linked to Hungarian ici-pici ("tiny") by popular sources,[6][7][8] but is regarded as an unrelated English formation by English dictionaries.[9]
komondor 
A big Hungarian breed of livestock guardian dog, looking like a big mop, always white.
kuvasz 
A big Hungarian breed of shepherd dog, always white.
lassan
From lassú, "slowly". a slow section of music, often associated with czardas dances (cf. friska).
palacsinta 
a form of pancake popular throughout central Europe
paprika 
a spice produced from the ground, dried fruits of Capsicum annuum, a red pepper
pengő[10] 
the currency of Hungary between 1925 and 1946 (cf. forint).
puli 
A small Hungarian breed of shepherd dog, also looking like a mop, usually black or white.
pusta or puszta[11]
From puszta, a kind of Hungarian steppe.
rezbanyite[12] 
a mineral (consisting of lead, copper, and bismuth sulfide), named after Rézbánya ("copper mine")
sabre (UK) or saber (US)
From French (sabre, sable), ultimately from an unknown source in a language of Eastern origin, possibly through Hungarian szablya.[13]
shako or tsako 
From csákó süveg, 'peaked cap', a stiff military hat with a high crown and plume.[14]
tokaji or tokay[15] 
From tokaji aszú, the name of the wine from Tokaj, the centre of the local wine-growing district Tokaj-Hegyalja.[7]
vashegyite[16] 
a mineral (hydrated basic aluminum phosphate), named after Vashegy ("iron mountain"), the old Hungarian name for the village of Železník, Slovakia where it was discovered.[16][17]
verbunkos 
a Hungarian men's folk dance and musical style (itself coming from German Werbung - meaning "military recruitment" here).[citation needed]
vizsla or vizla
From vizsla, a Hungarian breed of hunting dog.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. "biro".
  2. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. "coach".
  3. ^ Merriam-Webster, s.v. "fogas".
  4. ^ Merriam-Webster, s.v. "forint".
  5. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. "hussar".
  6. ^ György Tímár, Magyar eredetű idegen szavak / foreign words of Hungarian origin, Édes Anyanyelvünk (Our Loved Vernacular) Magazine, 3. 1999.
  7. ^ a b Oksana Buranbaeva, Vanja Mladineo, Culture and Customs of Hungary, ABC-CLIO, 2011, p. 59
  8. ^ Richard S. Esbenshade, Hungary, M. Cavendish, 1994. p. 77
  9. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. "itsy-bitsy"; Oxford Dictionary of English (2005), s.v. "itsy-bitsy"; Online Etymological Dictionary [1].
  10. ^ Merriam-Webster, s.v. "pengö".
  11. ^ Merriam-Webster, s.v. "puszta".
  12. ^ Merriam-Webster, s.v. "rezbanyite".
  13. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. "sabre".
  14. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. "shako".
  15. ^ Merriam-Webster, s.v. "tokay".
  16. ^ a b Merriam-Webster, s.v. "vashegyite".
  17. ^ Mindat.org, the location Železník (Vashegy), Slovakia.