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List of French words and phrases used by English speakers From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. It needs additional citations for verification. Tagged since July 2009. It may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. Tagged since July 2009. It may contain original research. Tagged since August 2011. Here are some examples of French words and phrases used by English speakers. English contains many words of French origin, such as art, collage, competition, force, machine, police, publicity, role, routine, table, and many other Anglicized French words. These are pronounced according to English rules of phonology, rather than French. Around 28% of English vocabulary is of French or Oïl language origin, most derived from, or transmitted by, the AngloNorman spoken by the upper classes in England for several hundred years after the Norman Conquest, before the language settled into what became Modern English. This article, however, covers words and phrases that generally entered the lexicon later, as through literature, the arts, diplomacy, and other cultural exchanges not involving conquests. As such, they have not lost their character as Gallicisms, or words that seem unmistakably foreign and "French" to an English speaker. The phrases are given as used in English, and may seem correct modern French to English speakers, but may not be recognized as such by French speakers as many of them are now defunct or have a different meaning due to semantic evolution. A general rule is that if the word or phrase retains French diacritics or is usually printed in italics, it has retained its French identity. Few of these phrases are common knowledge to all English speakers, and for some English speakers most are rarely if ever used in daily conversation, but for other English speakers many of them are a routine part of both their conversational and their written vocabulary. They may however possibly be used more often in written than in spoken English. Contents ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ Not used as such in French — Found only in English — French phrases in international air-sea rescue — See also — References Used in English and French A Apéritifs Arête Art Nouveau à gogo in abundance. In French this is colloquial. à la […] in the manner of/in the style of […] à la carte literally: on the menu; In restaurants it refers to ordering individual dishes rather than a fixed-price meal. à la mode idiomatic: in the style; In the United States, the phrase is used to describe a dessert with an
accompanying scoop of ice cream (example: apple pie à la mode). However, in French, it is a culinary term usually meaning cooked with ale and some carrots and onions (example: boeuf à la mode). à propos regarding/concerning (note that the correct French syntax is à propos de) abattoir slaughterhouse accouchement confinement during childbirth; the process of having a baby; only this latter meaning remains in French acquis communautaire used in European Union law to refer to the total body of EU law accumulated thus far. adieu farewell; literally means "to God," it carries more weight than "au revoir" ("goodbye," literally "Until re-seeing"). It is definitive, implying you will never see the other person again. Depending on the context, misuse of this term can be considered as an insult, as one may wish for the other person's death or say that you do not wish to see the other person ever again while alive. It is used for "au revoir" in south of France and to denote a deprivation from someone or something. adroit dexterous, skillful, clever, in French: habile, as a "right-handed" person would be using his "right" hand, as opposed to his left one with which he would be "gauche" meaning "clumsy." aide-mémoire "memory aid"; an object or memorandum to assist in remembrance, or a diplomatic paper proposing the major points of discussion allez! "go!" or "come on!" as a command or as encouragment allons-y! "Here we go!" often used when trying something new. Especially popular in television shows such as Doctor Who amuse-bouche or amuse-gueule a single, bite-sized hors d'œuvre. Literally "mouth amuser". In France, the exact expression used is "amuse-gueule", gueule being slang for mouth (gueule is the mouth of a carnivorous animal; when used to describe the mouth of a human, it is vulgar), although the expression in itself is not vulgar (see also: cul-de-sac). ancien régime a sociopolitical or other system that no longer exists, an allusion to pre-revolutionary France (used with capital letters in French with this meaning: Ancien Régime) aperçu preview; a first impression; initial insight. apéritif a before-meal drink (in colloquial French, it is shortened as "apéro"). In French, it means either the drink or food (amuse-gueules) taken before a meal. appellation contrôlée supervised use of a name. For the conventional use of the term, see Appellation d'origine contrôlée après nous, le déluge literally: After us, the deluge, a remark attributed to Louis XV of France in reference to the impending end of a functioning French monarchy and predicting the French Revolution. The Royal Air Force No. 617 Squadron, famously known as the "Dambusters," uses this as its motto. The chorus of Regina Spektor's song Après Moi also references this phrase. arête a narrow ridge. In French, also fishbone; edge of a polyhedron or graph; bridge of the nose. armoire a type of cabinet; wardrobe. art nouveau
a style of decoration and architecture of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It takes a capital in French (Art nouveau). attaché a person attached to an embassy; in French it is also the past participle of the verb attacher (= to fasten, to tighten, to be linked) Attaque au Fer An attack on the opponent's blade in fencing, e.g. beat, expulsion, pressure. au contraire on the contrary. au courant up-to-date; abreast of current affairs. au fait being conversant in or with, or instructed in or with. au jus literally, with juice, referring to a food course served with sauce. Often redundantly formulated, as in 'Open-faced steak sandwich, served with au jus.'. No longer used in French, except for the slang "être au jus" (to be informed). au pair a young foreigner who does domestic chores in exchange for room and board. In France, those chores are mainly child care/education. au revoir! "See you later!" In French a contraction of Au plaisir de vous revoir (to the pleasure of seeing you again). avant-garde (pl. avant-gardes) applied to cutting-edge or radically innovative movements in art, music and literature; figuratively "on the edge," literally, a military term, meaning "vanguard" (which is a corruption of avant-garde) or "advance guard," in other words, "first to attack" (antonym of arrière-garde). avant la lettre used to describe something or someone seen as a forerunner of something (such as an artistic or political movement) before that something was recognized and named, e.g., "a post-modernist avant la lettre," "a feminist avant la lettre." The expression literally means before the letter, i.e., "before it had a name." avec plaisir my pleasure (lit. "with pleasure") avoirdupois used in Middle English, avoir de pois = commodities sold by weight, alteration of Old French aveir de peis = goods of weight B Ballet bric-à-brac Brioche Bureau ballet a classical type of dance beau geste literally "beautiful gesture", a gracious gesture, noble in form but often futile or meaningless in substance Beaux-Arts
beaux esprits) literally "fine mind"." and brack. . bric-à-brac small ornamental objects. a cultivated. and it applies to a person whose beliefs. particularly a witty remark bon vivant one who enjoys the good life. stylish writings. typically in the context of French influenced by Vietnamese culture. Occasionally corrupted to Bookoo. bon appétit literally "good appetite". usually on literary or intellectual subjects bien fait! literally "well done". china. orthodox. plates and curiosities. Cf. merci beaucoup: thanks a lot. French also use the term as slang for 'potbelly'. jaded. bel esprit (pl. used to express schadenfreude when someone is well-deservedly punished bien pensant literally "well thinking". bouquet a handful of flowers. much. blasé unimpressed with something because of overfamiliarity. meaning that whatever you are talking about is dreadful bourgeois member of the bourgeoisie.monumental architectural style of the early 20th century made famous by the Académie des Beaux-Arts beaucoup plenty. refuse. belles-lettres literally "fine letters". for example "beaucoup money" (French would add the preposition de: "beaucoup d'argent"). Commonly implies willful blindness to dangers or suffering faced by others. lots of. corresponding to our "by hook or by crook. Common uses of this word are in the phrases the belle of the ball (the most beautiful woman or girl present at a function) and southern belle (a beautiful woman from the southern states of the US) Belle Époque a period in European social history that began during the late 19th century and lasted until World War I. kind of a crossover between a popover and a light muffin. The word used to refer to shopkeepers living in towns in the Middle Ages. The noun form bien-pensance is rarely seen in English. Bleu celeste literally "sky blue. also. less valuable than antiques. de bric et de broc. especially in New Orleans. light. 'I wish you good luck') les boules (vulgar) literally "the balls". because of the overhang effect. Now the term is derogatory." a standard greeting in the morning or afternoon bonne chance "good luck" (as in. enjoy your meal bon mot well-chosen word(s). and practices are conventionally middle-class." is a rarely-occurring tincture in heraldry (not being one of the seven main colours or metals or the three "staynard colours"). an epicurean bon voyage literally "good journey". have a good trip! bonjour "good day. literature regarded for its aesthetic value rather than its didactic or informative content. misused in slang. LA. brioche a sweet yeast bun. attitudes. highly intelligent person belle a beautiful woman or girl. right thinking. a collection of old furniture.
or a light-brown color. café a coffee shop (also used in French for "coffee"). French uses brun and for a woman brune. "brunet" (for a boy). it is also used to describe a birthmark that is of a light-brown color (café au lait spot). abbreviated as CNI. calque a copied term/thing. and its masculine form. In medicine. "Brunette" is rarely used in French. or "Such is war!" Often used with the meaning that "this means war. literally "visiting card. literally "white card" (i. a distinctive quality. prestige. c'est la mode. is "carte nationale d'identité" (national identity card). Also means "desk" in French." but it can be sometimes used as an expression to say that war (or life in general) is harsh but that one must accept it. canard (1) unfounded rumor or anecdote. cache a collection of items of the same type stored in a hidden or inaccessible place (such as in an oubliette) cachet lit. . is almost unheard of. bureau (pl. bureaux) office. ('canard' means 'duck' in French) carte blanche unlimited authority. blank check). quality. rendered as san fairy Ann in British World War I slang. (2) a leading airfoil attached to an aircraft forward of the main wing. unless in old literature. "stamp".brunette a brown-haired girl. café au lait coffee with milk." c'est la guerre! "That's War!". C Café au lait Chaise longue Chauffeur Chignon Contre-jour Creperie ça ne fait rien "that doesn't matter".e." carte d'identité identity card. Its proper. but less commonly used administrative appellation. carte de visite a calling card. For brown-haired man. c'est bon "That's good.
chauffeur driver chef d'œuvre a masterpiece cherchez la femme "look for the woman. the reason may be found in his trying to cover up an illicit affair with a woman." chargé d'affaires a diplomat left in charge of day to day business at a diplomatic mission. c’est tout that is everything. a deceiver. negative." See also un point c’est tout. cinque five." in the sense that. In French. First used by Alexandre Dumas (père) in the third chapter of his novel Les Mohicans de Paris (1854). one of the broadest boulevards in Paris." Note that the expression chacun à son goût is incorrect. a stereotype . Often referred as simply "les Champs. chacun ses goûts / à chacun ses goûts / à chacun son goût [all are used] "to each his (their) own taste(s)" or "each to his own taste. specially by swindling. a con artist. though it was already used in the 13th century in the Roman de la rose. or "Such is life!" or "It is what it is!" It is sometimes used as an expression to say that life is harsh but that one must accept it. c'est magnifique! "That's great!". Champs-Élysées literally "Elysian Fields"." chanteuse a female singer chapeau a hat. chevalier d'industrie "knight of industry": one who lives by his wits. always spelt cinq. chapeau is also an expression of congratulations similar to the English "hats off to…. No known etymology. Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Chez Marie = "Marie's" chic stylish chignon a hairstyle worn in a roll at the nape of the neck cinéma pur an avant-garde film movement which was born in Paris in the 1920s and 30s. charlatan a person who is a fraud. chaise longue a long chair for reclining. normally referring to the 5 on dice or cards. "That's all. (also rendered chaise lounge or chase lounge by folk etymology). cliché lit. trite through overuse. a hoaxer. with little hope of realisation (means the same as "castles in the air" or "pie in the sky"). literally it's magnificent. In French. Within the United States Department of State a chargé is any officer left in charge of the mission in the absence of the titular chief of mission. châteaux en Espagne literally "castles in Spain". when a man behaves out of character or in an otherwise apparently inexplicable manner. imaginary projects."That's the fashion. or to impress or gain favour with a woman. a fake. cinéma vérité realism in documentary filmmaking cinq." c'est la vie! "That's life!". chez at the house of: often used in the names of restaurants and the like.
proper. or "blow of fat. In French. always used in a pejorative way in French. concierge a receptionist at a hotel or residence. like that". congé a departure. cotte d'armes coat of arms. thunderbolt ("strike of thunder"). In French. used for an airline pilot (le commandant de bord). an official communication. corvée forced labor for minimal or no pay. coup de foudre lit.. it refers to the treaty between the French State and Judaeo-Christian religions during the French Empire (Napoleon): priests. in the medical and law professions. comme ça "like this. neither good nor bad. lieutenant-colonels and colonels) or for any officer heading a ship. comme ci.g. when used with a capital C in French. a delay coquette a flirtatious girl. a treaty. communiqué lit. ministers and rabbis became civil servants. communicated. comme il faut "as it must be": in accord with conventions or accepted standards. historically used in the context of the battlefield to refer to the killing of badly wounded enemy soldiers. so-so. in French has a broader meaning and refers to all kinds of processions. "quarantine line" cortège a funeral procession. in French a conte has usually a fantasy context (such as in fairytales) and always begins with the words "Il était une fois" ("Once upon a time"). usu. overall an unpleasant/tedious task. Frequently pronounced without the final "s" sound by English speakers who believe that any such sound at the end of a French word is supposed to be silent. in the Army as appellative for a chef de bataillon or a chef d'escadron (roughly equivalent to a major) or in the Navy for any officer from capitaine de corvette to capitaine de vaisseau (equivalent to the Army's majors. usually used to describe love at first sight. This treaty was abolished in 1905 (law Church-State separation) but is still in use in Alsace-Lorraine (those territories were under German administration during 1871–1918) confrère a colleague. now more often used in a figurative context (e. a chain of buffer states. a tale. esp. in French refers to time off work conte a short story. contre-coup against the blow contre-jour against daylight contretemps an awkward clash. In France. business). concordat an agreement.clique a small exclusive group of friends. lit. commandant a commanding officer. couci-couça. master stroke . coup de grâce the final blow that results in victory (literally "blow of mercy").  In French this would sound like coup de gras. a tease cordon sanitaire a policy of containment directed against a hostile entity or ideology. a sudden unforeseen event." coup de maître stroke of the master.
more commonly (in the United Kingdom). of course débâcle an event or enterprise that ends suddenly and disastrously. especially in fashion or etiquette de trop excessive. caramel. literally "burnt cream" crème de la crème best of the best. Cf. Equivalent terms "impasse" or "voie sans issue" are also used in French. literally "arse [buttocks] of the bag". de novo de règle according to custom. but not as sour or as thick as sour cream and does not curdle. literally "a blow (or touch) of the eye. or the art of criticizing. or may be a more formal sit-down restaurant or café cri d'amour a "cry of love" critique a critical analysis or evaluation of a work. that is. this expression in itself is not (see also amuse-gueule). agreed." a heavy cream slightly soured with bacterial culture. anew. crème fraîche literally "fresh cream.coup d'œil a glance. croissant a crescent-shaped bread made of flaky pastry cuisine minceur gourmet cooking for staying thin cul-de-sac a dead-end street. "too much" . "cream of the cream. often with humiliating consequences. serving crêpes as a form of fast food or street food. A synonymous expression in French is « fin du fin »." used to describe highly skilled people or objects. Even though "cul" is vulgar in French. OK. de rigueur required or expected. sure. crêpe a thin sweet or savoury pancake eaten as a light meal or dessert Cul-de-sac crêperie a takeaway restaurant or stall. de nouveau again." coup de théâtre unexpected dramatic turn of events. rather than everyday clothes design) crèche a nativity display. both meanings still exist in French crème brûlée a dessert consisting primarily of custard and toasted sugar. a plot twist couture fashion (usually refers to high fashion) couturier a fashion designer (usually refers to high fashion. D Dressage d'accord in accord. a place where children are left by their parents for short periods in the supervision of childminders.
in French has the broader meaning of taming any kind of animal droit du seigneur "right of the lord": the purported right of a lord in feudal times to take the virginity of one of his vassals' brides on her wedding night (in precedence to her new husband). divertissement an amusing diversion. usually said of wine déjà vu "already seen": an impression or illusion of having seen or experienced something before. In French. it means any kind of sports director. or a situation in which a woman's chest or cleavage is exposed. A person responsible for the operation of a cycling team during a road bicycle race. or even a computer directory douceur de vivre "sweetness of life" doyen the senior member of a group. décolletage is dealt with below. literally "behind" déshabillé partially clad or scantily dressed. also a special type of garment. buttocks. literally "latest scream" derrière rear. désolé sorry détente easing of diplomatic tension diablerie witchcraft. or a transportation hub (bus depot) demi-glace a reduced wine-based sauce for meats and poultry demi-sec semi-dry. sports director. entertainment dossier a file containing detailed information about a person. The actual French term for this hypothetical custom is droit de cuissage (from cuisse 'thigh'). a storehouse. directeur sportif lit. the feminine is doyenne dressage a form of competitive horse training. as any type of file. it has a much wider meaning in modern French.déclassé of inferior social status décolleté a woman's garment with a low-cut neckline that exposes cleavage. more figuratively. or. décor the layout and furnishing of a room découpage decoration with cut paper dépôt a deposit (as in geology or banking). It appears on a scroll beneath the shield of the coat of arms of the United Kingdom. dénouement the end result dérailleur a bicycle gear-shift mechanism dernier cri the latest fashion. "wickedness" Dieu et mon droit motto of the British Monarchy. devilry. du jour .
the vital force hypothesized by Henri Bergson as a source of efficient causation and evolution in nature. also called "life-force" éminence grise "grey eminence": a publicity-shy person with little formal power but great influence over those in authority en banc court hearing of the entire group of judges instead of a subset panel en bloc as a group en escalier going up like stairs. biological graphic or model with skin removed élan a distinctive flair or style élan vital literally "vital ardor". literally "of the day" E eau de Cologne eau de vie Entrée En plein air en pointe eau de Cologne a type of perfume. en famille expression used in French to express an action done with one's family: "Tonight we are dining en famille. Great acclamation or applause écorché flayed. a type of fruit brandy. Germany. écarté a card game. as soup du jour. originating in Cologne. also a ballet position échappé dance movement foot position éclair a cream and chocolate icing pastry éclat Great brilliance. Conspicuous success. as of performance or achievement." en garde .said of something fashionable or hip for a day and quickly forgotten. Can not be shortened as eau." It usually refers to a aromatic product that is less expensive than a perfume because it has less of the aromatic compounds and is more for an everyday use. Cologne at that time being under the control of France. the English tends to be used of text. today's choice on the menu. Its Italian creator used a French name to commercialize it. eau de vie literally "water of life" (cf Aquavit and whisky). eau de toilette literally "grooming water. which means something else altogether in French (water).
Often used in connection with a military force." ennui boredom. figuratively. some Agnostida have quite an smooth exoskeleton. a side dish that can be served between the courses of a meal. en principe. literally "between us" entrée literally "entrance". spelled "écritoire" in current French esprit de corps "spirit of the body [group]": a feeling of solidarity among members of a group." and. to designate an exoskeleton with well marked features.g. Often shortened to simply "enchanté. industry…). hourglass figure. More literally. Louis XIV of France étude a musical composition designed to provide practice in a particular technical skill in the ." and is particularly used to describe the act of painting outdoors. By opposition. entremets desserts/sweet dishes. the first course of a meal (UK English)." en grande tenue is used in invertebrate paleontology (of Agnostida. with no well marked features. used to denote the main dish or course of a meal (US English). Though used in French in this same context." though." enfant terrible a disruptively unconventional person. means "in an acute angle. it is not an expression as such. en pointe (in ballet) on tiptoe. escargot snail escritoire writing desk. a "terrible child. e. The expression was created by French philosopher Denis Diderot. The expression "en pointe. entrepreneur a person who undertakes and operates a new enterprise or venture and assumes some accountability for the inherent risks Embonpoint a plump. morale. esprit de l'escalier "wit of the stairs": a concise. l'État. c'est moi! "I am the state!" — attributed to the archetypal absolute monarch. clever statement you don't think of until too late. an order of Trilobites). L'Entente cordiale (the Cordial Entente) refers to the good diplomatic relationship between France and United Kingdom before the first World War. entente diplomatic agreement or cooperation. entre nous confidentially. it qualifies the most progressive or modern things (ideas. A "pointe" is the ballet figure where one stands on tiptoes."[be] on [your] guard. and sometimes mistranscribed as "on guard. oui "in principle. en passant in passing. Very rarely used in French. on the stairs leaving the scene." used in fencing. en plein air literally "in the open air. term used in chess. yes": a diplomatic way of saying 'no' en route on the way (je suis) enchanté(e) "(I am) enchanted (to meet you)": a formal greeting on receiving an introduction.
usually as a following adjective. or face). "fils" = son) fin de saison "end of season": marks the end of an extended (annual) period during which business increases significantly. a fake persona. after which she discards or abandons them. something that has already happened and is thus unlikely to be reversed. or part of a periodical. and often the same etymology but different meanings. and proud to be so" film noir a genre of dark-themed movies from the 1940s and 1950s that focus on stories of crime and immorality fils used after a man's surname to distinguish a son from a father. consisting chiefly of non-political news and gossip. which means "to stay" rather than "to rest" faux pas "false step": violation of accepted. social rules femme fatale "deadly woman": an attractive woman who seduces and takes advantage of men for her personal goals. if a certain word has negative connotations (for example. although unwritten. It extends to describe an attractive woman with whom a relationship is likely to result. charades and other literary trifles. a word-joke at a time of grief) extraordinaire extraordinary. flambeau a lit torch . French for "study. faute de mieux for want of better faux false. such as the French verb rester. lit. faux amis "false friends": words in two different languages that have the same or similar spelling. literature and art criticism. as George Bush fils (in French. and epigrams. fiancé/e betrothed. fake. Also used colloquially in reference to something on fire or burned. a done deal. or has already resulted. Et toi?)(my name is (your name) and yours?) F façade the front view of an edifice (from the Italian facciata. "French. feuilleton "little leaf of paper": a periodical. ersatz.performance of an instrument. can be used sarcastically (depends on the tone) excusez le mot! excuse the word!. as in "putting on a façade" (the ç is pronounced like an s) fait accompli lit. accomplished fact. as "musician extraordinaire" et toi? and you? (Je m'appelle (your name). a chronicle of the latest fashions. most commonly used for the end of summer tourism flambé a cooking procedure in which alcohol (ethanol) is added to a hot pan to create a burst of flames." étui small ornamental case for needles or cosmetics excusez-moi excuse me. fier de l'être proud of being. In French used only in the expression "placer/mettre quelqu'un devant le fait accompli" meaning to present somebody with a fait accompli. in pain and sorrow. meaning "flamed" in French. a man/woman engaged to be married.
folie en famille or even folie à plusieurs do not exist in French where "collective hysterics" is used.flâneur a gentleman stroller of city streets. refers to the task of preparing and presenting cold foods. The derivated forms folie à trois. However. the golden fleur-de-lis on an azure background were the arms of the French Kingdom (often spelled with the old French style as "fleur-de-lys") Fleur de sel fleur de sel literally "flower of salt. the term is used to describe people who share schizophrenic delusions. folie à deux a simultaneous occurrence of delusions in two closely related people. an aimless idler Fleur-de-lis fleur-de-lis a stylized-flower heraldic device. Is one of the more expensive salts. the most prized is harvested during the Mistral winds that blow over the lavender fields and infuse the salt beds with a mild lavender scent. but does mean . folie à quatre. often said of an unsuitable romance. Its opposite is "forme pleine. gauche tactless." froideur coldness (for behavior and manners only) G Gendarmes Grand Prix. Grenadier gaffe blunder garçon literally "boy" or "male servant". Foie gras foie gras fatty liver. pâté made from goose liver. force majeure an overpowering and unforeseeable event. hence: pâté de foie gras. "foie gras" generally stands for "pâté de foie gras" as it is the most common way to use it. In clinical psychology. usually the liver of overfed goose. does not mean "left-handed" (which translates in French as "gaucher"). especially when talking about weather (often appears in insurance contracts) forme fruste an atypical or attenuated manifestation of a disease or syndrome. sometimes used by English speakers to summon the attention of a male waiter (has a playful connotation in English but is condescending and possibly offensive in French) garde manger literally "keeper of the food" or pantry supervisor." hand-harvested sea salt collected by workers who scrape only the top layer of salt before it sinks to the bottom of large salt pans.
height haut monde fashionable society. French People usually shorten the sentence. in the same way that clown might be used in English." naming credit or fortune Grand Prix a type of motor racing. the motto of the English Order of the Garter (modern French writes honni instead of Old French honi) hors concours "out of the running". one does not argue over differences in taste."left" gaucherie boorishness Gautier et Garguille all the world and his wife (possibly derived from a 17th century French comic Hugues Guérin. usually a government funded large scale civil engineering or technology project executed for prestige or general social benefit. Note . to "les goûts et les couleurs…" grâce à "thanks to. the word is often incorrectly used in English to refer to any French policeman [which is civilian].) Grenadier a specialized soldier. Il n'y a ni Gautier.g. the "high world" homme du monde cultured. or sometimes translated as Evil be to him who evil thinks. e. who performed under the stage name Gautier-Garguille. lit.the picture titled Gendarmes in fact shows Republican Guards." that is. and not immediately (if ever) profitable Grand Guignol a horror show. sophisticated man. (Guignol can be used in French to describe a ridiculous person. named after a French theater famous for its frightening plays and bloody special effects. to each his own. such as "the thriller genre" glissade slide down a slope les goûts et les couleurs ne se discutent pas "tastes and colours are not argued over". trend-setting fashion haute cuisine upscale gastronomy. literally "Great Prize" grand projet literally "large project". in love . literally "high school" hauteur arrogance. "man of the world" Honi soit qui mal y pense. a non-competitor. ni Garguille: "he is neither Gaultier nor Garguille." "by the grace of. though it is likely that he in turn may have taken this pseudonym from earlier 16th century recorded sayings: prendre Gautier pour Garguille: "to take Gautier for Garguille. literally "high cooking. first established for the throwing of grenades and later as elite troops H Haute couture habitué one who regularly frequents a place haute couture "high sewing": Paris-based custom-fitted clothing. 'he is no-one') gendarme member of a gendarmerie which is an arm of the military." that is to mistake one person for another. genre a type or class." haute école advanced horsemanship. "Shamed be he who thinks ill of it".
in music. je ne regrette rien"). said discreetly. to dub (the action of knighting someone). j'adore & je t'adore literally. Implies "I like you" too. impasse a deadlock. Also the pseudonym of the 14th century peasant leader Guillaume Caillet je m'appelle my name is… je m'en fous "I don't give a damn/a fuck. an expression. insouciant/e a nonchalant man/woman ingénu/e an innocent young man/woman.hors de combat out of the fight: prevented from fighting. collapses to chais pas ʃɛpa in modern colloquial speech je ne sais quoi "I-don't-know-what": an indescribable or indefinable 'something' that distinguishes the object in question from others that are superficially similar. a witty. where action or speech can not be seen or heard from outside. L'Ingénu is a famous novella written by Voltaire. a political scandal that divided France from the 1890s to the early 1900s and involved the false conviction for treason in 1894 of a young French artillery officer of Jewish background). J j’accuse "I accuse". Jacques Bonhomme a name given to a French peasant as tamely submissive to taxation. used generally in reference to a political or social indictment (alluding to the title of Émile Zola’s exposé of the Dreyfus affair. that signals the intention to straighten the pieces without committing to move or capturing the first one touched as per the game's rules. je t'aime I love you. I love [you] to the full extent." from adouber. used particularly in reference to a theatrical stock character who is entirely virginal and wholesome. Also the phrase the UK's then Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman Lamont chose to use to describe his feelings over the events of September 16. title of a play by Jean-Paul Sartre I Ingénue idée fixe "fixed idea": obsession." je ne regrette rien "I regret nothing" (from the title of a popular song sung by Édith Piaf: "Non. "I adjust. usually by injury hors d'œuvre "outside the [main] work": appetizer huis-clos "closed door": an enclosed space such as a room or cell. one would say simply "je t'aime" to one's love whereas one would say "je t'aime bien" (lit. I adore [you]. j'adoube In chess. literally. I love you well) to a friend. 1992 ('Black Wednesday') je ne sais pas "I don't know". a leitmotiv. j'arrive I arrive. The French word "aimer" implies all the different kinds of love (love = like). jeu d'esprit "play of spirit". To differentiate the two. comment or composition . often light-hearted.
the Sun King. where the concept originated. Today used for any offspring living an affluent lifestyle. "liaison" also means bond such as in "une liaison chimique" (a chemical bond) Liberté. Equality/Egality. meaning someone who writes a lot but does not have a particular skill) louche of questionable taste. laissez passer. It is also used to describe a parental style in developmental psychology. Louis Quinze "Louis XV" (of France). laissez-faire "let do". The phrase is the shortcut of Laissez faire. laissez-passer a travel document. after the fall of Robespierre. Égalité. But the concept is often assimilated and changed by other countries. The French meaning is broader. Fraternité "Liberty. architecture and interior decoration M Macramé .jeunesse dorée "gilded youth". or. a doctrine first supported by the Physiocrats in the 18th century. or non-interference. meaning leaving alone. joie de vivre "joy of life/living" L laïcité separation of the State and the different Churches (at first. In France. where the parent(s) does not apply rules or guiding. Also the namesake of the winner of the 1996 Preakness. often used within the context of economic policy or political philosophy. Brotherhood" (motto of the French Republic) littérateur an intellectual (can be pejorative in French. an attack against someone's dignity or against a custom or institution held sacred (from the Latin "crimen laesae maiestatis": the crime of injured majesty) liaison a close relationship or connection. it means an absence of religious interference in government affairs and government interference in religious affairs. and not generally understood by Francophones outside of Louisiana. name given to a body of young dandies who. who would say "profitez des bons moments" (enjoy the good moments) lamé a type of fabric woven or knit with metallic yarns lanterne rouge the last-place finisher in a cycling stage race. it usually means the secular-humanist movement and school of thought. most commonly used in connection with the Tour de France layette a set of clothing and accessories for a new baby lèse majesté an offense against a sovereign power. The motto was invented by Vincent de Gournay. a passport laissez les bons temps rouler Cajun expression for "let the good times roll": not used in proper French. For example. it concerned especially Catholicism). an affair. in Belgium. Louis Quatorze "Louis XIV" (of France). and it became popular among supporters of free-trade and economic liberalism. usually a reference to décor or furniture design. associated with the rococo style of furniture. strove to bring about a counterrevolution.
" "well shit"). in order to close a debate by feigning agreement. miss. used to facilitate cooking. and its physiological capacity to ensure protective stability for the tissues and organs of multicellular living organisms." métier a field of work or other activity. usually set up in small bowls. usually one in which one has special ability or training milieu social environment. particularly in a military context (French meaning is broader and corresponds more to "hardware") mauvais quart d'heure "bad quarter hour": a short unpleasant or uncomfortable moment mélange a mixture mêlée a confused fight. Vulgar.Mange tout Mardi gras macramé coarse lace work made with knotted cords mademoiselle young unmarried lady." because some peas can be cooked and eaten with their pod." This is often used as a sarcastic reply in French.) manqué unfulfilled. a struggling crowd ménage à trois "household for three": a sexual arrangement between three people merci beaucoup "Thank you very much!" merde "shit" merde alors "Damn it!" (literally "shit then.) milieu intérieur the extra-cellular fluid environment. This means . maison house mal de mer motion sickness. non-vulgar equivalent is "zut alors. mirepoix a cooking mixture of two parts onions and one part each of celery and carrots mise en place an assembly of ingredients. Note that gras is not capitalised. marque a model or brand matériel supplies and equipment. literally "my noble young lady" mais oui "but of course!. setting (has also the meaning of "middle" in French. the last day of eating meat before Lent. failed Mardi gras Fat Tuesday. literally "seasickness" malaise a general sense of depression or unease mange tout another phrase describing 'peas' (litt: "Eat-all.
the stage setting or scenery of a play." n'est-ce pas? "isn't it [true]?". née Dandridge. used in English to refer particularly to those living a garish lifestyle with their newfound wealth. equivalent to Mr.” mise en scène the process of setting a stage with regard to placement of actors. Originally marked a new style of French filmmaking in the late 1950s and early 1960s.g. “put in place. means any type of foam N naturellement naturally né. often used in English as an ironic reply to an accusation. fem. "Martha Washington. literally "pen name. reacting against films . etc. for example. pl. asked rhetorically after a statement. or Sir. properties." used in France for "pseudonym" nom de plume author's pseudonym. literally "war name. nouvelles) new nouveau riche newly rich." Originally an English phrase. née "born": a man’s/woman’s birth name (maiden name for a woman).. nouveaux. a pout mousse a whipped dessert or a hairstyling foam. see also arriviste and parvenu. "Pretentious? Moi?" moi aussi "me too. e.." used to show agreeing with someone le moment suprême "the supreme moment". now also used in France nouveau (pl. scenery. Also used as a title. the climax in a series of events (for example at the unveiling of an art exhibition) Mon ami my friend (male) or 'mon amie': my friend (female) Mon Dieu! my God! monsieur (pl.all the raw ingredients are prepared and ready to go before cooking. fem. the right word at the right time. a gentleman. those granted a higher station in life have a duty to extend (possibly token) favours/courtesies to those in lower stations nom de guerre pseudonym to disguise the identity of a leader of a militant group. as in "Right?" noblesse oblige "nobility obliges". nouvelle. French uses it often in the expression chercher le mot juste (to search for the right word) motif a recurrent thematic element moue a pursing together of the lips to indicate dissatisfaction." Used for stating a new way or a new trend of something. nouvelle cuisine new cuisine nouvelle vague Literally meaning "new wave. messieurs) a man. environment mise en table table setting moi "me". montage editing le mot juste "the just word". surroundings. in French. Translated.
by extension. The term "chocolatine" is used in some Francophone areas. developed by Sébastien Foucan. more specifically the individual. a duet. commonly a painting or sculpture. It's actually the phonetic form of the French word "parcours. Unlike what its name may suggest.seen as too literary (whereas the phrase "new wave" is used in French to qualify some 1980's music. using buildings." in the sense of an artist's work. par excellence "by excellence": quintessential parc fermé lit. passe-partout a document or key that allows the holder to travel without hindrance from the authorities or enter .) O objet d'art a work of art. chewed paper." which means "route. in ballet." Also known as. an artist's entire body of work omelette omelette ouais yeah oui yes P Pain au chocolat Parkour Pince-nez pain au chocolat lit. The meaning is broader in French. parkour urban street sport involving climbing and leaping. panache verve. often in follow-the-leader style. it's not made of bread but puff pastry with chocolate inside. curbs to ricochet off much as if one were on a skateboard. usually in ballet. closed park. A secure area at a Grand Prix circuit where the cars may be stored overnight. walls. parvenu a social upstart. "free running". pas de problème no problem pas de trois a dance for three. personal phenomenon of language. Parole speech. pas de deux a close relationship between two people. chocolate bread. pain aux raisins raisin bread. it means by plane in general. but not in English. also a utilitarian object displayed for its aesthetic qualities œuvre "work. flamboyance papier-mâché lit. such as Depeche Mode. or the predecessor to. a craft medium using paper and paste par avion by air mail.
pied-à-terre "foot-on-the-ground" or "foothold". pomme apple pomme de terre potato. plongeuse) a male (or female) dishwasher plus ça change.e. pastiche a derivative work. an undesirable option selected because the other choices were even worse piste referring to skiing at a ski area (on piste) versus skiing in the back country (off piste). an affected or insincere person: a wannabe pot-au-feu stew." plongeur (fem. pourboire "for drink". a place to stay. plus c'est la même chose (or plus ça change. literally "dish of the day. poseur "poser": a person who pretends to be something he is not." a European Algerian in the pre-independence state. the more they stay the same plus royaliste que le roi "more royalist than the king. tip. an imitation patois a dialect. pis-aller "worse". The original is from Voltaire's Candide and referred to the execution of Admiral John Byng. prêt-à-porter .." a type of spectacles without temple arms." the lower middle class. plat du jour a dish served in a restaurant on a particular day but separate from the regular menu." petite bourgeoisie often anglicised as "petty bourgeoisie. gratuity.any location. used after a man's surname to distinguish a father from a son. possibly. as in "George Bush père. literally. soup pour encourager les autres "to encourage others"." i. more enthusiastic than the cause deserves point d'appui a location where troops assemble prior to a battle. "apple of the earth" porte cochère an architectural term referring to a kind of porch or porticolike structure. generally applied to the city house as opposed to the country estate of the wealthy pince-nez literally "pinch nose. la petite mort an expression for orgasm. the first and literal meaning of "point d'appui" is a fixed point from which a person or thing executes a movement (such as a footing in climbing or a pivot). donner un pourboire: to tip. jargon père lit. maybe Pied-Noir literally "black foot. father. said of an excessive punishment meted out as an example. literally "the little death" peut-être perhaps. plus c’est pareil) (often abbreviated to just "plus ça change") the more things change. While this figurative meaning also exists in French.
" soul meaning person). in contrast to haute couture première dame "first lady" prie-dieu "pray [to] God". Quatorze juillet "14th July" Bastille Day. used to refer to the Revolution itself and its ideals. used to refer to the ministry itself. provocateur agitator. French for: relationship rapprochement the establishment of cordial relations. (Note: RSLP ["Répondre s'il lui plaît"] is used on old-fashioned invitations written in the . quelle surprise! "What a surprise!" Qu'est-ce que c'est? "What is this/that?" qui vive? "who is living?" (modern language : who is here ?) : a sentry's challenge. like connoisseur. Though francophones may use more usually "prière de répondre. journalism répondez s'il vous plaît."ready to wear" (clothing off the shelf). Modern French uses an "a. raison d'être "reason for being": justification or purpose of existence rapport to be in someone's "good graces"." never a "o" (as in reconnoissance). a type of prayer desk prix fixe "fixed price". vigilant — and "il n'y a pas âme qui vive" (literally "no soul is/lives here. a cultural movement in the 14-17th centuries reportage reporting. Obsolete. a menu on which multi-course meals with only a few choices are charged at a fixed price protégé/e a man/woman who receives support from an influential mentor. a polemicist Q Quai d'Orsay address of the French foreign ministry in Paris. It is the French National Day. but for the expressions "sur le qui-vive" (literally "on the point of saying qui vive") — on the alert. quoi de neuf? "What's new?" What's up? R Roux raconteur a storyteller raison d'État reason of state (always with a capital "É" in French). renaissance meaning rebirth. "I've developed a rapport with my co-workers". The beginning of the French Revolution in 1789. often used in diplomacy reconnaissance scouting. (RSVP) Please reply. to be in synch with someone." it is common enough. quel dommage! "What a pity!" quelle horreur! What a horrible thing! (can be used sarcastically).
usually in "Script" typography — at least in Belgium. lecherous older man roux a cooked mixture of flour and fat used as a base in soups and gravies S sabotage subversive destruction. savoir-faire . but lost its meaning when parliamentarism made all royals powerless." savant "knowing": a wise or learned person. a stereotypical minced oath." a name the insurgent crowd in the streets of Paris gave to itself during the French Revolution. because they usually wore pantaloons (full-length pants or trousers) instead of the chic knee-length culotte of the nobles. places or events in fictional guise roué an openly debauched. Equivalent to the English "every man for himself. but is used as a derogative term for someone who is a slow thinker riposte A quick retort in speech or action. sans without sans-culottes "without knee-breeches. sauve qui peut! those who can should save themselves. in English. a quick thrust after parrying a lunge Rive Gauche the left (southern) bank (of the River Seine in Paris).) reservoir An artificial lake ressentiment a deep-seated sense of aggrievement and powerlessness restaurateur a restaurant owner retard Translates as late. saperlipopette goodness me sauté lit. from the practice of workers fearful of industrialization destroying machines by tossing their sabots ("wooden shoes") into machinery saboteur one who commits sabotage Sacrebleu! "holy Blue!" general exclamation of horror and shock. stiff upper lip. or in fencing. Also pejorative in the phrase meurtre de sang-froid ("cold-blooded murder"). In modern use: holding strong republican views. one exceptionally gifted in a narrow skill. which includes the Sorbonne roi fainéant "do-nothing king": an expression first used about the kings of France from 670 to 752 (Thierry III to Childeric III). who were puppets of their ministers. quickly fry in a small amount of oil. also in other countries. jumped. Used as a pragmatic response to an accident. sang-froid "cold blood": coolness and composure under strain.3rd person. Very dated in France and rarely heard. A particular mindset attributed to inhabitants of that area. rôle a part or function of a person in a situation or an actor in a play roman à clef "novel with a key": an account of actual persons. The term was later used about other royalty who had been made powerless.
tant mieux so much the better." "if you please" silhouette the image of a person. 'rust' colour. succès d’estime a "success of esteem" [critical success]. an object or scene consisting of the outline and a featureless interior. one with the knack of making do. can also mean suspicion) soupe du jour "soup of the day. savoir-vivre fact of following conventional norms within a society. self-described. toilette the process of dressing or grooming. "étiquette") s'il vous plaît (SVP) "if it pleases you." meaning the particular kind of soup offered that day. not commonly used outside of heraldic emblazoning. Refers also to a painting (see tableau vivant. sometimes used pejoratively il faut souffrir pour être belle "beauty does not come without suffering". from débrouillard. tant pis "too bad. an intimate get-together or private conversation between two people. to the toilet room. . that's tough. on the fly Système D resourcefulness. lit. carefully posed and often theatrically lit. The meaning is broader in French: all types of board (chalkboard. "you have to suffer to be pretty" sur le tas as one goes along. polished soirée an evening party sommelier a wine steward soupçon a very small amount (In French. tête-à-tête "head to head". the term describes a striking group of suitably costumed actors or artist's models.literally "know how to do". etiquette (etiquette also comes from a French word. a nickname (often used in a pejorative way in French) soi-disant so-called. below) or a table (chart). when plural ("les toilettes"). to respond appropriately to any situation. notice board…)." "oh well. A typical phrase using this concept would translate directly to "Thanks to System D." tenné orange-browm. with the silhouetted object usually being black si vous préférez "if you prefer" sobriquet an assumed name. Also refers in French. tableau vivant literally 'living picture'. or ability to work around the system. I managed to fix this cupboard without the missing part. literally "oneself saying" soigné fashionable. whiteboard." T Tableau vivant tableau chalkboard.
period (US). and that’s that. sold (past tense of "vendre" = to sell). opposed to. lit. trompe-l'œil photographlike realism in painting." a kind of booby trap.torsade de pointes meaning "twisting around a point. venu/e invited man/woman for a show." used to describe a particular type of heart rhythm." Roughly equivalent to idiomatic English get lost or get out. vive […]! "Long live…!". “Vive la Résistance!”. literally "trick the eye" trou de loup literally "wolf hole. everything (else) following. that you can see inside of their home). From "vis" (conjugated form of "voir. tout de suite lit. vendus) sellout. used as a noun. though it can still be used in a few expressions like bienvenu/e (literally well come: welcome) or le premier venu (anyone. literally meaning "Go from here" but translating more closely as "Go away. Trou de loup tricoteuse a woman who knits and gossips. wine of a lower designated quality than appellation contrôlée vinaigrette salad dressing of oil and vinegar. Lit. once ("come"). "at once. "Vive . full stop (UK). like above." to see). as in "Vive la France!". literally. vin de pays literally "country wine". from the women who knitted and sewed during the executions of the French Revolution. V Salad with vinaigrette dressing vas-y! Go Ahead! Used to encourage someone (pronounced vah-zee) va-t'en! imperative form. vendu (pl. diminutive of vinaigre (vinegar) vis-à-vis "face to face [with]": in comparison with or in relation to. "Vive la République!". or accomplishment. unused in modern French. effect." "immediately" (according to the Oxford English Dictionary). touché acknowledgment of an effective counterpoint. it means someone who betrays for money. tour de force "feat of strength": a masterly or brilliant stroke. U un point c’est tout And that’s final. literally "touched" or "hit!" Comes from the fencing vocabulary. In French. très very (often ironic in English) très beau very beautiful très bonne very good (feminine form). the first who came). "Live". it's also a real estate vocabulary word meaning that your windows and your neighbours' are within sighting distance (more precisely. creation.
Not used as such in French Through the evolution of the language. "applied. in French." voyeur lit. many words and phrases are no longer used in French. or "Vive le Québec libre!" (long live free Quebec. says that an agent provocateur is a person working for another State or a political party (for example). there are those that. The term "arrêt" exists in fencing. MoonBoots). a peeping tom. often repeated for effect: zut. in English it is generally restricted to a triumphant revelation. Jean. originally referring to the difference between the sexes. Unlike "viva" (Spanish) or "vivat" (Latin). In English it appears in Tennessee Williams's play A Streetcar Named Desire. a person with artistic pretentions. volte-face a complete reversal of opinion or position. or just accessories in general. it cannot be used alone. it needs a complement. this word refers to boots used to walk in snow (e. has come to mean the accompanying items available to pursue a mission. "Lady Marmalade. Lit. someone who sees. about face Voulez-vous coucher avec moi (ce soir)? "Do you want to sleep with me (tonight)?" In French. zut alors! "Darn it!" or the British expression "Blimey!" This is a general exclamation (vulgar equivalent is "merde alors!" "Damn it!"). though it can be said also for people with bad taste in clothing. do not have the same meaning in French as the English words that derive from them. artiste a skilled performer." though this meaning doesn't exist as such in French. the phrase may be used to celebrate the difference between any two groups of people (or simply the general diversity of individuals) voilà! literally "see there". "arts appliqués" is synonym of decorative arts. arrêt à bon temps A counterattack that attempts to take advantage of an uncertain attack in fencing. après-ski after skiing socializing after a ski session. played by Kenan Thompson. in French it can mean simply "there it is". the general meaning is "a stop." A French . appliqué an inlaid or attached decorative feature. zut et zut! There is an album by Frank Zappa titled Zoot Allures. often a weird disguise or a getup. Z le zinc bar/café counter. In French it has both a broader and more specific meaning.le Canada!". Can be used ironically for a person demonstrating little professional skills or passion.g. vive la différence! "[long] live the difference". In French. accoutrement personal military or fighting armaments worn about one's self. Just plain zut is also in use. Also. a sovereigntist slogan famously used by French President Charles de Gaulle in 1967 in Montreal). The Académie française. agent provocateur a police spy who infiltrates a group to disrupt or discredit it. in its dictionary. as well as in the lyrics of a popular song by Labelle. with the meaning of a "simple counteroffensive action". the dictionary of the Académie française indicates that in the context of the arts. coucher is vulgar in this sense. Though grammatically correct. In French: an artist. The phrase is also used on the Saturday Night Live Weekend Update sketch by recurring character Jean K. even though grammatically correct. whose mission is to provoke troubles in order to justify repression. this expression is not used in French. means a funny or ridiculous clothing.
auteur A film director. literally. boutique a clothing store. it primarily means any relaxing time with friends between the end of work and the beginning of the marital obligations.S. famous cause. baguette a long. In French. narrow loaf of bread with a crispy crust. it means that they have not been altered. otherwise called 'French bread' in the United Kingdom and United States. usually selling designer/one off pieces rather than mass-produced clothes. regions. but it is not war" — quotation from Marshal Pierre Bosquet commenting on the charge of the Light Brigade.S. For people. c'est magnifique. including the kind of bread above (which has also some subvarieties). bureau de change (pl. The dictionary of the Académie française admits its use only for people. or the archetypical scary monster in a story. though other dictionaries admits it for things or ideas too. For things. but some expressions like "cinéma d'auteur" are also in use. a "baguette" refers to many long and narrow objects. there are many varieties of bread. literally "black beast. but rather "épi" or "ficelle. chacun à son goût the correct expressions in French are chacun ses goûts / à chacun ses goûts / à chacun son goût: "to each his (their) own taste(s)". or other controller of an artistic situation. cause célèbre An issue arousing widespread controversy or heated public debate. idea. but the expression is not used in French. It was popularized in the journal Cahiers du cinéma: auteur theory maintains that directors like Hitchcock exert a level of creative control equivalent to the author of a literary work. with ice cream (in the U. In French. Colloquial in French. though it can also mean this. specifically one who controls most aspects of a film. The English connotation derives from French film theory. à la mode fashionable. bureaux de change) a currency exchange. "être la bête noire de quelqu'un" ("to be somebody's bête noire") means that you're particularly hated by this person or this person has a strong aversion against you. It means "in an unaltered way" and can be used either for people or things. a magical wand or chopsticks. It is correct grammatically. like "thon au naturel": canned tuna without any spices or oil. or thing. In French. Unknown quotation in French. it rather refers to a person who does not use make-up or artificial manners (un entretien au naturel = a backstage interview). also." bête noire a scary or unpopular person. cap-à-pied from head to foot. In French. au naturel nude. as in "boeuf à la mode". which is not one of the "standard" colours of heraldry. In French. the word means author." especially flesh colour. modern French uses de pied en cap. chanson . boutonnière In English. cinq à sept extraconjugal affair between five and seven pm. lit. Often used in cooking. a boutonnière is the buttonhole itself.) or with cheese in some U. mais ce n'est pas la guerre "it is magnificent. a boutonnière is a flower placed in the buttonhole of a suit jacket. it means "fashionable" but is also a culinary term usually meaning something cooked with carrots and onions." In French. Also. regardless of whether you're scary or not. Also in heraldry. though: "s'arrêter à temps" (to stop in time). in French. it can describe any shop. and some "French bread" is not called "baguette" in France. in a natural manner or way ("au" is the contraction of "à le.expression is close. In French. In French. Can also describe a quirky and/or upmarket hotel. clothing or otherwise." masculine form of "à la"). it means the office where you can change your currency. meaning "in natural colours.
lit. because the use of a capital letter alters the meaning of the word (État: a State. bolts. a convenience store would be a "supérette" or "épicerie [de quartier]. In French. démarche a decisive step." The English sense of the word exist only when in plural form: "[faire] ses débuts [sur scène]" (to make one's débuts on the scene). fine arts. They do not exist as expressions in French: the Académie française says that un déjà vu (a feeling of something already seen) can be used but not un déjà entendu or un déjà lu. In French. crudité an appetizer of grated raw vegetables soaked in a vinaigrette. décolleté. to the German lied or the Italian aria. action of lowering a female garment's neckline. corsage A bouquet of flowers worn on a woman's dress or worn around her wrist. carrots. claque a group of admirers. décolletage means: 1. Even if the English meaning exists as well (as in "faire le coup de main"). 3. it means a repairman. encore A request to repeat a performance. however. . Operation consisting of making screws. or other matters of culture. coup de main (pl. It also can not be shortened as "coup. In French. literally "hit (blow) of state. In France. the part of a woman's garment that covers this area. décolletage = Fr. It's almost always used in the plural form in French (as in. it simply means a song. in modern French. "clique" is used in this sense (but in a pejorative way). the claque was a group of people paid to applaud or disturb a piece at the theater. In French. état: a state of being). To imply the political reason. In French.) déjà entendu/lu already heard/read. In French." émigré one who has emigrated for political reasons. it refers to a woman's chest (from shoulder to waist) and. or a distinctive way of walking. by extension.: cutting leaves from some cultivated roots such as beets. it means "beginning. 2. traditionally served as an entrée (first part of the meal. French would use of the word "exilé" (exiled)." equiv. Agric. in France. Fr. coups d'État) a sudden change in government by force. with or without a vinaigrette or other sauce. as in “Encore!”. coup d'état (pl. it means a preparing step often used in the plural form. Tech. dépanneur a neighbourhood general/convenience store. it means someone who emigrated. also used to describe additional songs played at the end of a gig. as in a country. Francophones would say «Une autre!» (Another one!) to request « un rappel » (an encore). one after another out of a single bar of metal on a parallel lathe. usually rendered by a guttural male voice with guitar accompaniment. contrary to an appetizer outside the meal). crudités). etc. it means "a slap". a person of refined taste. "[donner] un coup de main" means "[to give] a hand" (to give assistance). décolletage a low-cut neckline." which means something else altogether in French. This term is commonly used in Canadian French. connoisseur an expert in wines. It is spelled connaisseur in modern French. it means uncooked vegetable. it is oldfashioned. etc. In French. début first public performance of an entertainment personality or group. term used in eastern Canada (often shortened to "dép" or "dep"). in old French. coups de main) a surprise attack. cleavage (This is actually a case of "false friends": Engl. again.1) a classical "art song.." French uses the capital É. or 2) in Russian. a cabaretstyle sung narrative.
exposé a published exposure of a fraud or scandal (past participle of "to expose"). escritoire a writing table. The word is spelt faible in French and means "weak" (adjective). According to Merriam Webster Dictionary." "En suite" is not grammatically incorrect in French. "loud" in music) and/or Latin forte (neuter form of fortis. from the French fort (strong) and/or Italian forte (strong. 'en masse' refers to numerous people or objects (a crowd or a mountain of things). Also. \'for-"tA\ and \for-'tA\ are probably the most frequent pronunciations in American English. already means several rooms following each other. Their recommended pronunciation \'fort\.en masse in a mass or group. extraordinaire extraordinary. femme a stereotypically effeminate gay man or lesbian (slang. because in French. foible a minor weakness or quirkiness. 'mass' refers only to a physical mass. the voice: "they all together said 'get out'" would be translated as "ils ont dit 'dehors' en choeur" ([like a chorus]). "suite. in French refers to a talk or a report on any kind of subject. French people would just as well use 'un musicien extraordinaire' as 'un extraordinaire musicien' (an extraordinary male musician." fin de siècle comparable to (but not exactly the same as) turn-of-the-century but with a connotation of decadence. femme (pronounced 'fam') means "woman. In French. does not exactly reflect French either: the French would write the word le fort and would rhyme it with English for [French doesn't pronounce the final "t"]. usually applied to the period from 1890 through 1910. out of the ordinary capacity for a person. "In forte we have a word derived from French that in its "strong point" sense has no entirely satisfactory pronunciation. In fact. Used in place of Say cheese. fromage cheese. but it is not an expression in itself and it is not used. esp. It is spelt écritoire in modern French. all together. pronounced as written). Weakness is translated as faiblesse (noun). apart from fencing (the sport) the term is more generic: it means sword." but it isn't a recognized expression as such. where one might say "Tout est dans la sauce" or "C'est la sauce . however. épée a fencing weapon descended from the duelling sword. strong). typically of a person. In French." The New Oxford Dictionary of English derives it from fencing. forte a strength. French people would use the English word "cheese" or "ouistiti. en suite as a set (not to be confused with "ensuite. In French. it simply means extraordinary (adjective) and can be used for either people. whether for people or objects. for example. "le fort d'une épée" is the third of a blade nearer the hilt. like. The rule that systematically puts 'extraordinary' after the noun in English differs from French. an adjective can be put before the noun for emphasis—which is particularly the case for the adjective extraordinaire. In French. All are standard." when in the context of a hotel. French use "fort" both for people and objects. the strongest part of the sword used for parrying. Usage writers have denigrated \'for-"tA\ and \'for-tE\ because they reflect the influence of the Italian-derived forte. things or concepts. "J'ai loué une suite au Ritz" would be translated as "I rented a suite at the Ritz. when taking pictures of people to get them to smile. Grammatically correct but not used in French. In French. In French." la sauce est tout "The sauce is everything!" or "The secret's in the sauce!" Tagline used in a 1950s American television commercial campaign for an American line of canned food products. a strong point." meaning "then"). it means "end of the century. however. but the latter emphasizes his being extraordinary). In British English \'fo-"tA\ and \'fot\ predominate. It cannot be used for something immaterial. one would utter Say fromage. In French.
" première refers to the first performance of a play. it's not an expression used in French. it means an abridged book about the matter. or (for a colour) faded. etc. it cannot be used as a verb ("the film premiered on November" is the equivalent of "the film firsted in November")." Can be shortened as "pièce d'occas'" or even "occas'" (pronounced "okaz"). In French. as in gullible. petite small. it means outraged (for a person) or exaggerated. In French. portemanteaux) a blend." Passé means past. accurate. a film. nostalgie de la boue "yearning for the mud". marquee the sign above a theater that tells you what's playing. In French it is a bathrobe. it only refers to the last two and often has a pejorative connotation. In French. skinny. a word that fuses two or more words or parts of words to give a combined meaning. not necessarily the author's point of view. Theater buildings are generally old and nowadays there is never such a sign above them. it means only small and does not have those other connotations it has in English. French write it "pot-pourri. a praise." which means not only a marchioness but also an awning. a "raisonneur" is a character in a play who stands for morality and reason. "oh là là!" which means "yikes!" or "uh-oh!" The "wowie" intent does exist in French.) passé out of fashion. unusual. The first meaning . an actor's style of acting. In French. Also. From "marquise. now meaning a large suitcase. a clothes hanger. Also." literally rotten pot (it is primarily a pot in which different kinds of flowers or spices are put to dry for years for the scent). esp. it is only an adjective meaning "first. a carry coat. the masculine form (used for boys) is "petit.e. item written or composed for a special occasion.qui fait (passer) le poisson" (also fig. Literally. pièce d'occasion "occasional piece". naïve can be used only for women. alter ego. passed. a bedroom dress). when talking about a school course. more often." philosophe a French intellectual and writer of the Enlightenment. but is not as pretentious as the English usage. 'Précis' means precise. précis a concise summary. portemanteau (pl. naïf is used for men. potpourri medley. there is only the advertisement for the play (l'affiche). lit. In French. mixture. In French. extravagant. sometimes called 'author avatar'. i. In French. premier prime minister or head of government.). referred to a person who carried the royal coat or dress train. crude or degrading. In French. it means "secondhand hardware. peignoir a woman’s dressing gown. raisonneur a type of author intrusion in which a writer inserts a character to argue the author's viewpoint. In French. overdone (for a thing.) (In that second meaning. it means "the first" and only for a live performance. In French. a suitcase word). this is the feminine form of the adjective (used for girls). Though grammatically correct. The equivalent of the English "portemanteau" is un mot-valise (lit. it applies to any philosopher. The correct expression in French is "passé de mode. attraction to what is unworthy. ooh la la! "wowie!" Expression of exaggerated feminine delight. understanding or sophistication. etc. belongs to "literary" style. waiflike.. naïve a man or woman lacking experience. variation of an expression more commonly used by the French. A dressing gown is a "robe de chambre" (lit. outré out of the ordinary.
V. rendezvous lit. and now in some European countries also means 'permit for driving on motorways. but in English has taken on other overtones. Generally. In French. who tires by objecting with numerous arguments to every order. "daring") or sometimes "dévergondé" (very formal language). you eat with other patrons and the host. searched." with no sexual connotation.of this word though is a man (fem. tables d'hôte) a full-course meal offered at a fixed price. it is a type of lodging where. In French it may mean an alternate version of a piece of music. table d'hôte (pl. résumé in North American English. only for things (such as pictures) or attitudes.' Found only in English A Canadian aide-de-camp aide-de-camp "camp assistant". often shortened as tableau) in drama. a meeting. In French. art deco a style of decoration and architecture of the early 20th century made famous by the Exposition internationale des arts décoratifs et industriels modernes." Its only accepted abbreviation in French is RDV. French would exclusively use the Italian term coda. . in the army. a short scene. In Canada. reprise repetition of previous music in a suite. the meaning of risqué is "risky. living painting. or a cover version. it may also refer to the honorary position a person holds as a personal assistant to a high civil servant. unlike a hotel. or simply studied. C. or date in French. etc. In French. tableau vivant. recherché lit. (like most other English speakers) risqué sexually suggestive. programme. means sophisticated or delicate. In French. French speakers would use instead curriculum vitæ. tableau vivant (pl. pretentious. a scene where actors remain motionless as if in a picture. Larger than a simple "soutien-gorge. après-garde Avant-garde's antonym." it offers better breast support. Always hyphenated in French. tableaux vivants. it is a small picture. a military assistant to a senior military officer (heads of State are considered military officers because of their status as head of the army). Tableau means painting. Lit. "the host's table": one eats at the host's table whatever he has prepared for himself or herself. in French. brassiere French use brassière (note the accent). obscure. Francophones use instead "osé" (lit. Also. it is an expression used in body painting. at the family's table. To express the repetition of a previous musical theme. "Osé. without the negative connotations of the English. the menu is composed of traditional courses of the region and the number of patrons is very limited. "go to". raisonneuse) who overdoes reasonings." cannot be used for people themselves. French (and most English) speakers use arrière-garde (either in a military or artistic context)." unlike "dévergondé. a document listing one's qualifications for employment. vignette a brief description. appointment. the French equivalent of "bra" would be "un soutien-gorge" (which can be colloquially abbreviated as soutif). It is written "aide de camp" (without any hyphens) in French. as in "rendez-vous. with a single menu. Spelled "art déco" (note the accent) in French. In French. A "brassière" in French is a newborn baby's knitted garment but is also a special kind of woman's undergarment for sports. it means summary. or its abbreviation.
Frenchmen still use "une demi-mondaine" to qualify a woman that lives (exclusively or partially) of the commerce of her charms but in a high-life style. It is spelt réservoir. French would use "droit pour autre vie" (note how "pour" is spelled." a coarse fabric made in England. as it never made it to any dictionary and is unknown in French. French would use either "un mot / une phrase à double sens" (a word / a sentence with two meanings) or "un sous-entendu" (a hidden meaning). also. repertoire the range of skills of a particular person or group. usually of sheer or soft fabric for women. demimonde a class of women of ill repute. literally "a piece that resists. five-leaf flower of the genus Potentilla. meaning both the fact that words and signs can never fully summon forth what they mean. reservoir a holding tank for liquids. the meaning is slightly different: it means the range of songs / musics a person or group can play. Rouge . in particular by the works of a notable director. been found previously in French documents dating back to the 15th century. negligee A robe or a dressing gown. The verb entendre. The dictionary of the Académie française lists the expression "à double entente" as obsolete. It is spelt répertoire. with accents) or nuisette. Fell out of use in the French language in the 19th century. in French. It's not an expression as such in French. in French. engenders binary oppositions and hierarchies which underpin meaning itself." Francophones use plat de résistance (main dish). also a circular 5-lobed ornamental design. "Double entendre" has. Comes from "une demi-tasse. Spelt quintefeuille in French. a fringe group or subculture. but can only be defined through appeal to additional words." literally a half cup. léger de main "light of hand": sleight of hand. from which they differ and the force which differentiates elements from one another and. Pur autre vie for another's life. originally meant to understand. however. Used in the context of estates and meaning that the life-duration of the estate is based on a third party. the main meal. homage term used for films that are influenced by other films. to hear (modern). cri de cœur "cry from the heart": an impassioned outcry. pièce de résistance the best. family Rosaceae. Francophones would say maître d’hôtel (head waiter) instead (French never uses "d'" alone)." and is used for all shows of admiration. More likely from 1780 American English "cord" and 17th "duroy. in so doing. This notion is a neologism created by French Jacques Derrida in 1963. or in a close sense for dedication of an artwork to another. respect. the exact expression is "cri du cœur". an artificial pond for water. demitasse small cup. In French. usually in the context of deception or the art of stage magic tricks. Means nothing in French and has no equivalent.cinquefoil five-petal. différance a term of post-modernist criticism. as of entreaty or protest. double entendre double meaning. not the life tenant. French uses négligé (masculine form. but isn't a French word per se. corduroy Suggested as "corde du roi" ("the king's cord") but this does not exist in French. usually for coffee. "Pur" means "pure" in French). French word is written "hommage. maître d’ translates as master o'. Négligée qualifies a woman who neglects her appearance.
which are laid in horizontal courses and bonded into the wall. or kick. “safety”) the following is a safety message or warning. It is a serious breach in most countries.) In modern American court procedure. other than a successful field goal. See Mayday (distress signal) for a more detailed explanation. It is thus named because of the lightness of its pastry. A vol-au-vent is a culinary term meaning a small canapé . given to the lower courses of ribs of a Gothic vault. or "windblown". etc. during this examination. Literally "to speak the truth. fruit. and in international zones. voir dire jury selection (Law French). the examination of prospective jurors for their qualification to serve. See also See also Category: French words and phrases. MAYDAY ([venez] m'aider. note that aidez-moi means "help me") the following is a message of extreme urgency. come to help me".literally "red" in Canadian football. “breakdown”) the following is a message concerning a danger to a person or ship. MAY DEE CAL (médical. channel may be used again for urgent non-distress communication. Francophones might use «succès par médisance». cheese. prawns. “prudence”) silence partially lifted. Note that the "phonetic" versions are presented as shown and not the IPA. and the receiving team does not return. awarded when the ball is kicked into the end zone by any legal means. (MAYDAY is used on voice channels for the same uses as SOS on Morse channels. SEELONCE FEE NEE (silence fini. to use any of these phrases without justification. It is written "tas de charge" (without any hyphens) in French. vol-au-vent from the French "flight in the wind". for which there is no equivalent in English. which are often in French. Franglais French language Law French English words of French origin . “silence is over”) this channel is now available again." (Anglo-Norman voir [truth] is etymologically unrelated to the modern French voir [to see]. the lowest level of danger.) SEELONCE (silence. the highest level of danger. the next level of danger. “medical”) medical assistance needed. including inherent biases. views and predelictions. tas-de-charge term in architecture. French phrases in international air-sea rescue International authorities have adopted a number of words and phrases from French for use by speakers of all languages in voice communications during air-sea rescues. PAN PAN (panne. PRU DONCE (prudence. succès de scandale Success through scandal. Glossary of ballet. the ball out of its end zone. such as mushrooms. SECURITAY (securité.circular pieces of puff pastry with a small hole that accommodates various fillings. “silence”) keep this channel clear for air-sea rescue communications. which is predominantly French Fencing terms. each prospective juror must "speak the truth" so that counsel and the court may decide whether they should remain on the jury or be excused.
Pseudo-Gallicisms German expressions in English Greek phrases Latin phrases Latin words with English derivatives French loanwords in Persian References ^ Larousse definition for "adieu" ^ Eric Partridge: Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English.merriam-webster. Je Ne Sais What?: A Guide to de rigueur Frenglish for Readers. Combined Communications-Electronics Board Hutchinson Dictionary of Difficult Words. University of Southampton) See Section on Contribution of French.fr/definition/qui-vive ^ http://atilf. D.com ^ http://www.exe?22. Harper. 1951 ^ Pour encourager les autres@Everything2. Online Etymology Dictionary. Writers.s=3375794295. text + audio files Mathematical Words: Origins and Sources (John Aldrich. ^ http://www.com/dictionary/nostalgie%20de%20la%20boue ^ voir dire The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Language portal French language and French-speaking world portal View page ratings Rate this page What's this? Trustworthy Objective Complete Well-written I am highly knowledgeable about this topic (optional) Submit ratings Categories: Lists of phrasesFrench loanwordsLists of English words of foreign origin Log in / create accountArticleDiscussionReadEditView history Main page Contents Featured content Current events Random article Donate to Wikipedia Interaction Help About Wikipedia Community portal Recent changes Contact Wikipedia Toolbox . J. Helicon Publishing.fr/dendien/scripts/generic/cherche. Winokur.cnrtl. Ltd. Distress and Rescue Procedures (pdf).atilf. Fourth Edition (2006) ^ voir The Anglo-Norman Dictionary External links Communications Instructions.. French Words and Phrases French words within complete sentences. and Speakers.
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