Tuesday, June 13, 2017

French words in English

French Words in English

One of the most interesting things about the English language is that it is full of words that come from French. Indeed, these so-called “borrow” words make our language much more exciting.

Also, knowing these words can help you to learn French. Here’s a list over 50 words, phrases and expressions in English that come from French. There a lot more of these words that don’t appear on this list. I picked my favorite and the ones that are most commonly used. You can click on any of the French words and listen to the audio pronunciation. Enjoy!

à la
To the/in the manner of

à la carte
Restaurant menu items sold separately or individually usually in smaller portions.

à la mode
Refers to serving a desert with ice cream, eg “apple pie à la mode.

à propos
regarding/concerning

adieu
good-bye or farewell

amuse-bouche
Small bite-size hors d’œuvre

apéritif
A drink taken before a meal, usually alcoholic.

au jus
Culinary term referring to serving a dish with sauce

blasé
Not being impressed with something due to over-familiarity

bon appétit
“Enjoy your meal” – said before eating

bon vivant
Somebody who enjoys their life

boy voyage
Enjoy your trip!

bourgeois
Preoccupied with material values and class rank or status

brunette
Usually refers to a female with brown hair

café
A coffee house

café au lait
Coffee with milk

chic
Stylish, in fashion

cliché
A saying that is used to often

clique
A tight or exclusive group – pronounced “Click” in English.

crèche
Nativity scene for christmas

crème brûlée
Desert with custard and caramelized sugar

crème de la crème
Best of the best

critique
An analysis of one’s work

cul-de-sac
dead-end street

décor
Referring to home decorating

déjà vu
Literally “already seen” but refers to situations that seem like they’ve happened before.

dossier
A file containing information about a person

eau de toilette
Aromatic splashing water used after bathing; a mild perfume or cologne

eau de vie
Whiskey, brandy or other strong alcoholic beverages.

en garde
“Take your guard” – said in the sport of fencing.

entre nous
Between us…

entrée
The main dish of a meal (US) or the first course of a meal (UK)

façade
A fake persona or false impressions

faux
Adjective for fake, eg faux fur for fake fur

faux pas
Something one must not do in order to remain polite

femme fatale
A seductrice harboring bad intentions.

fiancé/e
A woman or man who will be married.

gaffe
Stupid mistake or blunder

genre
Type or kind

haute cuisine
High-end or gourmet cooking

hors d’œuvre
Appetizer

joie de vivre
Joy of living

laissez-faire
Political philosophy referring to non-interference

malaise
Sickness or not feeling comfortable

Mardi Gras
Fat Tuesday, annual festival celebrated in New Orleans.

milieu
Social environment

né, née
Born, used in writing when referring to a woman’s maiden name.

nouveau riche
Refers to people who have recently become wealthy but were previously poor.

panache
Flamboyance

par avion
Air mail

prêt-à-porter
Ready to wear

raison d’être
Reason or purpose for existing

rapprochement
Diplomatic term for two states or bodies moving towards each other

renaissance
Literally “rebirth” – Refers to 14-17th century Europe

savant
Knowing or brilliant – often used in relation to those with Autism.

soirée
Refers to an evening party

soupe du jour
Soup of the day.

tête-à-tête
Literally “head-to-head” – Refers to two people facing offer in a close debate.

vinaigrette
Oil and vinegar salad dressing

vis-à-vis
Comparing one thing in relation to another

Lemon


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