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False Friends. By: Mikey Ventura. What is a False Friend?. “False friends are pairs of words in two languages (or letters in two alphabets) that look and/or sound similar, but differ in meaning”(Wikipedia). Causes.

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False friends

False Friends

By: Mikey Ventura

What is a false friend
What is a False Friend?

  • “False friends are pairs of words in two languages (or letters in two alphabets) that look and/or sound similar, but differ in meaning”(Wikipedia)


  • When one language borrows words from another language, then the meaning of the word gets altered or gains additional meaning. (Cognates)

  • Over time shifts in pronunciation occur( such as Grimm’s Law), changing the word and creating false friends.

  • Since not all alphabets are the same, when a word gets translated the translation can alter or give the word additional meaning.


  • Cýte- cottage, hut, cabin; cell, cubicle

  • fetel - belt

  • Hagostealdmon (Bachelor)- A young knight, not old enough, or having too few vassals, to display his own banner, and who therefore followed the banner of another; a novice in arms

  • Cyst- free-will, choice, election; w. gen pl the best of anything, the choicest; picked host; moral excellence, virtue, goodness; generosity, munificence

  • Heard- hard, harsh, severe, stern, cruel (things and persons); strong, intense, vigorous, violent; hardy, bold; resistant; 2. hard object


  • Angel- (angles/anglas) angle, hook, fish-hook, fishing hook

  • átending - incentive

  • Gang- going, journey, progress, track, footprint; flow, stream, step, way, passage, course, course (of time), path, bed; passage, drain, privy; pl steps, platform, stage; legal process

  • Léaf- leave, permission, privilege

  • Léasere- liar, hypocrite; buffoon, mime, jester, fool


  • Gál- lust, luxury, wantonness, lightness, folly, levity; 2. gay, light, pleasant, wanton; proud, wicked, licentious

  • Cræft -physicalstrength

  • Cálend- 1. a month; 1a. the beginning of a month; 2. 2 the appointed time or day of life, span of line

  • Gyru- muddy

  • Lyft- air, sky, clouds, atmosphere; on high, aloft

  • Píe- parasite, an insect