7 words whose history will be curious to find out even those who consider themselves to be an intellectual

Academic minds involved in the study of the Russian language believe that the share of borrowed words is at least 65%. Borrowing is so firmly established that some seem to be originally Russian, while others have replaced Russian words because of their universality.

We shop in boutiques and shops, do fitness in the gym, wear T-shirts, jeans, coats and shoes, and after work we meet with a company in a bistro or pub. Only in this sentence of 11 borrowings, their meaning is extremely understandable to everyone, and the history of origin is not of particular interest. However, there are words about which we guess a foreign ancestry, but their history is so unique that even those who consider themselves to be an intellectual will be curious to know it.

A restaurant

Until the middle of the 18th century, public catering places in Europe were called taverns, and in Russia they were called taverns. The first restaurant called the restaurant opened in 1765 in Paris. Its owner, Monsieur Boulanger, placed a sign in Latin above the entrance, which said that the institution serves a health-improving dish. This dish was the usual meat broth, and the verb restorer, from which the word restaurant originated, means to restore. The institution of Master Boulanger quickly became popular and restaurants began to appear in all the cities of old Europe. In Russia, the first restaurant opened in 1874.


Of course, everyone is clear that orange is a borrowed word. But not everyone knows what appeared in the 17th century, when Portuguese traders began to bring gold apples from the Middle Kingdom to Holland. When buyers asked merchants where the apples came from, the Portuguese honestly answered that they were from China. This is how the word orange came from the merger of the Dutch words appel (apple) and Sien (China). The word arrived in Russia also with merchant ships under Peter I.

Railway station

And this word, which many consider to be Russian, has English origin and a very interesting history. It is believed that a small London amusement park "Vauxhall", which was run by a certain Jane Vox, impressed Tsar Nicholas I so much that he opened a similar establishment in Pavlovsk and invited the British to build a railway station. Soon the word vauxhall was adapted for Russian hearing and turned into a voxal, in this version it is found in the works of Pushkin and Dostoevsky. Subsequently, each station began to be called the station, by analogy with the French borrowing hall. This theory is refuted by modern researchers, stating that the railway station in Pavlovsk appeared much earlier than the Voxal entertainment institution was attached to it. Scientists note that in English there are several meanings of the word vauxhall, such as a public entertainment place, a courtyard, and a building where passengers await the arrival of a train. Thus, neither Jane Vox nor the London amusement park may have anything to do with the word train station.

Silhouette, chauvinism and hooligans

Mr. Étienne de Silhouette was one of the high-ranking officials in the 18th century France who controlled financial operations and was distinguished by his stinginess. In one of the Parisian publications on the odious minister was published a caricature depicting the outlines of his figure. Thanks to this publication, the official’s name has become a word that has entered our lexicon.
Nicolas Chauvin became famous for his zeal, he climbed out of the way to oblige Napoleon, and expressed fierce patriotism in high-flown speeches glorifying France. From the name of this soldier comes the word chauvinism.
The Hooligan family, led by violent Patrick, who terrorized the British town of Southwestern in the 19th century, engaged in robberies against fellow citizens. Hooligans also liked to make drunken fights and for the fun of breaking windows in neighboring houses. The surname has become a common name and has become truly world-wide, becoming a synonym for a person who grossly violates the norms of public morality and the law.


This word, which refers to annoying email and sms advertising, appeared in 1936 and initially had nothing to do with advertising. A popular American manufacturer of canned meat began to produce beef called SPAM, which was an acronym for the words spiced ham. Tasty jars filled the windows of European stores, and in the early 1970s, Terry Gilliam, the ingenious founding father of Flying Circus, presented a different meaning to the name of canned food. In one of their funniest sketches, the Pythonites have used this word more than a hundred times, beating the scene in a cafe, where visitors are offered dishes containing SPAM canned food. The action, turned into chaos, brought the audience to hysterics, and after a few days the name of canned meat became synonymous with the imposed and unnecessary information.