You can blame Bill The Bastard (sorry, I meant William the Conqueror) for that. He brought a whole bunch of French words into English. The aristocracy spoke French, the normal commoners spoke Anglo-Saxon. That's why you get two names for most types of meat; mutton and lamb (which comes from l'angneau), ox and beef (from buf), etc.
Look closely and you'll find that English (even the version with Merriam and Webster's messed up spelling (color vs colour)) is an amalgamation of Latin, Greek, Arabic, French, German, Anglo, Saxon, Swedish, Norwegian and Chinese plus a whole bunch of other words borrowed from
around the old British Empire.
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