At the base lies the original layer of Celtic, but then the Romans arrived and added a layer of Latin on top of it. When the Romans left, the invading Germanic tribes scraped off most of the Latin layer and spread their own thick layer of various flavors on top.
This thick layer of Germanic languages—brought to England by the Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Danes—squeezed the Celtic layer out to the edge of the cake. Gradually, all the Germanic flavors blended into one thick, unique, and multi-flavored layer. But then the Normans arrived and added another thick layer. This layer was French, and it spread over almost all the cake.
While the cake was slowly baking into a palatable whole, it absorbed a number of other flavors as words from Latin, Greek, Spanish, Italian, and modern French were sprinkled over it in generous quantities.
But even after two thousand years, the cake is still not completely baked. Every time it looks ready to be served, a new and interestingly flavored topping is added as words from America and all around the world are poured over the enormous polyglot cake we call the English language.
Today we have an extremely palatable multi-flavored layer cake that is happily eaten by a billion people worldwide. Some people are, however, puzzled by all the flavors and others find it hard to swallow. Generally speaking, most people who taste it, enjoy it.
Here’s a little sprinkle from the French layer: bon appétit!