Les hybrides – une catégorie redondante d’anglicismes ? Les hybrides dans les textes tchèques Hybrids–A redundant category of Anglicisms? Hybrids in Czech texts



Le présent article examine les anglicismes hybrides en tchèque à partir d’un échantillon de 500 items. Les formations hybrides sont identifiées par la présence de morphèmes lexicaux anglais et tchèques (libres ou liés). L’objectif de notre analyse est (i) d’évaluer la variété et la nature des hybrides dans le but de délimiter le concept des Anglicismes hybrides pour le tchèque ; (ii) d’évaluer et de décrire l’éventail des domaines dans lesquels ces hybrides apparaissent. Alors que dans la littérature linguistique les hybrides sont principalement associés aux composés, dans l’échantillon tchèque ce sont les dérivés hybrides, et tout particulièrement les hybrides polylexicaux, qui prédominent tandis que les composés hybrides sont sous-représentés. Pour en rendre compte, cette étude plaide en faveur d’une approche purement langagière aux hybrides. Plus important encore, plutôt que de trouver un seul type d’hybrides, l’analyse aboutit à cinq types distincts d’hybrides regroupés sous les catégories fondamentales non hybrides des anglicismes. La distribution des hybrides ne semble pas différer de celle des autres anglicismes dans les textes tchèques.

This article examines hybrid Anglicisms in Czech, drawing on a sample of 500 items. Hybrid formations are identified by the presence of English and Czech lexical morphemes (free or bound). The sample analysis strives: (i) to assess the variety and nature of hybrids with the aim to delimit the concept of hybrid Anglicisms for Czech; (ii) to assess and outline the range of areas in which these hybrids occur. While in the literature hybrids are primarily associated with compounds, in the Czech sample hybrid derivatives and especially multi-word hybrids prevail and hybrid compounds are underrepresented. To account for this, the article argues for a language-specific approach to hybrids. More importantly, rather than finding one single type of hybrids, the analysis arrives at five distinct types of hybrids subsumable under the fundamental non-hybrid categories of Anglicisms. The distribution of hybrids appears to be no different from other Anglicisms in Czech texts.


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1Hybrids are an easily recognizable type among Anglicisms although they may not be as frequent as (un)adapted English loans: Luján García (2017) reports only 2.6% from the total of Anglicisms collected in a Spanish web forum during a period of two years. They are deceptively straightforward to define as lexical items containing both source language (SL) and recipient language (RL) components and as such are also commonly included in classifications of Anglicisms. In Czech, a highly inflected language, the incorporation of an English element in the lexicon typically requires some kind of morphological tweaking involving Czech material, and the situation therefore merits a closer look. Also, the diversity and range of hybrid expressions, which is rarely mentioned in the literature, calls for a detailed analysis. Following a brief review of the position of hybrids in general and English-based hybrids in particular in the taxonomies of borrowing, such an analysis is the goal of this article drawing on a sample of 500 items regarded as English-based hybrids in Czech. The article presents a detailed picture of hybrid Anglicisms in Czech and the implications of the findings.

1. The position of hybrid loans in general classifications of borrowing

2Before turning to some of the classifications of Anglicisms, it is useful to have a brief overview of the seminal general taxonomies of borrowings as they inform classifications of Anglicisms. The three authors whose classical studies in this field have overwhelmingly influenced the subsequent development of classification of lexical loans are Werner Betz (1949, 1959), Einar Haugen (1950) and Uriel Weinreich (1953 [1963]). As their classifications are well-known, they will be only shortly summarised below. Synoptic studies reporting on the formation of the theory and taxonomy of borrowing are offered for instance by Oksaar (1996), Stanforth (2002) or Grzega (2003).

3Betz (1949, 1959), who draws on the German tradition going back to the 19th century, distinguishes between outer and inner loanwords (Äusseres, Inneres Lehngut). The former include three types: loanwords proper (Lehworten and Fremdworten, foreign words), hybrid forms (Hybridbildung) and false or pseudo-loans (Scheinentlehnung). Inner loanwords, termed Lehnprägungen (loan coinages) by Betz, are represented by two types, Lehnbildung and Lehnbedeutung (loan meaning, i.e., semantic loan or semantic calque). Lehnbildung is further subdivided into (i) Lehnformung (loan formation) of two subtypes, Lehnüberseztung (loan translation or lexical calque) and Lehnübertragung (loan rendition, i.e., a loose translation such as “Vaterland” for the Latin “patria”) and (ii) Lehnschöpfung (loan creation; an RL expression inspired by, but not a translation of, the source language word, e.g. the German “Umwelt” for the French “milieu”).

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Although Haugen uses the label loanblends, he of course means hybrid formations. He actually uses the term hybrid when he distinguishes between foreign-model based loanblends (“only such ‘hybrids’ as involve a discoverable foreign model are included here”, p. 2015) and model-lacking bilingual creations (“[s]uch formations are sometimes confused with loanblends, since they resemble these in being ‘hybrid’”, p. 220; “[w]hen classified without regard to the borrowing process, they appear as ‘hybrids’; but their starting point is different from such loanblends as blaumepai ‘plum pie’”, p. 221). Hence Haugen recognizes two kinds of hybrids, those due to borrowing, i.e., loanblends, and those which are “not a part of the borrowing process”, i.e., hybrid creations.

4Haugen’s (1950) much quoted classification is based on the concepts of importation and substitution and includes three basic types of borrowing: loanwords (showing morphemic importation without substitution), loanblends1 (involving both importation and substitution), and loanshifts (based only on substitution without importation, i.e., loan translations and semantic loans). In addition, he singles out “creations” (cf. Betz’s Lehnschöpfung), i.e., indirect imitations of a foreign model which they render or rename in RL (and therefore “are not strictly loans at all”, p. 220). They may be composed of native elements or they may include a borrowed element in which case he calls them hybrid creations. He notes that in loanblends, or hybrids, the adaptation of foreign forms goes beyond a simple substitution of “native sounds and inflections for the foreign ones” and results in the insertion of “part or all of a native morpheme”, producing both blended derivatives and blended compounds.

5Weinreich (1953, p. 47-62), drawing on both Betz (1949) and Haugen (1950), interprets borrowing in terms of lexical interference of one vocabulary with another. In simple (non-compound) words he distinguishes two types of interference: (i) a loanword resulting from “transfer of the phonemic sequence from one language to another”, and (ii) semantic extension of the native word in conformity with the foreign model, i.e., semantic loan. For complex lexemes (compounds and phrases) he envisages three possible types of interference: (i) transfer of all elements (loanword), (ii) reproduction of all elements by semantic extensions (loan translation; see below), (iii) a combination of transfer and reproduction (hybrid formations, corresponding to Haugen’s loanblends; see Note 1). This last type may involve semantic extension in native elements and, in derivations, both base and affix may be reproduced (i.e., translated). He focuses especially on reproduction (not only of lexemes but also larger units, such as proverbs) using equivalent native elements. Following Betz (cf. German terms in brackets), he also singles out three subtypes of loan translation: (a) loan translations proper (Lehnübersetzungen), (b) loan renditions (Lehnübertragung), i.e., loose translations, and (c) loan creations (Lehnschöpfungen; called ‘creations’ by Haugen, see above), inspired by, but not imitating, the foreign expression.

2. Hybrids in classifications of Anglicisms

6Perhaps the most widely accepted and representative classification of Anglicisms published in relatively recent years is that by Pulcini et al. (2012). It is introduced as part of their answer to the question of what counts as an Anglicism and to set straight such lexicographically convenient but simplified definitions of Anglicisms as the one offered by Görlach (2003, p. 1), “[Anglicism is] a word or idiom that is recognizably English in form”.

7Pulcini et al. (2012, p. 6) divide Anglicisms into (a) direct Anglicisms, under which they subsume (non-)adapted loanwords, false Anglicisms and hybrids, and (b) indirect Anglicisms, subdivided into calques (loan translations, loan renditions and loan creations) and semantic loans. Clearly, their classification follows Betz (1949), Haugen (1950) and Weinreich (1953) with the exception of several minor name changes. Given this affinity it is somewhat surprising that they define a hybrid Anglicism as a “multi-word unit which freely combines an English element with an RL element” (p. 7), i.e., they consider only compounds and phrases, unlike Weinreich and Haugen, who both explicitly mention hybrid derivatives and the possibility of both base and affix being translated. Also, the authors do not differentiate between hybrids with discoverable English models (loanblends or “half-translations”) and hybrid creations which are native creations without English models (see, however, Pulcini, 1999, below).

Figure 1: Types of lexical borrowings in Pulcini et al. (2012, p. 6)

Figure 1: Types of lexical borrowings in Pulcini et al. (2012, p. 6)

8In fact, a similar focus on compounds may be noticed in descriptions of hybrid Anglicisms in German (Yang, 1990; Busse and Carsten, 1993; Onysko, 2007) and in Italian (Furiassi, 2010). Furiassi (2010, p. 53-55) explicitly equates hybrids with hybrid compounds and defines them “in the narrow sense as the outcome of a combination of an Italian free morpheme with an English free morpheme” (p. 54).

9An important aspect of hybrid Anglicisms is pointed out by Pulcini (1999, p. 354), who is well aware of Haugen’s distinction between model-based hybrids (loanblends) and model-lacking hybrid creations. When she compares Italian dictionaries for their treatment of Anglicisms, she notes that words are sometimes labelled as semi-English (i.e., as hybrids) regardless of “whether the word exists in English or it is an Italian coinage”, i.e., a false Anglicism.

10Onysko (2007, p. 55-59) devotes a whole section to hybrid Anglicisms in German. He briefly mentions derivative hybrids (excluding cases of inflection), but then discusses only compounds as the largest group among hybrids (and surprisingly has nothing to say about open multi-word hybrids, such as the Czech akustický smog, ‘acoustic smog’ or startupový projektový asistent, ‘startup project assistant’). He observes that hybrid compounds are predominantly nouns; only a fraction of them are adjectives, verbs or adverbs, and they seem to be more in evidence in written than spoken language. He then discusses the classification of hybrids, starting with Haugen’s separation of model-based hybrids from model-lacking ones (which Haugen ranks with [loan] creations). Onysko notes that some authors (e.g. Carstensen, 1965, p. 39) follow suit and “try to divide” English-German compounds in this way, but points out that it is difficult to find the English model. In fact, he devotes a great deal of space to discussing the disputability of the notion of English influence and concludes that the “creation of hybrids merely symbolizes that German can combine native and borrowed elements of its lexical inventory in order to form new terms” (p. 57). Onysko goes on to demonstrate how English loans are productively used in German to create new compounds (e.g. Gelegenheitsjob, Heimtrainer). However, while he tentatively refers to cases with a presumably English model as partial loan translations, he offers no term for the model-lacking ones.

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For a brief English survey of the main Czech word-formation processes see Bozděchová (2015).

11On the whole, there seem to be surprisingly few studies dedicated specifically to hybrid loans in European languages and those we have found are all concerned with hybrid compounds. Rafnung’s (1965) thesis deals with English loanwords in a Norwegian newspaper with special reference to hybrid compounds, Posthumus (1989) analyses English-Dutch hybrid compounds, Mitter (2003, 2008) describes hybrid combining form compounds in contemporary Czech2 (a much earlier study of this type of compounds is Martincová and Savický, 1987). Using English-Polish hybrids as examples, Witalisz (2016) makes a distinction between loanblends, hybrid creations and adapted loanwords. Also referring to hybrid compounds, Zimmer (1997, p. 23) draws attention to what might be called nonce hybrids, i.e., hybrid Anglicisms used in advertising as one-off attention-seeking formations (Antiklau-Code, Open-air Gefühl, Politthriller, etc.).

3. Data collection

12Data collection of hybrid Anglicisms is not an easy task. Hybrid Anglicisms cannot be obtained from Czech (or presumably any other) corpora by using automated data collection. This is confirmed by Manczak-Wohlfeld and Witalisz (2019, p. 171), who note that corpora “still lack readily available and efficient tools for foreign loans identification”, which means hybrids have to be gathered manually, unless the search focuses on specific English components (cf. Andersen, 2012; Manczak-Wohlfeld and Witalisz, 2016). Hybrids turn out to be spread thin over a large spectrum of areas (see below) and focusing on just one area is not a very effective strategy. Therefore, our collection is basically opportunistic (i.e., resulting from partly random, partly deliberate search based on everyday linguistic experience, press reading, advertising, etc.) and it follows that the sample cannot be truly representative of their frequency and distribution in different genres and areas. When collecting the sample, we considered a hybrid formation to be any lexical item made up of English and Czech components (in whatever order), provided the component is a free or bound lexical morpheme (i.e., root/stem or derivational affix). As there is a certain inconclusiveness about the definition of hybrids (concerning particularly single-word hybrids), the sample is primarily viewed as a testing ground for assessing the status of candidate hybrid Anglicisms, i.e., its goal is to help define the concept of hybrid Anglicisms for Czech, and only then and tentatively as a source of information on hybrid distribution.

4. Sample analysis

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While single-word hybrids include derivatives and both solid and hyphenated compounds, in multi-word hybrids no attempt is made to distinguish between word combinations functioning as units and open compounds as the distinction is difficult to make and irrelevant to the purpose of the study.

13The sample of hybrid Anglicisms consists of 500 items, of which 320 (64.0%) are composed of two or more free-standing words (multi-word or MW hybrids) and 180 (36.0%) are single words3. (Some of these single-word hybrids may, but need not, be part of multi-word units.) As a matter of fact, many MW hybrids include expressions where the English word is at the same time a single-word hybrid, e.g. cloud-ový in cloudové úložiště (‘cloud storage’), event-ový in eventový prostor (‘event space’), startuper-ský in startuperský projekt (‘startup project’), with -ový and -ský being adjectival derivational suffixes. Sample analysis serves two purposes: to provide examples for the description and discussion of hybrid Anglicisms in Czech, and to afford a preliminary understanding of the range of areas in which this kind of Anglicisms is found. Despite the random nature of data, it is not unreasonable to assume that the more hybrids occur in a particular area the greater the chance they will make it into the sample which may thus provide a preliminary guidance to their distribution.

4.1. Single-word hybrids

14The 180 single-word items were chosen because they contain Czech elements. The hybrids fall into two groups: derivatives and compounds. The derivatives in our sample are the larger group, made up of 135 items, while only 45 items are compounds. The ratio in the sample is largely accidental, but it does show that derivation plays a significant role in Czech (while in German it seems to be compounding; see, for example, Onysko, 2007). We start with derivatives as they seem to have been given little attention in the literature compared to compounds.

Table 1: Word-class distribution of single-word hybrids in the sample

single-word hybrids





























4.1.1. Hybrid derivatives

15As noted above, although Onysko (2007, p. 55-56) acknowledges the relatedness of hybridity to derivational processes (inflection excluding), he focuses only on hybrid compounding in German. However, the preponderance of derivatives (and MW hybrids) in the sample suggests that the situation in Czech is different and, more broadly, that the composition of hybrids is very likely language-specific. Of the 135 derivatives in the sample, 87 are nouns, 35 verbs and 13 adjectives. Cases which start in the source language as compounds (‘upcycle’, ‘pole-dance’) but are transmitted into RL using derivation (upcyklovaný, poledancový) are also counted as derivatives.

16Czech stem-forming affixes added to English bases divide into several categories: (i) derivational POS marking suffixes that integrate the English bases (primarily verbs and adjectives and nouns used as premodifiers) into the Czech morphological system and allow them to function syntactically in text (as part of morphological adaptation): ‘to like’ > lajkovat, ‘to hoax’ > hoaxovat, ‘to break down’ > brejkdaunovat (se), ‘online’ (program) > onlinový (program), ‘jazz’ (ballet) > jazzový (balet); (ii) transpositional (and POS marking) suffixes (sometimes in combination with a prefix) that transpose especially English nouns into Czech adjectives (‘biker’ > bikerský, ‘referring to bikers’) or verbs (‘prank’ > pranknout, “to prank sb”, i.e., ‘to play a prank on sb’; ‘virus’ > zavirovat, ‘infect with virus’); (iii) substitutive affixes that replace, i.e., translate, the English affix in the model word (‘toaster’ > toustovač, ‘startupper’ > startup, ‘mailable’ > mailovatelný, ‘rebook’ > přebookovat, ‘overhype’ > přehajpovat; sometimes the affix replaces the English particle, e.g. ‘log in’ > zalogovat (se), ‘log off’ > odlogovat (se); (iv) meaning-changing affixes, the most interesting category, are of a different kind, their function is not so much morphological (not necessarily POS altering) as semantic. The meaning-changing process starts with an English multi-word expression whose one part is ellipted and the remaining word extended with a Czech affix (or a combination of affixes) typically forming a colloquial derivative with the same meaning as the original English expression (‘web page’ > ‘web’ > webovka, ‘homeless person’ > ‘homeless’ > houmlesák). Alternatively, the affixes modify the meaning of the English base in terms of explicit gender-marking (‘wrestler’ > wrestlerka, female wrestler), pragmatic or stylistic meaning (‘prepper’ > prepík, colloquial, jocular), or perfective meaning (‘delete’ > vydeletovat; book > zabookovat), etc.

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However, it is also possible to interpret the word-formation process in these examples not as circumfixation, but as a case of parallel motivation by a prefixed verb and view only the addition of the suffix as a word-formation process (očipovat > očipova).

17Adjectival derivational hybrids in the single-word hybrid group are formed by seven derivational stem-forming suffixes with a wide range of meanings which are added to noun or verb bases. The most frequent ones are the suffixes -ový (poledancový [sál], ‘pole dance [hall]’, facebookový [účet], ‘Facebook [account]’) and -ovaný (trademarkovaný, ‘trademarked’). The other suffixes are - (pitchova, ‘pitching’), -telný (tweetovatelný, ‘tweetable’), -ivý (postpravdivý [doba], ‘post truth [age]’), - (upcyklač, ‘upcycling’) and -ský (protiLGBTský ‘anti-LGBT’, startuperský [projekt], ‘startup [project]’). These suffixes are not the only Czech elements combining with the English base. The group contains cases of circumfixes, combinations of a prefix and a suffix: za- + -ovaný (zaaidsovaný, ‘infected with aids’), o- + -ovaný (očipovaný, with a chip, ospoilerovaný, i.e., having a spoiler, ‘bespoilered’), pro- + -ovaný (profejkovaný, i.e., full of fake news) and pře- + -ovaný (přeboostrovaný, using an unnecessarily strong booster, ‘overboostered’, přehajpovaný, ‘overhyped’) and z- + -ovaný (zlobovaný, influenced by lobbying, zremakovaný, being a remake)4. Other adjectives have the following two Czech prefixes before the English base: proti- (‘anti-’, protiLGBTský) and před- (‘pre-’, předinternetový, ‘preinternet’, předfacebookový, ‘preFacebook’). In two cases the Czech adjective has an English prefix: upcyklovaný (‘upcycled’), postpravdový (‘post-truth’). Naturally, not all adjectival loans from English need to be morphologically adapted by affixation, a minority remains formally unadapted (freeride lyže, ‘freeride skis’).

18Verbal derivational hybrids differ from adjectives in that they have to be morphologically adapted (marked) to be able to function as verbs (while adjectives need not be). That is, they have to be supplied with verbal base-forming suffixes to which inflectional suffixes are added. So the Czech suffixal (noninflectional) element in verb loans from English is mostly a default feature (mostly because in some finite verb forms the base-forming suffix may have a zero form). The infinitival forms of the verbs in the sample exhibit the following verbal suffixes (formed by a base-forming suffix and the infinitival ending -t): -ovat (pitchovat, ‘to pitch’, relaunchovat, ‘to relaunch’, shortovat, ‘to short sell’, printscreenovat, ‘to printscreen’), -nout (kliknout, ‘to click once’), -at (klikat, ‘to click repeatedly’) and -it (trolit, ‘to troll’). As with adjectives, verbs are frequently supplied with prefixes which modify the meaning (often very much like an adverbial particle in English): od- (odkliknout, odklikat, ‘to click off’, odlogovat (se), ‘to log off’, odmejlovat, ‘to send off an email’, odskypovat, ‘to finish a skype call’, odvirovat, ‘to remove virus from’), o- (olajkovat, ‘to give a like’, ofejkovat, ‘to make a fake, to cheat, to copy’), pro- (progůglovat, ‘to google thoroughly’, prosérčovat, ‘to search thoroughly’, protweetovat, ‘to send a tweet’, proskypovat, ‘to call sb on skype’, prolobbovat, ‘push through by lobbying’), pře- (přebookovat, ‘to rebook’), pře- (přethinktankovat, ‘to overthinktank’, přehajpovat, ‘to overhype’), při- (připhotoshopovat, ‘to slightly improve by photoshopping’), roz- (rozparsovat, ‘to parse out’ [a text string]), vy- (vydeletovat, ‘to delete out’, vydevelopovat, ‘to develop’, vyfuckovat, ‘to tell sb to fuck off’), za- (zavirovat, ‘to infect with virus’).

19Nominal derivational hybrids are the most varied and interesting group of derivatives. One prominent group among affixes is Czech agentive suffixes. Although some of the English ones can be transmitted into Czech without change (e.g. boxer, influencer, wrestler, youtuber), they are as often as not replaced by a host of Czech ones which, moreover, typically add pragmatic connotations making the loans colloquial, expressive or slangy, e.g. ‘wrestler’ > wrestlingáč, (whitewater) ‘rafter’ > rafťák, ‘youtuber’ > YouTubák, ‘outdoorer’ (?) > outdoorář, ‘prepper’ > prepík. However, there may be some unexpected semantic differences: the Czech eshop is someone who runs an e-shop (while ‘e-shopper’ in English is someone who buys in e-shops), kemp (is only a person in Czech, not also a motor vehicle, cf. camper).

20More importantly, the agentive suffixes often create nouns without a corresponding English model: ajťák (‘IT specialist’), džezbendista (‘jazz band musician’), hokejista (‘ice hockey player’), pinholista (‘pinhole photographer’), houmlesák (‘homeless person’), kešk (‘cache seeker’), chiptuningář (‘chiptuning specialist’), ralleykros (‘rallycross driver’), selfíčkář (‘selfie-taker’), skútr (‘scooter rider/buff’), šort (‘short seller’), web (‘web designer’). Sometimes two or more variant suffixes with the same meaning are added to the base: deblíř, deblista (‘doubles player’), singlíř, singlista (‘singles player’, ‘canoe/kayak single’), offroadák, offroad, offroadista (‘off-road enthusiast’), piarista, píárkář, píárník, píárovec (‘PR professional’). A special case is the creative hypocoristic modification of the word (sports) ‘fan’: (male) fanoušek, (female) fanynka.

21Even more varied is the range of suffixes creating inanimate nouns. While preserving the word-class, the nouns depart from the English model by acquiring pragmatic meaning (i.e., evaluative and expressive connotations), and again they often replace an English multi-word expression through a process combining ellipsis and derivation (‘popcorn movie’ > popcorn > popcorňák).

22In our sample we found no less than twenty-one such suffixes: - (toustov, ‘toaster’), -áč (flopáč, ‘floppy disk’); -áče (slimáče, ‘slim-fit pants’); -ák (šoubyzák, ‘showbiz’; synťák, ‘synthesizer’); -árna (stejkárna, ‘steak house; (ham)burgárna, ‘burger house’); -(aře)ní (selfíčkaření, ‘taking selfies’); -čko (písíčko, ‘PC’; handsfreečko, handsfríčko, ‘handsfree set’); -ina (rockeřina, ‘rock music’; preppeřina, ‘prepper life style’); -iště (denoting a place for a certain activity: piknikoviště, eshopiště); -izace (denoting activity: offshorizace); -ka (softshelka, ‘softshell jacket’; shitovka, ‘anything worthless’; ramka, ‘RAM’; push-upka, pushapka. ‘push-up bra’; LEDka, ‘LED bulb’; keška, ‘cache’; hokejka, ‘hockey stick’; gangsterka, ‘gangser movie’; detektivka, ‘detective story’); -ko (píárko, ‘PR text’; jútubko, ‘YouTube’; fitko, fitnessko, ‘fitness centre’); -na (selfina, ‘selfie’); -(ová)ní (píárování, ‘PR activities’); -ovina (jeansovina, ‘jeans fabric’); -(ovit)ost (sitcomovitost, ‘sitcom quality’); -ovka (internetovka, ‘internet TV channel’; roadtripovka, ‘road trip movie’; popcornovka, ‘popcorn movie’; onlinovka, ‘online game’); -ovna (serverovna, ‘server room’); -(ov)ost (lifestylovost, ‘life style quality’); -ství (prepperství, ‘preppership’; dealerství, ‘dealership’); -ština (piárština, ‘PRese’).

23The sample also includes instances of gender-marking and evaluative morphology, i.e., explicitly marked feminine forms (the suffix -ka can be added to any agentive noun): influencerka, píáristka, servismanka, wrestlerka, skautka, pinupka (‘pin-up girl’), lochnesska (‘Loch Ness monster, Nessie’) and diminutives formed by the suffixes -íček, -eček, and -ík typically adding hypocoristic, affectionate meaning, e.g. blekfrajdejíček (‘Black Friday’), tweeteček, PINeček/pineček, rúftopek (‘rooftop’, graffiti located high up), shopík (‘small shop’), skajpík (‘skype’), popík (‘pop music’).

24There are three instances of noun prefixation, one Czech prefix added to an English base, spolulídr (‘co-leader’), and one English prefix added to two Czech bases postpravda (‘posttruth’), postčlověk/postlidé (‘posthuman(s)’).

4.1.2. Hybrid compounds

25The relatively small number of items classified as compounds is due to several factors: the number of compounds in Czech is generally much smaller than that of derivatives (cf. Bozděchová, 2017), compounds are typically transmitted as phrases, and also the criteria for compound status in Czech and English are not the same. Czech morphological analysis does not recognize open compounds and so only solid or hyphenated items are considered to be compounds in Czech. Likewise the differences in the classification of compounds present a certain problem. For instance, the concept of coordinative compound is much narrower in Czech and the type “actor-director” viewed as a coordinative compound in English, is treated as apposition. On the other hand, many of the Czech single-word items in the sample are formed on the pattern of English compounds, and so the terminology will follow English morphological terminology. They include, for instance, blends and the closely related category of combining-form (or neo-classical) compounds.

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It would be interesting to test whether Czech speakers borrow the -holic words from English mechanically as a whole, or whether they perceive the underlying ‘alcoholic’ (or the Czech alkoholik), as the form šopoholik rather than the far more common English ‘shopaholic’ seems to suggest.

26Only two compounds in the sample (tweetosféra and steakobraní, ‘steak harvest’, by analogy with vinobraní, ‘grape harvest’) have the form of a typical (true) Czech compound (with the components linked by a medial vowel: -o-), all the other compounds are formed by juxtaposed bases. Most of the compounds (23) are of the noun-noun type, e.g., fanzóna, hitparáda, partyholka (‘party girl’), powerbanka, prideprůvod (‘pride parade’), sexbomba, skórkarta, skype-konference, spamtelefon (‘spam call’), dýmbuilding (a jocular variation on ‘teambuilding’ with ‘team’ replaced by dým, ‘smoke’, in reference to smokers banished outside the workplace), coververze, šoubyz-louže (‘showbiz pond’) and tescojogurt. Two are formed by analogy with fotbal (‘football’): hokejbal (‘hockeyball’) and nohejbal (a marked departure from the corresponding English term ‘foot tennis’). Four compounds are of the adjective-noun type, easy-práce (‘easy work’), slim-pračka (‘slim washing machine’), sweetzóna (‘sweet spot’), deblkajak (‘double kayak’), one is of the verb-noun type, pařman (‘hard-boozing man’). There are four cases of blends, fucktura (overlapping ‘fuck+[inve]tura’ [the Czech for ‘invoice’]), presstitutka (‘press+prostitute’), swopce (‘sw[ap]+option’) and webinář (half-translation of the English ‘webinar’, replacing ‘[sem]inar’ with the Czech [sem]inář), and eight cases of combining-form compounds, e.g., eknížka (‘e-book’), ekosystém, fotofiniš, ultralehký (‘ultralight’), and šopoholik5 (shopaholic’).

27There is also one peculiar case of a Czech hybrid compound composed of an English and a German part, woodkopf (allegedly a Czech sport involving a pair of opponents wearing two-meter wooden boards on their heads and trying to knock the other’s board down without dropping their own).

4.2. Multi-word hybrids

28The set of 320 open MW hybrids in the sample is composed of 295 two-word items, 24 three-word items and one five-word expression (výzkumná technika face to face, ‘face to face research technique’). Some of the expressions, especially two-word ones, would count as compounds (with initial stress) in English, but not so in Czech where they are terminological phrases (chatovací místnost, ‘chat room’, spin doktor).

Table 2: Word-class distribution of multi-word hybrids in the sample

multi-word hybrids



































29Most of the MW hybrids have Czech heads (fuzzy množina, ‘fuzzy set’, keškový výlet,cache trip’, low-budget film, money-back záruka, ‘money-back guarantee’, online prodej, ‘online sale’, path analýza, peel efekt), but 88 (27.5%) have an English word as the head (ropný boom, ‘oil boom’, slevový voucher, ‘discount voucher’, radiový smog, ‘radio smog’, permanentní make-up, lifting obličeje, ‘face-lifting’, mrazící box, ‘freeze box’), counting in also long-established assimilated Anglicisms, i. e., those used in Czech for three decades and more (farma, faul, film, fotbal, hokej, trénink, klub [club], tým [team], and others, e.g., covid control tým). It is not uncommon to find combinations of “old” and “new” Anglicisms, which shows that there is a thin borderline between a loan translation and a hybrid Anglicism: emergency tým (‘emergency team’), eventový manažer (‘event manager’), flag fotbal (‘flag football’), gay klub, golfový handicap (‘golf handicap’), inline hokej (‘inline hockey’), talent skaut (‘talent scout’), sex kouč (‘sex coach’), etc. Most cases involve straightforward translation, but occasionally we find Czech equivalents either exclusive to a given area or not listed in the dictionary at all (‘lifted drive’ > liftovaný úder, ‘DVD drive’ > DVD mechanika).

30A vast majority of the MW hybrids are nouns (314; 98.2%). There are six exceptions, three cases of an adverbial phrase: bezpečně online (‘safely online’), po bluesmansku (‘after the manner of a bluesman’), po hackersku (‘like a hacker’), and three interesting cases of verbs formed on the pattern “prefix pro- + verb base + obligatory reflexive pronoun se”: probuskovat se (z ulice na velká pódia)–‘to busk one’s way’ (from street to big stages), progooglovat se (‘google one’s way to’), profuckovat se (‘fuck one’s way to’). This disproportionate distribution of word-classes in MW hybrids is the same as is found with multi-word loan translations (Klégr and Bozděchová, 2022) and for the same reason: multi-word adjectives, adverbs and verbs are very rare in Czech.

5. Discussion

5.1. Model-based and model-lacking hybrids in the Czech sample

31In spite of Onysko’s (2007) caveats concerning the possibility of proving the existence of an English model, the sample provides enough material for us to be able to say with confidence that there are clear cases of both model-based hybrids and those formed independently of English. They can be found among single-word hybrids (derivatives and compounds) and MW hybrids alike. Although we can’t always be certain that an English expression served as a model or, conversely, that the apparent absence of an English counterpart always means that there is no model, in principle there is little doubt that this bipartite split of the hybrids is a valid one.

32Examples of model-based MW hybrids are: buňkový doping (‘cell doping’), facebookový účet (‘Facebook account’), nemocniční klaun (‘hospital clown’), níťový lifting (‘thread lifting’), responsivní design (‘responsive design’), feederový prut (‘feeder rod’), hardwarová peněženka (‘hardware wallet’), online překladač (‘online translator’), podcastový magazín (‘podcast magazine’), plunge podprsenka (‘plunge bra’), pop-up okno (‘pop-up window’), start-stop systém, seed kapitál (‘seed capital’), strategy hra (‘strategy game’), webový portál (‘web portal’), etc. Single-word hybrids with English models can be likewise found both among derivatives and compounds (together with blends and CF compounds): upcyklovaný (‘upcycled’), tweetovatelný (‘tweetable’), marketér (‘marketer’), powerbanka (‘powerbank’), fotofiniš (‘photo finish’), skórkarta (‘score card’), pubkvíz (‘Pub Quiz’), postčlověk (‘posthuman’), webinář (‘webinar’), eknížka (‘e-book’).

33On the other hand, there is a sizeable group of hybrids that cannot be related to a particular English model. Apart from such idiosyncratic formations as nohejbal (‘foot tennis’ in English), fucktura (fuck + faktura [= invoice]), steakobraní (‘steak harvest’) or e-chalupy (‘e-cottages’, the name of a real-estate website), there are several distinct word-forming tendencies in Czech which transcend simple borrowing or translation. Perhaps the most typical is the amalgamation of English multi-word expressions into single Czech words using ellipsis and derivation: basebal(l)ka (‘baseball bat’ or ‘baseball cap’), push-upka (‘push-up bra’), webka (‘web camera’), offlinovka (‘offline game’), detektivka (‘detective novel’), gangsterka (‘ganster movie’), redka (‘red card’), wranglerky (‘Wrangler jeans’), hokejista (‘ice hockey player’), rugbista (‘rugby player’), UXař (‘UX designer’), singlíř (‘single canoeist’), etc. Another frequent phenomenon is adding style-shifting, especially colloquializing, nominal suffixes to single nouns: (CD) romka (‘ROM’), písíčko (‘PC’), cédéčko (‘CD’), jútubko (‘YouTube’), exka (‘ex’ [wife. girlfriend]), etc. The ability of forming new words, both abstract and concrete, from existing English bases by affixation is almost limitless: ajťáci (‘IT crowd’), steakárna (‘steak house’), webiště (‘a site for web advertising’), píárština (‘PRese’, language of PR specialists), kreativec (‘creative’). Last but not least, there are types of hybrids that basically cannot have an English counterpart, namely (hypocoristic) diminutives (tweeteček, *tweetie, PINeček, *PINie) and feminine forms (boxerka, skautka, wrestlerka, workoholička – *boxeress, *scoutess, *wrestleress, *workholicess).

34Finally, there is a special group of hybrids based on English models that can be called adaptive hybrids. They are essentially adjectives and verbs which in Czech are marked by respective derivational affixes, i.e., adjectival and verbal stem-forming suffixes. While with adjectives it is possible to choose between morphologically unadapted and adapted forms, cf. freestyle/freestylové lyže (‘freestyle skis’), spinning/spinningové kolo (‘spinning bike’), cargo kalhoty (‘cargo trousers’), cargový vlak (‘cargo train’), eshop/eshopový systém, online vzdělávání (‘online learning, education’), onlinové podnikání (‘online business’), etc., with verbs this is impossible and verb-forming suffix must be added (networkingovat, netflixovat, startupovat, feedbackovat, powerpointovat, whatsappovat–meaning ‘to engage in, to use X’). Besides, as was shown above, English verb bases are often extended by Czech prefixes which sometimes correspond to (i.e., translate) the adverbial particle in English, but sometimes create a verb with a new meaning.

35With nouns the situation is different. Nouns can be transmitted unadapted, e.g. trendhunter, trendsetter, banner (with only inflection added), but often the original, stylistically neutral, English suffix is replaced by one or more stylistically marked Czech suffixes, endowing the loan model with a new pragmatic meaning. Thus, the English ‘hashtagger’ is borrowed into Czech either as hashtager, or rendered as colloquial, even jocose hashtagáč, hashtagář, hashtagovač or hashtagista.

5.2. Relation to other categories of Anglicisms

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For a discussion of “overlapping” between categories of borrowing, including hybrids, see Jorgensen and Ferré (1986).

36The sample likewise provides enough material to reconsider affinities of hybrids to other categories of Anglicisms. The distinction between non-hybrid model-based and model-lacking borrowings effectively divides the classical taxonomies (Betz, Haugen and Weinreich) into two groups, bringing together categories which are otherwise seen as contrasting and separate. The group of model-based borrowings includes both importations and substitutions, i.e., loanwords and loanshifts (to use Haugen’s terminology i.e., loan translations, renditions and semantic loans), but also Haugen’s loanblends, while the group of model-lacking borrowings subsumes pseudo-loans and (loan) creations6. By contrast, hybrids, i.e., bilingual formations, can, according to Haugen, be both model-based (loanblends) and model-lacking (hybrid creations), and so belong to both groups. That is presumably why Haugen, unlike Betz (and others), avoids the general label hybrids and introduces the terms loanblend and hybrid creation instead. In addition to being both model-based and model-lacking, hybrids also defy the division of Anglicisms into outer and inner or direct and indirect (see Betz and Pulcini et al. above) as they combine both importation (loans) and substitution (translations), which complicates their position in the classification of borrowings.

37There is, however, one type not mentioned in the literature in connection with hybrids, pseudo-loans. While hybrid creations are by definition of mixed origin, pseudo-loans, although they may be composed of only foreign components (for example, baby-box, beer spa, ClosedCard, OpenCard), typically combine foreign and RL elements alike (at least in Czech, e.g. insiderství, ‘the condition of being an insider’, JobDnes,JobToday’, an internet job centre), which makes this type of pseudo-loans hybrids as well. Like hybrid creations, hybrid pseudo-loans also lack a direct SL model and the two types are very close (with a thin line between them), though hybrid creations seem to be fairly rare. Model-based hybrids, or loanblends in Haugen’s terminology, on the other hand, are paraphrased by Onysko (2007, p. 57) as “partial loan translations” (rather than partial loanwords), and for a good reason. There is a smooth cline between loan translations and hybrid loan translations (as we prefer to call them) due to long-established Anglicisms in Czech which are part of new hybrid expressions (hokej: ‘sledge hockey’ > sledge hokej; internet: ‘internet of things’ > internet věcí). Also, the act of translation is more labour-intensive, and so more prominent, than simple transfer (what is more, even the English component in many hybrids is often “hybridized”, i.e., it is also partly translated). Besides hybrid loan translations we must also mention hybrid variants of loan renditions (cf. Betz, Weinreich or Pulcini et al. above), e.g. ‘PDF file’ > soubor PDF (translation of ‘file’ by soubor is an innovative solution peculiar to computer terminology).

38If we accept this argumentation, we arrive at four types of hybrids: hybrid pseudo-loans (pinholení, ‘making pinhole photos’), hybrid loan translations (emailový účet, ‘email account’), hybrid loan renditions and hybrid creations (spinning s nízkou zátěží, ‘low-intensity spinning’, nohejbal [foot + ball], ‘foot tennis’). There is, however, yet another type of hybrids, those containing Czech derivational affixes (stopnout, ‘to stop’) which we call adaptive hybrids (see 5.1). These are standardly interpreted as morphological adaptation. But the Czech derivational affix in them is part of the stem even if it neither translates some component of the English original, nor does it change meaning. As a result, we are dealing with five separate types of hybrids. To return to the question posed in the title, Are hybrids a redundant category?, there is clearly not one single category of hybrids as the typologies referred to above imply. Instead, the five types of hybrids which appear in the sample are arguably best treated as pertaining to the fundamental categories of borrowing, i.e., as subcategories of loanwords, pseudo-loans and what are called calques by Pulcini et al. (Lehnbildung by Betz, loanshifts by Haugen and loan translations by Weinreich), rather than categories of their own. The type of borrowing involved is plausibly of greater classificatory importance than the presence of a foreign element.

6. Hybrids in texts: subject areas of discourse

39Like other types of Anglicisms (loanwords or loan translations), hybrids also occur in a vast array of spheres and texts, and it is likewise difficult to identify all these areas and choose adequate labels for them. Often the areas are closely related and intertwined and can be merged into still broader domains, something that we will attempt after a general overview of the areal distribution of hybrids in ascending order.

40The largest group of hybrids in a single area is that of expressions related to sport (79: downhillové kolo [bike], feeder prut [rod], freestyle koloběžka [scooter], golfový handicap, skate rampa, hokejka [hockey stick], rallyekrosař [rallycross driver]). It is closely followed by hybrids related to business (72; floatingový režim [regime], hardwarová peněženka [wallet], QR kód, seed fond, investiční boom, offshorizace [-isation], píárovka [PR agency]), and information technology (69; cloudová platforma, desktopová aplikace, online překladač [translator], responzivní design, webový portál, jútubko). Still smaller is the number of hybrids related to social life (37; podcastový magazín, gay klub, džentlmenská dohoda [agreement], sexbomba), art, i.e., literature, music, film, etc. (35; crazy komedie, sc-fi literatura, open air festival, popík [pop music]), commerce (31; cashback portál, moneyback záruka [guarantee], slevový voucher [discount v.], dealerství [-ship]), leisure (30; gamblingový resort, last minute dovolená [holiday], wellness pobyt [stay], onlinovka [game]), and a somewhat miscellaneous category called product (24; LED osvětlení [lighting], selfie tyčka [stick], slim-pračka [washer], powerbanka). In the next groups of areas the numbers of hybrids start to taper off: health and medicine (18; chemický peeling, spa péče [care], postcovidový syndrom, tělesný handicap [physical h.], gonadotropin-releasing hormon), fashion, i.e., clothing, footwear, etc. (14; fitness oblečení [clothing], dámský top [women’s top], push-upka [bra], plimsolky [shoes]), education (12; eLearningový kurz, skype-konference, webinář), entertainment (10; akustický rekordní jackpot, stardancový tanečník [dancer]), environment/ecology (10; akustický smog, fotochemický smog) and transport (10; bike sharingový systém, charterový let ).

41Fewer than ten hybrids in the sample are associated with science (9: dead-stop titrace, flash spektrum, path analýza, performanční inteligence), food (8; fastfoodová gastronomie, fitness recept [recipe]) and service (8; emailová služba [service], image poradenství [counselling], internetové bankovnictví). One area is represented by six expressions, life style (prepperství [prepperism], šopoholik, workoholik). Five hybrids are related to politics (spin doktor, prolobbovat [to lobby]), three hybrids come under the heading technology (start-stop systém) and work (homeofficový režim). Two hybrids come from the areas of administration (lockdownový formulář [form]) and cosmetics (permanentní make-up). Finally, one hybrid is associated with agriculture (králičí farma [rabbit f.]), construction (kontejnerová stavba [building]), military (Army Den [Day]), and (non-existent) fauna (lochnesska [Loch Ness monster]).

42Although a fair amount of randomness and bias in data collection cannot be avoided, the areas covered by the sample provide a reasonably representative picture of the diversity of use of hybrid Anglicisms in Czech. If we take a broad view and collapse some of the closely related areas, hybrids flourish especially in three spheres: (i) business, commerce and product names, (ii) computer/information technology, and (iii) sport, leisure, art and entertainment. These major spheres are covered by both MW hybrids and single-word hybrids, and the two forms of hybrids also share two thirds of the identified areas (single-word hybrids figure in somewhat fewer areas, which might be due to their frequently colloquial, slang character and also to their smaller representation in the sample).


43The findings of the study suggest that hybrid formations need to be given a language-specific treatment. If a general definition of hybrids, such as “a combination of English borrowings and German elements” (Onysko, 2007, p. 55), is restricted to lexical morphemes and consistently applied to a highly inflected language as Czech, the range of formations that fit the description is inevitably much wider than just hybrid compounds. As a result, the composition of the Czech sample is different (and admittedly messier) from the lists of hybrids reported for other languages such as German or Italian: open multi-word hybrids (64.0%) prevail over single-word hybrids (36.0%) among which derivatives (75.0%) prevail over solid or hyphenated compounds (25.0%). Although these proportions must be taken with a pinch of salt (data collection, as was noted above, was not systematic), it does not alter the fact that Czech hybrids come in these three formal types.

44The other crucial claim (presaged in the title) which ensues from the language-specific approach is that hybrids should not be treated as an independent category separate from the fundamental types of borrowings, loanwords, pseudo-loans, loan translations, etc. Evidently hybrid Anglicisms in the Czech sample are not a homogeneous group when factors such as the presence or absence of the SL model, their function and the type of transfer involved are considered. Hence it seems more adequate to subsume hybrids under the basic, essential non-hybrid types of borrowing as their subcategories: adaptive hybrids under loanwords, hybrid pseudo-loans under pseudo-loans, and hybrid loan translations, hybrid loan renditions and hybrid creations under calques, i.e., loan translations, loan renditions and loan creations (see Pulcini et al., 2012; Figure 1 above). Apparently, most types of borrowings consisting of more than one component (if not all) may have hybrid variants.

45The distribution pattern of hybrid Anglicisms in Czech over different areas of discourse is, judging from the picture in the sample, very much like that encountered in other types of Anglicisms, loanwords and loan translations. They occur primarily in three spheres, business/commerce, IT technology and entertainment (sport, art, leisure), but can be found in a host of other areas and like other types of Anglicism they are a powerful presence in the contemporary Czech lexicon. Yet Czech appears to cope with them rather well and vigorously subjects the English element to native word-formation processes. In terms of degree of incorporation in the lexicon, hybrids apparently have no problem to become institutionalized, but many (especially hybrid pseudo-loans) are, as suggested by Zimmer (1997), best described as nonce hybrids.