Tag Archives: False Cognate

Beware of false linguistic friends

Similar in spelling but different in meaning, false cognates can be sources of embarrassment and laughter when unleashed. As I work on making travel reservations for a coming trip to Italy, I’m reminded of a verbal blunder I once made while corresponding with the proprietor of a bed and breakfast. After agreeing on the dates and cost, I asked how I could send the deposit. I didn’t know the word for deposit and didn’t want to take the time to look it up, so I just called it the deposito, because I was pretty sure I had heard that word …

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