Same word - different meaning


There are many similarities between Europe’s languages with words in one language used with the same or similar spelling and meaning in another language. However, in this section we highlight some of the ‘false friends’, where words often represent something quite different to what you expect!


Word Language 1 Meaning Language 2 Meaning
aloud Dutch ancient English aloud
angel Dutch sting English angel
angel German fishing rod English angel
any English any Catalan year
arm Dutch poor English arm
bad Dutch bath English bad
bank Dutch cough English bank
barn Swedish children English barn
bat Polish whip English bat
beer Dutch bear English beer
berros Spanish watercress Portuguese scream
big Dutch baby pig English big
blubber Dutch mud English blubber
bra Swedish good English bra
brand Dutch fire English brand
brat Slovak brother English brat
burro Italian butter Spanish donkey
but Polish shoe English but
cap Romanian head English cap
car French because English car
chariot French trolley English chariot
chips French Crisps English chips / french fries
dobro Croation good Portuguese double; twice
door Dutch through English door
elf English elf German eleven
farmer English farmer Hungarian jeans
fart Swedish speed English fart
fart Polish good luck English fart
fast German almost English quick
Fisch - fiche German fish French sheet of paper
flint Swedish bald head English flint
four French oven English four
gap Swedish mouth English gap
gift English gift German poison
gift English gift Swedish married
gift English gift Norwegian poison
gland French acorn English gland
glass Swedish ice-cream English glass
grad German degree Bosnian city
gris Spanish grey Swedish pig
helmet Finnish pearls English helmet
home Finnish mould English home
home Catalan man English home
kaka Icelandic cake Bulgarian an older sister
kiss English kiss Swedish pee
largo Portuguese wide Spanish long
list Slovak a leaf English list
maize Latvian bread English corn
mås Swedish seagull Danish buttocks
matka Czech mother Finnish journey
matto Finnish carpet Italian crazy
otrok Slovene child Slovak slave
pain French bread English pain
panna Polish a single woman Italian cream
panna Finnish put Italian cream
pasta Italian noodles Polish toothpaste
penner Norwegian pens German tramp
plot Czech fence English plot
prego Italian you're welcome Portuguese nail
privet Russian hello (привет) English name for a plant (genus Ligustrum)
rana Spanish frog Bulgarian wound
rana Romanian wound Spanish frog
rock Swedish coat English rock
rock English rock German skirt
roof Dutch robbery English roof
rooster Dutch schedule English rooster
rot (рот) German red Russian mouth
rum Swedish room English rum
sale Italian salt English sale
sau German sow Norwegian (Nynorsk) sheep
seis Finnish stop! Spanish six
sky Swedish gravy English sky
slim Dutch smart English slim
stol (стол) Russian table Bulgarian chair
sugar Basque flame English sugar
sugar Romanian baby (0-12 months old) English sugar
tak Danish Thank you Polish Yes
tie Finnish way; road English tie
tuna Spanish cactus English tuna
tuna Czech ton (a unit of weight) English tuna
vela Spanish candle Italian sail
worst Dutch sausage English worst
Informāciju un piemērus, kas ievietoti šajā lapas sadaļā, ir sagatavojis Ādams Žako de Buano (Adam Jacot de Boinod).

 

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