Recently my writing tutor told me any word in a foreign language should be italicized.

I was unsure if MLA was important to answer this question; just in case, I've included it in the title.

I'm writing an essay which will include the word Nazi. I understand the word Nazi is a German word but commonly used by people of all languages, should this word be italicized?

  • This probably fit ELU.SE (English Language and Usage), you can even look around there. I guess the rules are different depending on the countries and languages. Jul 16, 2015 at 7:01
  • Thank you for the site, I hadn't seen this before. I'm going to post this information there.
    – giraffesyo
    Jul 16, 2015 at 7:06

2 Answers 2


No, it shouldn't be. It's a word that a majority of the English speaking population is aware of. It stands for National Socialism in English, or in German, Nationalsozialismus.

It's a different usage of Nazism. In any essay I wrote, I capitalized it as a proper noun but never italicized it.


If it were just a word in a foreign language, then yes, italicize it.

But the word has been well known and used in English for about 70 years, and English is very flexible when it comes to stealing words from other languages. I'd say that — though it have begun life as a Deutsche abkurtzung (German abbreviation) — by now it can be considered an English word stolen from German, like sauerkraut, Volkswagen, and hamburger.

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