English words in English

Ronald Kephart (rkephart@OSPREY.UNF.EDU)
Fri, 30 Aug 1996 12:11:17 -0400

Iain Walker wrote:
> I wonder how many words in the English language _aren't_ derived from
> other languages. The list would be very short. I think "okay" would
> qualify. :^)

According to Language Files (6th ed, 1994, Ohio State U Linguistics Department)
the sources of the 1000 most frequently used words of Contemporary English break
out as follows (I have rounded off the numbers):

Anglo-Saxon 62%
French 31%
Latin 3%
Scandinavian 2%
Other 2%

Ronald Kephart
University of North Florida