Oldtajmer, evergrin, rekorder, golman… the world of Balkan pseudo-anglicisms

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Man wearing a white top and a woman in a red, blue, and orange sun dress standing to the right of a 1950s grey Mercedes sports car in the driveway in front of a white house covered by greenery

Did you hear about the man who collects “old-timers”? 👴đŸŊ
Or that Frank Sinatra has many “evergreens”? 🌲
Or the woman who was a rowing “recorder”? â–ļ
Or how the best player on the field was the “goal man”? đŸŽ¯
And how one unfortunate person was a victim of “mobbing” in the workplace? đŸ‘Ĩ

These are all actual examples of sentences I’ve seen in texts from various southeast European countries. Sounds a bit weird, right? đŸ˜ŗ

It’s because all the words in quotation marks in Southern Slavic languages are what are called “pseudo-anglicisms”.

ℹī¸ A “pseudo-anglicism” is “a word in another language that is formed from English elements and may appear to be English, but that does not exist as an English word with the same meaning”.

Pseudo-anglicisms exist in many languages, particularly German, where most of these pseudo-anglicisms originate.

🚩 The problem with these words, as the examples show, is that they sound quite odd when translated on face-value back into English.

So what do these examples actually mean?

🚘 Oldtajmer (i.e. “old-timer”), is a “vintage car” and not American slang for an “old person”

đŸŽŧ Evergrin (i.e. “evergreen”) is a “golden-oldie” or “classic” song or film and not a tree that keeps its green leaves in winter

🏅 Rekorder (i.e. “recorder”) is someone who holds a record (a best-ever performance, especially in a particular sport) and not a woodwind musical instrument or recording device

đŸĨ… Golman (i.e. “goal man”) is a “goalkeeper” or “goalie” and not a man who is focused on goals

đŸ—Ŗī¸ Mobing (i.e. “mobbing”) does not mean “to crowd around someone or into a place in an unruly way” but translates as “bullying”

So when translating into English what seems to be an English word, be certain that it actually is one.

What other pseudo-anglicisms do you know of?