False cognate

False cognates are pairs of words that seem to be cognates because of similar sounds and meaning, but have different etymologies; they can be within the same language or from different languages. For example, the English word dog and the Mbabaram word dog have exactly the same meaning and very similar pronunciations, but by complete coincidence. Likewise, English much and Spanish mucho which came by their similar meanings via completely different origins. This is different from false friends, which are similar-sounding words with different meanings, but which may in fact be etymologically related. (For example: Spanish dependiente looks like dependent, but means sales assistant or clerk as well.) Even though false cognates lack a common root, there may still be an indirect connection between them (for example by phono-semantic matching or folk etymology).


This table shows the example usage of word lists for keywords extraction from the text above.

WordWord FrequencyNumber of ArticlesRelevance

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