Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics

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American Creoles, Hebrew Loanwords in
(1,114 words)

Among the early European immigrants to the Americas were significant numbers of (mainly Sephardic) Jews, particularly in the region of the Caribbean (Arbell 2002). It is thanks to this population that one finds Hebrew loanwords in some of the creoles of the Caribbean and South America.

In Sranan, the English-based creole that serves as the lingua franca of Suriname (and is the native language of much of the population), there are two clear loanwords from Hebrew. The first is kaseri (< Hebrew כשר kašer ‘kosher’), which means ‘(ritually) clean’. Interestingly, this word is so cl…

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Rubin, Aaron D., “American Creoles, Hebrew Loanwords in”, in: Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics, Edited by: Geoffrey Khan. Consulted online on 22 February 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2212-4241_ehll_EHLL_COM_000478>
First published online: 2013
First print edition: 9789004176423

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