Questions about the particular terminology used in chess
Given its long history, and the geographic diversity that accompanied many of the big developments in the game, chess enjoys a rich tapestry of interesting terminology coming from various languages. A few examples:
The term "checkmate" comes from the Persian phrase "Shāh Māt," meaning literally "the king is helpless."
The French term "en passant" means "in passing," and is used to refer to the capture of a pawn which has just advanced two squares by another pawn that sits beside it on an adjacent square.
The term "gambit" derives from the Italian "dare il gambetto," which translates roughly as "to stick out one's leg to trip someone."
The German words "Zugzwang" (meaning "compulsion to move") and "Zwischenzug" ("in-between move") are in common usage.