Linguistic anglicisation (or anglicization, occasionally anglification, anglifying, or Englishing) is the practice of modifying foreign words, names, and phrases in order to make them easier to spell, pronounce, or understand in English.[1][2] The term commonly refers to the respelling of foreign words, often to a more drastic degree than that implied in, for example, romanisation. One instance is the word "dandelion", modified from the French dent-de-lion ("lion's tooth", a reference to the plant's sharply indented leaves). The term can also refer to phonological adaptation without spelling change: spaghetti, for example, is accepted in English with Italian spelling, but anglicised phonetically.

The anglicisation of non-English words for use in English is just one case of the more widespread domestication of foreign words that is a feature of many languages, sometimes involving shifts in meaning.

The term does not cover the unmodified adoption of foreign words into English (e.g. kindergarten); the unmodified adoption of English words into foreign languages (e.g. internet, computer, web), or the voluntary or enforced adoption of the English language or of British or American customs and culture in other countries or ethnic groups, also known as social and economic anglicisation.

Modified loan words

Non-English words may be anglicised by changing their form and/or pronunciation to something more familiar to English speakers. Changing grammatical endings is especially common. The Latin word obscenus /obskeːnʊs/ has been imported into English in the modified form "obscene" /obˈsiːn/. The plural form of a foreign word may be modified to fit English norms more conveniently, like using "indexes" as the plural of index, rather than indices, as in Latin. The word "opera" (itself the plural form of the Latin word opus) is understood in English to be a singular noun, so it has received an English plural form, "operas". The English word "damsel" is an anglicisation of the Old French damoisele (modern demoiselle), meaning "young lady". Another form of anglicising is the inclusion of a foreign article as part of a noun (such as alkali from the Arabic al-qili). "Rotten Row", the name of a London pathway that was a fashionable place to ride horses in the 18th and 19th centuries, is an adaptation of the French phrase Route du Roi. The word "genie" has been anglicized via Latin from jinn or djinn from Arabic: الجن‎, al-jinn originally meaning demon or spirit. Some changes are motivated by the desire to preserve the pronunciation of the word in the original language, such as the word "schtum", which is phonetic spelling for the German word stumm, meaning silent.[3]

The word "charterparty"[a] is an anglicisation of the French homonym charte partie;[b] the "party" element of "charterparty" does not mean "a party to the contract".

The French word "homage" was introduced by the Normans after 1066,[c] and its pronunciation became anglicised as /ˈhɒmɪdʒ/, with stress on the first syllable; but in recent times showbusiness and Hollywood have taken to pronouncing "homage" in the French fashion, rhyming with "fromage".[citation needed]