So, I'm wondering how much of English words have Germanic roots, how many have Romantic roots and how many have Greek roots etc. In percent.

Is there any such table?

  • How many out of the lexicon, or how many by sampling? In the former you will count very common words just once but will also count all extremely rare words. In the latter, common words will count for much and rare words will not show up so much. This makes a huge difference. Feb 17, 2015 at 1:02

1 Answer 1


I found this image displaying what I want.

About 26% of English words have Germanic origins and the other percentages are as followed:

  • Latin, 29%
  • French, 29%
  • Greek, 6%
  • Other languages or unknown, 6%
  • From Proper Names, 4% (?)


  • Link-only answers are highly discouraged because of the inherent transience of web pages or images. Please elaborate a bit more, you're free to include an image, but also report the data (along with citations where needed) in form of text so that it doesn't get lost if the image disappears. Thanks.
    – Alenanno
    Feb 14, 2015 at 10:31
  • 1
    Roughly, Germanic is about 45% and Romance another 45%, with 5% Greek and 5% selected short subjects. A good exercise is to take a paragraph of English that you're fond of and count the words. It'll wind up about half and half. Then take a paragraph of English that you think sucks and repeat the experiment. Remember, you hafta count the and a and pretty much all auxiliaries and prepositions as Germanic. That ups the ante considerably. Feb 15, 2015 at 4:15

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