Lingua Franca

Lingua Franca is two words I hear you say. Correct! Who said it has to be one word in the WordWednesdayFun series? Anyway, I make the rules up as I go along 🙂

I used these words today in writing an article that is part of a series to be turned into an eBook. The series is entirely fictional but loosely based on my own experiences. Sorry, I can’t tell you any more than that owing to a confidentiality agreement between me and the publisher. Oh! Doesn’t that sound grand?! 🙂

Here we go again in almost the usual format with Merriam-Webster first. I say “almost” as the Urban Dictionary, for once, has a serious entry so I will follow up with an alternative source of amusement and lightheartedness.
noun lin·gua fran·ca \ˈliŋ-gwə-ˈfraŋ-kə\
Popularity: Top 40% of words
Simple Definition
: a language that is used among people who speak various different languages

Full Definition
plural lingua francas or lin·guae fran·cae play \-gwē-ˈfraŋ-(ˌ)kē\
often capitalized : a common language consisting of Italian mixed with French, Spanish, Greek, and Arabic that was formerly spoken in Mediterranean ports
: any of various languages used as common or commercial tongues among peoples of diverse speech
: something resembling a common language <movies are the lingua franca of the twentieth century — Gore Vidal>

Examples used in a sentence
English is used as a lingua franca among many airline pilots.


Italian, literally, Frankish language

First Known Use: 1619

The UB entry for Lingua Franca left a little to be desired but i followed this link in the  Urban Dictionary and found this  amusing entry  –


lingua fracas

1. The few words one knows in another language sufficient to start a fight.
2. A fight over the proper use of a word.

1. Bottom doesn’t speak Spanish; he only knows enough of the lingua fracas to get into trouble.

2. “ ‘Impact’ is a verb only in the lingua fracas.”
“You mean, like, when my fist impacts your face?”

by Bottom Ford May 01, 2010

That is classic with a capital C! “He only knows enough of the lingua fracas to get into trouble.” Could have been me in my younger days!

See you next week.