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Alternative forms[edit]


wander +‎ word, calque of German Wanderwort.


wanderword (plural wanderwords)

  1. (linguistics) A loanword which has spread to many different languages.
    • 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.

See also[edit]