The Aboriginal Mbabaram word for dog is “dog”. This type of coincidence is called a “false cognate” and there are many occurrences throughout the world.
“Huh?” is a universal word and is found in roughly the same form and function in spoken languages across the globe.
A nightmare refers to a literal night mare: a “mare” is a demon which gives you bad dreams.
The word Maverick comes from Samuel Maverick, a 19th century Texan who refused to brand his cattle.
The word Saudade, a Portuguese word with no English translation, means the empty sadness and longing for that which may never return that accompanies nostalgia.
The feeling you get when you say a word over and over until it stops sounding like a real word is called Jamais Vu.
Many words used to be spelled phonetically (e.g. debt was ‘det’) until some scholars purposely added silent letters to make them look more like Greek or Latin words, sometimes erroneously.
The original word for “bear” (the animal) has been lost. Superstitious people in medieval times thought that saying the ferocious animal’s name would summon it, so they used a euphemism that meant “the brown one” (“bear”) … The original word was never recorded, so it remains a mystery.
The word Mortgage is a French Law term meaning “death pledge”. It doesn’t refer to the person (like a pledge to pay until death) or anything sinister like that. It refers to the fact that the deal “dies” either when payments cease or the principle is paid.