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From wander +‎ word, a calque of German Wanderwort.



wanderword (plural wanderwords)

  1. (linguistics) Synonym of Wanderwort (a loanword that has spread to many different languages, often through trade or the adoption of foreign cultural practices)
    • 1985, A. Richard Diebold, The evolution of Indo-European nomenclature for salmonid fish:
      Considering the mileage it has achieved as a horizon wanderword in divers shapes representable as sV(l)mV(n)-, the Latin salmo (salmonis) cited by Pliny and Ausonius is vexing as regards its etymology, a quality it shares with many other Roman and Greek [...]
    • 1987, Martin Bernal, Black Athena:
      In this general context, Mallory's dismissal (1989, 150) of this “comparison that simply will not go away” as a mere “wander word” clearly illustrates his ideological position.
    • 1997, James P. Mallory; Douglas Q. Adams, Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture:
      It is perhaps, therefore, a late 'wander-word' of the southeast of the IE world, Semitic and Sumerian.
    • 2009, Jopi Nyman, Post-national enquiries:
      Like the static Bangla she describes in the extract above — and like the traditional mother — Mukherjee's wanderwords usually stay at home, in narrative strands set in India, their local colour harmoniously interwoven with her fiction's literary English.

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