My question about a Latin word for "tattoo" prompted some surprise in me that the Romans didn't borrow a word for tattoo. One would think that some group of people they interacted with who practiced tattooing had their own word for the tattoo itself. Perhaps it happened regionally but was lost or not recorded.

This got me wondering further, what are some examples of loanwords in Latin where there is no single, native Latin word with a similar meaning? In English, we see this with the German loanwords zeitgeist or bildungsroman.

  • 3
    This answer links to a study on this subject, including words from various languages. Commented Jan 3, 2022 at 15:58
  • Do you still intend to exclude the Greek words?
    – cmw
    Commented Jan 4, 2022 at 13:26
  • 1
    No, Greek words are also welcome.
    – Adam
    Commented Jan 4, 2022 at 14:53
  • You'll get a whole bunch with Greek. Mostly technical words.
    – cmw
    Commented Jan 18, 2022 at 6:26


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