25 Words That Are The Same In Two Languages (But Mean Different Things )

angie.rentzou
angie.rentzou

Learning about how different words function in different languages has always genuinely excited me. For example, my name – Maya – means “water” in a few languages, but means allusion in another language. Though this list probably won’t make you bilingual and you won’t walk away from it with enough linguistic knowledge to carry on a conversation in a non-English speaking country, it will satisfy you with interesting and potentially useless information. And, on the plus side, it will at least ensure you don’t accidentally call someone something very unsavory in another language.

Someone recently posed the question on Reddit, “Do you know any words which are the same in at least 2 languages, but has completely different meanings in each?” The Ask Reddit community came up with tons of answers, some of which revolve around what English words mean “dick” or “asshole” in another language. Here are 25 words that are the same in multiple languages, but have different meanings:

1.
“‘Gift’
English: a present
German: poison
Norwegian: married
same spelling, different pronunciation.” – picnic_on_the_river

2.
“‘Slut’ is Swedish for ‘the end'” – HamBus

3.
“Banal means ‘boring’ in English, ‘holy’ in Filipino.” – danyexmachina

4.
“Thongs in English means scanty female underwear.
Thongs in Australian means footwear (flip-flops).” – Obnubilate

5.
“‘Kwiecień” means ‘April’ in Polish.
‘Květen’ means “May” in Czech.
People from both countries miss A LOT of meetings because if it.” – filiard

6.
“‘It’s been years since I studied Spanish but I know gato(sp?) means cat but in French, gateux (pronounced almost exactly the same) means cake.'” – SensualHandSoap

7.
“I know that in European french gosse means kid, but in Canadian French it means testicle. I imagine that it could cause some confusion. e.g. ‘I have 3 gosses'” – B_Hallzy

8.
“Si, no in Swahili, yes in Spanish” – icsquirrel

9.
“Cook means dick in Norwegian, and vise versa” – HitMeSenpai

10.
“‘no’ means yes in Czech (shortened from ‘ano’ but you hear it all the time).” – Wickedmoose

11.
“Ano in Spanish is anus” – Seychel

12.
“Ano in Portuguese is year” – je316

13.
“Taco in Japanese means octopus. Key (気) means spirit/atmosphere/flavor No is a particle roughly meaning “belongs to” or “of.” Bun (文) means letter, sentence. Go ( 五) is five and man (万) is ten thousand. Pan is bread. Show (書) is handwriting. Eye (愛) is love.
There’s probably a bunch more, that’s just off the top of my head.” – akisawana

14.
“Zip in English is what holds pants together. In Arabic, Zip (pronounced Zib) means penis.” – CaptainShawerma

15.
“DOG IN HEBREW MEANS FISH
DOG IN ENGLISH MEANS CANINE
DOG IN HUMAN MEANS PAL” – ___NOT_A_BOT___

16.
“In Arabic, ‘La’ means ‘No.’ In English, ‘La’ is a note to follow ‘So’ – Be_oh_are_ee_dee

17.
“British/American isms
JELLY UK = Jello or gummy candy
US = Jam/preserves
BOOT UK = back storage of a car or something you wear
US = something you wear
PISSED UK = drunk AF / Angry
US = Angry
LASH / ON THE LASH UK= to party/ to whip
US = to whip
KNOB UK = penis / thing you pull on to open things
US = things you pull on to open things
CHIPS UK = fries
US = crisps / crunchy thin potatoes
BISCUIT UK = cookie/sweet
US = savory dinner bread roll
FOOTBALL UK = soccer / with one’s feet
US = American football – with one’s hands” – Omghimom

18.
“In Russian, Мало (pronounced Malo) means few. In Latin or Spanish, malo means bad.” – aintsuperstitious

19.
“Air in English means the thing we breathe. Air in Malay means water.” – vibinium

20.
“Entrée, which comes from French, means main course in American English. In French, it means appetizer.” – Habtra

21.
“‘And’ in Danish means duck” – 3dogs1bone

22.
“‘Mama (мама)’ in Russian means mother
‘Mama (მამა)’ in Georgian means father” – chilipepe

23.
“Kiss is the Swedish word for pee” – TinyDucklingBigWorld

24.
“‘Confident’ in english means feeling or showing certainty about something
‘konfident’ in polish is a snitch, an informer
So don’t tell a polish person that they’re confident if their English sucks!” – Linoorr

25.
“In Serbian ‘drug’ means ‘friend'”- Remember_the_time_ TC mark

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