If, like me, you’ve been glued to the television watching the London Olympics for a week, you will have heard an intriguing-sounding word used by the commentators: repêchage. It’s a word borrowed from French which refers to a last-chance race in which the runners-up in qualifying heats face each other to gain qualification for the finals. It dates back to 1925-30 and comes from repêcher, to fish out again (re + pêcher, to fish).
Major Periods of Borrowing in the History of English
World loanword database
Loanword classification tree
Fishes by Richard Ling
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