Barbarisms


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Barbarisms

 

foreign words and expressions used in speech to describe realia, customs, and so forth of other peoples. Barbarisms may be incompletely assimilated by a language (semantically and sometimes even morphologically and syntactically). As a rule, they are used to express local color in designations of proper nouns (Jean, José), money (dollar, centime), posts and types of people (curé, mayor, gangster), details of everyday life, clothing, decoration, food, or titles (castanets, siuzane, redingote, sherbet, sir), and so on. They are also used to achieve a comic effect (“Avoue, don’t you have a connaissance with some sort of Frenchman?”—D. I. Fonvizin) and, in cases of foreign words, in the hope of displaying one’s education. Among barbarisms, exoticisms—descriptions of realia, usually taken from non-Indo-European languages such as giaour, aul, shalwar—are sometimes distinguished.

V. V. RASKIN

References in classic literature ?
With houses looking on, on every side, save where a reeking little tunnel of a court gives access to the iron gate--with every villainy of life in action close on death, and every poisonous element of death in action close on life--here they lower our dear brother down a foot or two, here sow him in corruption, to be raised in corruption: an avenging ghost at many a sick-bedside, a shameful testimony to future ages how civilization and barbarism walked this boastful island together.
We have yet had no genius in America, with tyrannous eye, which knew the value of our incomparable materials, and saw, in the barbarism and materialism of the times, another carnival of the same gods whose picture he so much admires in Homer; then in the Middle Age; then in Calvinism.
I was, I remember, listening open-eared to all these wonders, for I was young at the time, and this story of an ancient civilisation and of the treasures which those old Jewish or Phoenician adventurers used to extract from a country long since lapsed into the darkest barbarism took a great hold upon my imagination, when suddenly he said to me, 'Lad, did you ever hear of the Suliman Mountains up to the north-west of the Mushakulumbwe country?
Show them the restitution of lost humanity, in the future, by Russian thought alone, and by means of the God and of the Christ of our Russian faith, and you will see how mighty and just and wise and good a giant will rise up before the eyes of the astonished and frightened world; astonished because they expect nothing but the sword from us, because they think they will get nothing out of us but barbarism.
Pfuel and his adherents demanded a retirement into the depths of the country in accordance with precise laws defined by a pseudo-theory of war, and they saw only barbarism, ignorance, or evil intention in every deviation from that theory.
The million years between barbarism and civilization also yawned between them across that narrow gulf of forty feet.
It was as if the Old-World barbarism and the New-World civilization had reconciled their differences by the arbitration of an impartial decay--as is the way of civilizations.
They can't stir up ideas, they haven't an independent forum; they are still in the twilight of barbarism.
And at last he says: "As barbarism crept in they were no longer called Britons, but Welsh, a word derived either from Gualo, one of their dukes, or from Guales, their Queen, or else from their being barbarians.
Here, at least, I was sure that we should find what we sought--and, if not, then all Europe had reverted to barbarism.
In stating my case, I have spoken out of my own sincere respect for the interests of virtue and of learning; out of my own sincere admiration for those young men among us who are resisting the contagion of barbarism about them.
Cadogan Place is the one slight bond that joins two great extremes; it is the connecting link between the aristocratic pavements of Belgrave Square, and the barbarism of Chelsea.