Appendix:English words with diacritics

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Below is a list of English language words and phrases that have letters with diacritical marks.

Origins[edit]

Most of the words listed here are loanwords from French, with others coming from Spanish, German, or other languages. Some are however originally English, or at least their diacritics are. One example is the in the now extremely rare variant spellings of words such as coöperation (compare the related French coopération), many of which are normally spelled with a hyphen to separate the two vowels, e.g. co-operation. Some of these spellings are so rare that they cannot be said to be part of the standard language. Very rarely, accents are added when a word is borrowed, such as maté from Spanish mate, which indicates the final "e" is not silent.

A number of the words listed below are proper names.

Spellings of Japanese words like Tōkyō (more commonly seen in English as Tokyo) are borrowed from Hepburn romanization, which is used to transcribe native Japanese words using the Latin alphabet shared by English.

English words where accents carry meaning[edit]

A few English words can only be distinguished (in writing) from others by a diacritic or modified letter, including exposé, lamé, maté, öre, øre, pâté, piqué, rosé. The same is true of résumé, alternately resumé, but nevertheless it is often spelled resume in the US, and saké, which is more commonly spelled sake, and animé (an oleo-resin), as opposed to anime (Japanese animation), which is also occasionally spelled with the diacritic. Generally the different spellings are also pronounced differently. For example, rose has a silent "e" but "rosé" has a final vowel sound.

Usage[edit]

Modern native English words are generally written without any accent marks, and over time anglicization has removed diacritics from certain loan words. English keyboards typically do not have any accent marks, which has accelerated the process. Most, if not all of the words and phrases below are seen in variants without diacritics — even those where an accent mark would disambiguate the meaning — with relative frequency depending on the word and the circumstances. Most readers accept the un-accented version of all these words as not erroneous, even if they are not preferred in a given context.

The one diacritic native to English is the diaeresis. Some publications have style guides which indicate that, for example, "coöperation" is preferred to "cooperation" which is more common in general usage. These include The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Economist, and Technology Review. The variation with the diacritic may be considered archaic by some readers.

Some loan words are almost never written with diacritics. For example, "dépôt" is almost never seen and may be considered an erroneous or foreign-language spelling of the English word "depot". The Spanish word "cañón" has been incorporated into standard English as canyon; "cañón" may be considered a non-English word or confused with the English word canon. In contrast, "El Niño" is typically written with the tilde in professional publications.

Use of diacritics may indicate highly formal writing. For example, "fiancée" is likely to appear instead of "fiancee" on a wedding invitation. Accents can also be used on native English words for reading speeches out loud, for example to distinguish the adjective learnèd from the verb learned.

Diacritics tend to be retained in contexts where the author or the audience is more familiar with the original language a word was borrowed from. For example, English speakers in the French-speaking province of Quebec would be more likely to write "Québec", and "Māori" is common in New Zealand English, but most American authors would write both without diacritics.

Many restaurants that serve the cuisine of a particular culture use foreign-language words from that culture (because there are no English words, to appear sophisticated or authentic, or to demonstrate an affinity for that culture) and are more likely to retain diacritics when using English words from that language. For example, a Swedish buffet might write "smörgåsbord" not "smorgasbord" and there is a particular French dessert called "gâteau nantais". French is often used even in restaurants that do not serve French cuisine, to appear fancy or stylish. For example, a menu at a restaurant serving traditional American food might write "chocolate gâteau" (in French, that would be "gâteau au chocolat") instead of "chocolate cake", and the sign outside might say "café".

Sometimes diacritics are added gratuitously to English words for a Teutonic or even humorous effect. (For example, Blue Öyster Cult and This Is Spın̈al Tap. See metal umlaut on Wikipedia.)

List[edit]

Note: Category:English terms by their individual characters is kept better up-to-date than this list, but this list possibly includes some words that Wiktionary does not yet have as entries (and thus are not in that category).

For some words listed below, usage of diacritics is rare.

A[edit]

à bas, à la, à la carte, à la mode, à gogo, à propos, abacá, abaká, abbé, açaí, adiós, agèd, agrément, aikidō, Åland, ampère, Ancien Régime, André, ångström, animé (the oleo-resin), animēshon (usually anime), áo dài, aperçu, apéritif, appliqué, après-ski, arête, art décoratif, attaché, auto-da-fé

B[edit]

bánh mì, barège, beau idéal, béchamel, belle époque, béguin, bentō, bête noire, bêtise, Beyoncé, Bézier curves, biały, Bichon Frisé, bíró, blasé, blessèd, bobèche, bodegón, boîte, Bokmål, bombé, Bön, bon appétit, Boötes, boutonnière, brassière, bric-à-brac, Brontë, bún

C[edit]

café, cafetería, cafetière, caffè, caïque [-jee], calèche, canapé, cañón (usually canyon), cap-à-pie, Champs-Élysées, château, chargé d'affaires, cause célèbre, chacun à son goût, chaînés, chèvre, Chloë, cinéma, cinéma vérité, Citroën, cliché, cliché-verre, clientèle, comme ci comme ça, cloisonné, compère, consommé, communiqué, confrère, confronté, continuüm (rare), coöperate [-ion, -ive], coöpt, coördinate [-ed, -ing, -ion, -or, -ors], cortège, coup d'état, coup de grâce, coupé, coulée, crèche, crème [-brûlée, -caramel, -de cacao, -de la crème, -de menthe, -fraîche], Créole, crêpe [-paper, -Suzette], crétin [-ism], Creüsa, croûton, crudités, csárdás, Curaçao, cursèd (rare)

D[edit]

Daimyō, daïs, dấu hỏi, débâcle, débris, début, décal [-comania], déclassé, décolletage, décolleté, décor, découpage, dégagé, dégustation, déjà vu, démarche, démodé, dénouement, dépôt, dérailleur, derrière, déshabillé, détente, diamanté, diddé, discothèque, divorcé, divorcée, dōjō, dōmoic acid, Doña, doppelgänger, Dvořák

E[edit]

éclair, éclat, Éire, El Niño, élan, élite, Élysée, émigré, entrée, entrepôt, entrecôte, épaulette, épée, étouffée, étude, exposé

F[edit]

façade, fête, faïence, fiancé, fiancée, filmjölk, fin de siècle, flambé, flèche, föhn, folie à deux, fouetté, frappé, Fräulein, frère, fricassée, Führer

G[edit]

garçon, garçonnière, gâteau, Geiger–Müller counter, gemütlichkeit, genrō, genkō yōshi, Gewürztraminer, ginkyō (usually ginkgo), glacé, glögg, Götterdämmerung, Gruyère, gyōza

H[edit]

habitué, háček, hajdúk, halászlé, hāngi, hapū, Hawaiʻi, hors d'œuvre, hôtel, humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa

I[edit]

ingénue, inrō

J[edit]

jäger, jalapeño, jardinière, jūdō, jūjutsu

K[edit]

kākā, kākāpō, kåldolmar, kamaʻāina, karōshi, kāwanatanga, kendō, kererū, kōan, kōhanga reo, kōji, kōkako, kōrero, króna (Icelandic with accent, Swedish without), kroužek, kūmara, kümmel, kyūdō

L[edit]

lamé, lānai, ländler, langue d'oïl, Laocoön, La Niña, légionnaire, littérateur, lūʻau, lycée

M[edit]

macédoine, macramé, mahātmā, maître d'hôtel, malagueña, Malmö, mañana, manège, manœuvre, manqué, Māori, maté, matériel, matinée, mélange, mêlée, ménage à trois, ménagerie, mésalliance, métier, Métis, México, minaudière, mise en scène, Monégasque, moiré, Montaño, Montréal

N[edit]

naïf, naïve, naïveté, , née, négligée, Neufchâtel, Nez Percé, (usually Noh), Noël, noöne (rare), número uno (Spanish with accent, Italian without)

O[edit]

objet trouvé, Öland, olé, ombré, omertà, oöcyte, oölogy (rare), opéra bouffe, opéra comique, opïum (rare), öre, øre, outré

P[edit]

pączki, pāhoehoe, papier-mâché, páramo, passé, pâté, pāua, phở, pièce de résistance, pied-à-terre, plissé, piña colada, piñata, piñón, piraña (usually piranha), piqué, più, plié, précis, pōhutukawa, pölsa, preëminent [-ly] (rare), preëmpt [-ion, -ive] (rare), prélude, première, première danseuse, prêt-à-porter, protégé, protégée, purée

Q[edit]

Québec, Québécois, quinceañera

R[edit]

ragoût, ragù, raison d'être, rāmen, rātā, recherché, réclame, reconnoître, reëlect [-ed, -ing] (rare), reënter [-ed, -ing] (rare), reëstablish [-ed, -ing] (rare), régime, rędzina (usually rendzina), résumé, residuüm (rare), retroussé, rincón, risqué, rôle, rivière, roman à clef, România, röntgen, rosé, roué

S[edit]

sauté, sayōnara, séance, señor, señora, señorita, senryū, Shintō, shōgun, shōyu, Sinn Féin, Škoda, smörgåsbord, smörgåstårta, soigné, soirée, soufflé, soupçon, sūdoku, sumō, surströmming

T[edit]

table d'hôte, takahē, télécommunication, tennō, tête-à-tête, Thaïs, tōfu, Tōkyō, tōtara, touché, toupée, tourtière

U[edit]

über, Übermensch, ʻukulele

V[edit]

vicuña, Việt Nam, vis-à-vis, voilà

W[edit]

whekī

Z[edit]

Zaïre, Zoë, zoölogy, Zürich, zōri, złoty

See also[edit]