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Around 45% of English vocabulary is of French origin, most coming from the Anglo-Norman spoken by the upper classes in England for several hundred years after the Norman Conquest, before the language settled into what became Modern English. Thoroughly English words of French origin, such as art, competition, force, machine, money, police, publicity, role, routine and table, are pronounced according to English rules of phonology, rather than French, and are commonly used by English speakers without any consciousness of their French origin This article, on the other hand, covers French words and phrases that have entered the English lexicon without ever losing their character as Gallicisms: they remain unmistakably “French” to an English speaker. They are most common in written English, where they retain French diacritics and are usually printed in italics In spoken English, at least some attempt is generally made to pronounce them as they would sound in French; an entirely English pronunciation is regarded as a solecism Some of them were never “good French”, in the sense of being grammatical, idiomatic French usage. Some others were once normal French but have become very old-fashioned, or have acquired different meanings and connotations in the original language, to the extent that they would not be understood (either at all, or in the intended sense) by a native French speaker == Used in English and French == === A === à gogo in abundance. In French this is colloquial à la short for à la manière de; in the manner of/in the style of à la carte lit. “on the card, i.e. menu”; In restaurants it refers to ordering individual dishes rather than a fixed-price meal à propos regarding/concerning (the correct French syntax is à propos de) 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 aide-de-camp lit. “camp helper”; A military officer who serves as an adjutant to a higher-ranking officer, prince or other high political dignitary aide-mémoire lit. “memory aid”; an object or memorandum to assist in remembrance, or a diplomatic paper proposing the major points of discussion Allons-y! “Let’s go!” The letter “y” is the place amour propre “Self-love”, Self-respect amuse-bouche or amuse-gueule lit. “mouth-amuser”; a single, bite-sized hors d’œuvre. 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) The expression refers to a small mouthful of food, served at the discretion of the chef before a meal as an hors d’oeuvre or between main courses 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 or aperitif lit. “[drink] opening the appetite”, a before-meal drink. In colloquial French, un apéritif is usually shortened to un apéro appellation contrôlée supervised use of a name. For the conventional use of the term, see Appellation d’origine contrôlée appetence 1. A natural craving or desire 2. An attraction or affinity; From French word “Appétence”, derived from “Appétit” (Appetite) après moi, le déluge lit. “After me, 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. It is derived from Madame de Pompadour’s après nous, le déluge, “after us, the deluge” The Royal Air Force No. 617 Squadron, famously known as the “Dambusters”, uses this as its motto arête a narrow ridge. In French, also fishbone;

edge of a polyhedron or graph; bridge of the nose armoire a type of cabinet; wardrobe arrière-pensée ulterior motive; concealed thought, plan, or motive 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 gratin “with gratings”, anything that is grated onto a food dish. In English, specifically ‘with cheese’ au jus lit. “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 colloquial, être au jus (to be informed) au naturel 1. a. Nude. b. In a natural state: an au naturel hairstyle. 2. Cooked simply 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”. The French modern form of this expression is avant l’heure avoirdupois used in Middle English, avoir de pois = commodities sold by weight, alteration of Old French aveir de peis = “goods of weight” === B === baguette a long, narrow loaf of bread with a crisp crust, often called “French bread” or “French stick” in the United Kingdom. In French, a baguette is any long and narrow stick-like object; also, a rectangular diamond, cut to twenty-five facets banquette a long upholstered bench or a sofa beaucoup de Used interchangeably with the English equivalent of “lots of/many/a great number of”. Appropriate when the speaker wants to convey a greater positive connotation and/or greater emphasis Often used as an informal expression, mostly in small regional dialect-pockets in the Canadian Prairies and the American South, especially in Alberta and Louisiana respectively beau geste lit. “beautiful gesture”, a gracious gesture, noble in form but often futile or meaningless in substance. This French expression has been pressing at the door of standard English with only partial success, since the appearance of P. C. Wren’s Beau Geste (1924), the first of his Foreign Legion novels Beaux-Arts monumental architectural style of the early 20th century made famous by the Académie des Beaux-Arts bel esprit (pl. beaux esprits) lit. “fine mind”; a cultivated, highly intelligent person Belle Époque a period in European social history that began during the late 19th century and lasted until World War I belles-lettres lit. “fine letters”; literature regarded for its aesthetic value rather than its didactic or informative content; also, light, stylish writings, usually on literary or intellectual

subjects bien entendu well understood, well known, obvious – “of course” bien pensant lit. “well thinking”; right thinking, orthodox Formerly implied willful blindness to dangers or suffering faced by others but, nowadays corresponds to ” politically correct”. The noun form bien-pensance is rarely seen in English billet-doux lit. “sweet note”, love letter blasé unimpressed with something because of overfamiliarity, jaded bon appétit lit. “good appetite”; “enjoy your meal” bon mot (pl. bons mots) well-chosen word(s), particularly a witty remark (“each bon mot which falls from his lips is analysed and filed away for posterity”, The European Magazine, August 29 – September 4, 1996) bon vivant one who enjoys the good life, an epicurean bon voyage lit. “good journey”; have a good trip! bourgeois member of the bourgeoisie, originally shopkeepers living in towns in the Middle Ages. Now the term is derogatory, and it applies to a person whose beliefs, attitudes, and practices are conventionally middle-class bric-à-brac small ornamental objects, less valuable than antiques; a collection of old furniture, china, plates and curiosities. Cf. de bric et de broc, corresponding to English “by hook or by crook”, and brack, refuse bricolage to improvise or assemble something useful from what happens to be at hand; to expedite or economize a project with readily available components, versus a kit or outside sources; to reuse spare parts for other than their original purpose; to create something new by arranging old material; to create a new, valuable purpose for an object that has completed its original purpose and otherwise be discarded Connotes an intrepid do-it-yourself spirit or clever repurposing. Differs from tinkering which merely modifies an existing arrangement The term is used metaphorically to describe inventive philosophy, theories, and practices in business and academic fields, where new concepts are found in interactions of old ideas brioche a sweet yeast bun, kind of a crossover between a popover and a light muffin; French also use the term as slang for ‘potbelly’, because of the overhang effect bureau (pl. bureaux) government office; an agency for information exchange. Also means “desk” in French, and in the U.K === C === ça ne fait rien “that doesn’t matter”; rendered as san fairy Ann in British World War I slang cache a collection of items of the same type stored in a hidden or inaccessible place (such as in an oubliette) cachet lit. “stamp”; a distinctive quality; quality, prestige café a coffee shop (also used in French for “coffee”) café au lait coffee with milk; or a light-brown color In medicine, it is also used to describe a birthmark that is of a light-brown color (café au lait spot) calque a copied term/thing canard (canard means “duck” in French)an unfounded rumor or anecdote a leading airfoil attached to an aircraft forward of the main wing a slang word for “newspaper” a piece of sugar slightly soused with coffee or cognac (or another strong alcohol).canapé A small, prepared and usually decorative food, held in the fingers and often eaten in one bite. In French, it can also refer to a “sofa” carte blanche lit. “white card” (i.e. blank check); unlimited authority carte de visite lit. “visiting card”; a calling card.c’est la guerre: “That’s war!”, or c’est la vie: “That’s life!” or “Such is life!” Though either foreign expression can be used to say that life is harsh but that one must accept it, the former may imply a more deliberate cause thereof, while the latter, more accidental chaise longue a long chair for reclining; sometimes misstated as “chaise lounge” Champs-Élysées

lit. “Elysian Fields”; Avenue des Champs-Élysées, one of the broadest boulevards in Paris. Often referred to as simply les Champs chanteuse a female singer chargé d’affaires a diplomat left in charge of day-to-day business at a diplomatic mission. 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 chauffeur driver chef d’œuvre a masterpiece cherchez la femme “look for / seek the woman”, in the sense that, when a man behaves out of character or in an otherwise apparently inexplicable manner, the reason may be found in his trying to cover up an illicit affair with a woman, or to impress or gain favour with a woman This expression was first used in a novel by Alexandre Dumas (père), in the third chapter of Les Mohicans de Paris (1854), in the form of cherchons la femme (“let’s look for the woman”). The expression is found in John Latey’s 1878 English translation: “Ah! Monsieur Jackal, you were right when you said, ‘Seek the woman.'” The phrase was adopted into everyday English use and crossed the Atlantic by 1909 chez at the house of: often used in the names of restaurants and the like; 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 1930s cinéma vérité realism in documentary filmmaking. “Vérité” means “truth” cliché originally referred to a printer’s block used to reproduce type, compare the original meaning of stereotype. A phrase that has become trite through overuse; a stereotype clique a small exclusive group of friends; always used in a pejorative way in French cloisonné an ancient technique for decorating metalwork objects commandant a commanding officer. In France, used for an airline pilot (le commandant de bord), 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, lieutenant-colonels and colonels) or for any officer heading a ship comme ci, comme ça lit. “like this, like that”; neither good nor bad, so-so communiqué lit. “communicated”; an official communication concierge a receptionist at a hotel or residence concordat an agreement; a treaty; when used with a capital C in French, it refers to the treaty between the French State and Judaeo-Christian religions during the French Empire (Napoleon): priests, ministers and rabbis became civil servants 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 (also confrere) a colleague, an associate contre-coup against the blow. This word describes the repercussion of a physical or mental shock, or an indirect consequence of an event contre-jour against daylight. This word (mostly used in art namely photography, cinema or painting) describes the light that illumines an object from the other side of your own point of view contretemps an awkward clash; a delay coquette a flirtatious girl; a tease cordon bleu a cordon bleu may refer to several things, both in French and in English :A person who excels in cooking An award given to such a person An international group of hospitality management and cooking schools teaching French cuisine, founded in France An escalope of veal, chicken or pork stuffed with ham and cheese, then breaded and fried.cordon sanitaire a policy of containment directed against a hostile entity or ideology; a chain of buffer states; lit. “quarantine line” corniche a road that clings like a ledge to the side of a cliff or mountain cortège a funeral procession; in French has a broader meaning and refers to all kinds of processions

coup de foudre lit. “thunderbolt” (“strike of thunder”); a sudden unforeseen event, usually used to describe love at first sight coup d’état political coup, government overthrow coup de grâce the final blow that results in victory (lit “blow of mercy”), historically used in the context of the battlefield to refer to the killing of badly wounded enemy soldiers, now more often used in a figurative context (e.g., business) coup de main (lit. “a blow with the hand.”), means “help from someone”. Example : “Besoin d’un coup de main ?” means “Need help ?”coup de maître stroke of the master, master stroke. This word describes a planned action skilfully done. See also tour de force below coup de théâtre a dramatic turn of events coup d’œil lit. “a blow (or touch) of the eye”; a glance couture fashion (usually refers to high fashion) couturier a fashion designer (usually refers to high fashion, rather than everyday clothes design In French, it means ‘tailor’; a couturière is a seamstress crèche a nativity display; more commonly (in the United Kingdom), a place where children are left by their parents for short periods in the supervision of childminders; both meanings still exist in French crème brûlée lit. “burnt cream”; a dessert consisting primarily of custard and toasted sugar, that is, caramel crème de la crème best of the best, “cream of the cream”, used to describe highly skilled people or objects A synonymous expression in French is fin du fin crème fraîche lit. “fresh cream”, a heavy cream slightly soured with bacterial culture, but not as sour or as thick as sour cream and does not curdle crêpe a thin sweet or savoury pancake eaten as a light meal or dessert crêperie a takeaway restaurant or stall, serving crêpes as a form of fast food or street food, or may be a more formal sit-down restaurant or café critique a critical analysis or evaluation of a work, or the art of criticizing. From Latin criticus, from Ancient Greek κριτικός (kritikos) croissant a crescent-shaped bread made of flaky pastry; in French also the word for crescent cul-de-sac originally “bottom of sack” and used in English in anatomy since 1738. Used for dead end (street) since 1800 in English, since 14th century in French. The often heard erroneous folk etymology “arse [buttocks] of the sack” is based on the current meaning of cul in French, but cul-de-sac is used to refer to dead ends in modern French and is not vulgar (see also amuse-gueule) though the terms impasse and voie sans issue are more common in modern French === D === de rigueur required or expected, especially in fashion or etiquette de trop unnecessary, unwanted, or more than is suitable déclassé of inferior social status décolleté a woman’s garment with a low-cut neckline that exposes cleavage, or a situation in which a woman’s chest or cleavage is exposed; décolletage is dealt with below décor the layout and furnishing of a room découpage decoration with cut paper demi-glace a reduced wine-based sauce for meats and poultry demi-sec semi-dry, usually said of wine déjà vu lit. “already seen”: an impression or illusion of having seen or experienced something before dénouement lit. “untying”: the resolution of a narrative dépanneur (Quebec English) a convenience store dérailleur a bicycle gear-shift mechanism dernier cri lit. “latest scream”: the latest fashion derrière lit. “behind”: rear, buttocks déshabillé partially clad or scantily dressed; also a special type of garment

détente easing of diplomatic tension digestif a digestive aid, esp., an after-dinner drink, as brandy directeur sportif lit. “sports director”. A person responsible for the operation of a cycling team during a road bicycle race. In French, it means any kind of sports director divertissement an amusing diversion; entertainment dossier a file containing detailed information about a person. In modern French it can be any type of file, including a computer directory. In slang, J’ai des dossiers sur toi (“I have files about you”) means having materials for blackmail doyen the senior member of a group; the feminine is doyenne. Also dean (of faculty, or medicine) dressage a form of competitive horse training, in French has the broader meaning of taming any kind of animal droit du seigneur lit. “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) The French term for this hypothetical custom is droit de cuissage (from cuisse: thigh) du jour lit. “of the day”: said of something fashionable or hip for a day and quickly forgotten; today’s choice on the menu, as soup du jour === E === eau de Cologne a type of perfume, originating in Cologne Its Italian creator used a French name to commercialize it, Cologne at that time being under the control of France eau de toilette lit. “grooming water.” It usually refers to an aromatic product that is less expensive than a perfume because it has less of the aromatic compounds and is more for an everyday use. Cannot be shortened to eau, which means something else altogether in French (water) eau de vie lit. “water of life” (cf. Aquavit and whisky), a type of fruit brandy écarté a card game; also a ballet position échappé dance movement foot position éclair a cream and chocolate icing pastry éclat great brilliance, as of performance or achievement Conspicuous success. Great acclamation or applause écorché flayed; biological graphic or model with skin removed élan a distinctive flair or style élan vital lit. “vital ardor”; the vital force hypothesized by Henri Bergson as a source of efficient causation and evolution in nature; also called “life-force” éminence grise lit. “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 garde “[be] on [your] guard”. “On guard” is of course perfectly good English: the French spelling is used for the fencing term en passant in passing; term used in chess and in neurobiology (“synapse en passant.”) en pointe (in ballet) on tiptoe. Though used in French in this same context, it is not an expression as such. A pointe is the ballet figure where one stands on tiptoes. The expression “en pointe”, though, means “in an acute angle”, and, figuratively, it qualifies the most progressive or modern things (ideas, industry ) en route on the way enfant terrible lit. “terrible child;” a disruptively unconventional person ennui A gripping listlessness or melancholia caused by boredom; depression entente diplomatic agreement or cooperation. L’Entente cordiale (the Cordial Entente) refers to the good diplomatic relationship between France and United Kingdom before the first World War entre nous lit. “between us”; confidentially entrée lit. “entrance”; the first course of a meal (UK English); used to denote the main dish or course of a meal (US English) entremets

desserts/sweet dishes. More literally, a side dish that can be served between the courses of a meal entrepreneur a person who undertakes and operates a new enterprise or venture and assumes some accountability for the inherent risks embonpoint a plump, hourglass figure épater la bourgeoisie or épater le bourgeois lit. “to shock the middle classes”, a rallying cry for the French Decadent poets of the late 19th century including Charles Baudelaire and Arthur Rimbaud escargot snail; in English, used only as a culinary term esprit de corps lit. “spirit of the body [group]”: a feeling of solidarity among members of a group; morale Often used in connection with a military force esprit de l’escalier lit. “wit of the stairs”; a concise, clever statement you think of too late, that is, on the stairs leaving the scene. The expression was created by French philosopher Denis Diderot Very rarely used in French l’État, c’est moi ! lit. “I am the state!” — attributed to the archetypal absolute monarch, Louis XIV of France étude a musical composition designed to provide practice in a particular technical skill in the performance of an instrument. French for “study.” étui small ornamental case for needles or cosmetics excusez-moi “Excuse me” extraordinaire extraordinary, usually as a following adjective, as “musician extraordinaire.” === F === façade the front view of an edifice (from the Italian facciata, or face); a fake persona, as in “putting on a façade” (the ç is pronounced like an s) fait accompli lit. “accomplished fact”; something that has already happened and is thus unlikely to be reversed; a done deal. In French used only in the expression placer/mettre quelqu’un devant le fait accompli meaning to present somebody with a fait accompli. Also see point of no return faute de mieux for want of better faux false, ersatz, fake faux pas lit. “false step”: violation of accepted, although unwritten, social rules femme fatale lit. “deadly woman”: an attractive woman who seduces and takes advantage of men for her personal goals, after which she discards or abandons them. It extends to describe an attractive woman with whom a relationship is likely to result, or has already resulted, in pain and sorrow feuilleton lit. “little leaf of paper”: a periodical, or part of a periodical, consisting chiefly of non-political news and gossip, literature and art criticism, a chronicle of the latest fashions, and epigrams, charades and other literary trifles fiancé(e) betrothed; lit. a man/woman engaged to be married film noir Lit. “black film”: a genre of dark-themed movies from the 1940s and 1950s that focus on stories of crime and immorality fils lit. “son”: used after a man’s surname to distinguish a son from a father, as Alexandre Dumas, fils fin de siècle The end of the century, a term which typically encompasses both the meaning of the similar English idiom turn of the century and also makes reference to the closing of one era and onset of another flambé a cooking procedure in which alcohol (ethanol) is added to a hot pan to create a burst of flames, meaning “flamed” in French. Also used colloquially in reference to something on fire or burned flambeau a lit torch flâneur a gentleman stroller of city streets; an aimless idler fleur-de-lis a stylized-flower heraldic device; 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 lit. “flower of salt”, 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. Is one of the more expensive salts; traditional French fleur de sel is collected off the coast of Brittany

most notably in the town of Guérande (Fleur de Sel de Guérande being the most revered), but also in Noirmoutier, Île de Ré and Camargue foie gras fatty liver; usually the liver of overfed goose, hence: pâté de foie gras, pâté made from goose liver folie à deux a simultaneous occurrence of delusions in two closely related people, often said of an unsuitable romance. In clinical psychology, the term is used to describe people who share schizophrenic delusions. The derived forms folie à trois, folie à quatre, folie en famille or even folie à plusieurs do not exist in French where “collective hysterics” is used force majeure an overpowering and unforeseeable event, especially when talking about weather (often appears in insurance contracts) forte Lit. “strong point” (of a sword). Strength, expertise, one’s strong point froideur coldness (for behavior and manners only) === G === gaffe blunder garçon lit. “boy” or “male servant”; 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) gauche lit. “left”. Clumsy, tactless gaucherie boorishness, clumsiness gendarme a member of the gendarmerie; colloquially, a policeman gendarmerie a military body charged with police duties genre a type or class, such as “the thriller genre” gîte furnished vacation cottage typically in rural France glissade slide down a slope Grand Prix lit. “Great Prize”; a type of motor racing Grand Guignol a horror show, named after a French theater famous for its frightening plays and bloody special effects. (Guignol can be used in French to describe a ridiculous person, in the same way that clown might be used in English.) grenadier a specialized soldier, first established for the throwing of grenades and later as elite troops === H === habitué one who regularly frequents a place haute couture lit. “high sewing”: Paris-based custom-fitted clothing; trend-setting fashion haute école lit. “high school”: advanced components of Classical dressage (horseback riding); when capitalized (Haute Ecole), refers to France’s most prestigious higher education institutions (e.g., Polytechnique, ENA, Les Mines) hauteur lit. “height”: arrogance haut monde lit. the “high world”: fashionable society Honi soit qui mal y pense “Shamed be he who thinks ill of it”; or sometimes translated as “Evil be to him who evil thinks”; the motto of the English Order of the Garter (modern French writes honni instead of Old French honi and would phrase “qui en pense du mal” instead of “qui mal y pense”) hors de combat lit. “out of the fight”: prevented from fighting or participating in some event, usually by injury hors concours lit. “out of competition”: not to be judged with others because of the superiority of the work to the others hors d’œuvre lit. “outside the [main] work”: appetizer === I === idée fixe lit. “fixed idea”: obsession; in music, a leitmotiv impasse a situation offering no escape, as a difficulty without solution, an argument where no agreement is possible, etc.; a deadlock ingénu(e) an innocent young man/woman, used particularly in reference to a theatrical stock character who is entirely virginal and wholesome. L’Ingénu is a famous novella written by Voltaire

=== J === j’accuse “I accuse”; used generally in reference to a political or social indictment (alluding to the title of Émile Zola’s exposé of the Dreyfus affair, a political scandal that divided France from the 1890s to the early 1900s (decade) and involved the false conviction for treason in 1894 of Alfred Dreyfus, a young French artillery officer of Jewish background) j’adoube In chess, an expression, said discreetly, that signals the intention to straighten the pieces without committing to move or capturing the first one touched as per the game’s rules; lit. “I adjust”, from adouber, to dub (the action of knighting someone) je ne regrette rien “I regret nothing” (from the title of a popular song sung by Édith Piaf: Non, je ne regrette rien). 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, 1992 (‘Black Wednesday’) je ne sais quoi lit. “I-don’t-know-what”: an indescribable or indefinable ‘something’ that distinguishes the object in question from others that are superficially similar jeu d’esprit lit. “play of spirit”: a witty, often light-hearted, comment or composition jeunesse dorée lit. “gilded youth”; name given to a body of young dandies, also called the Muscadins, who, after the fall of Robespierre, fought against the Jacobins. Today used for youthful offspring, particularly if bullying and vandalistic, of the affluent joie de vivre “joy of life/living” === L === l’appel du vide lit. “call of the void”; used to refer to intellectual suicidal thoughts, or the urge to engage in self-destructive (suicidal) behaviors during everyday life. Examples include thinking about swerving in to the opposite lane while driving, or feeling the urge to jump off a cliff edge while standing on it. These thoughts are not accompanied by emotional distress laïcité separation of the State and the different Churches (at first, it concerned especially Catholicism). In France, where the concept originated, it means an absence of religious interference in government affairs and government interference in religious affairs. But the concept is often assimilated and changed by other countries. For example, in Belgium, it usually means the secular-humanist movement and school of thought laissez-faire lit. “let do”; often used within the context of economic policy or political philosophy, meaning leaving alone, or non-interference The phrase is the shortcut of Laissez faire, laissez passer, a doctrine first supported by the Physiocrats in the 18th century. The motto was invented by Vincent de Gournay, and it became popular among supporters of free-trade and economic liberalism. It is also used to describe a parental style in developmental psychology, where the parent(s) does not apply rules or guiding. As per the parental style, it is now one of the major management styles laissez-passer a travel document, a passport laissez les bons temps rouler Cajun expression for “let the good times roll”: not used in proper French, and not generally understood by Francophones outside Louisiana, 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; most commonly used in connection with the Tour de France lèse majesté an offense against a sovereign power; or, 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; an affair The French meaning is broader; liaison also means “bond”‘ such as in une liaison chimique (a chemical bond) lingerie a type of female underwear littérateur an intellectual (can be pejorative in French, meaning someone who writes a lot but does not have a particular skill) louche of questionable taste, but also someone or something that arouses somebody’s suspicions Louis Quatorze “Louis XIV” (of France), the Sun King, usually a reference to décor or furniture design

Louis Quinze “Louis XV” (of France), associated with the rococo style of furniture, architecture and interior decoration === M === macramé coarse lace work made with knotted cords madame a woman brothel-keeper (Fowler’s Modern English Usage, 3rd edition, p. 475). In French, a title of respect for an older or married woman (literally “my lady”) mademoiselle lit. “my noble young lady”: young unmarried lady, miss malaise a general sense of depression or unease mange tout another phrase describing ‘peas’ (lit. “eat-all”, because some peas can be cooked and eaten with their pod) manqué unfulfilled; failed Mardi gras Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday, the last day of eating meat before Lent marque a model or brand matériel supplies and equipment, particularly in a military context (French meaning is broader and corresponds more to “hardware”) mauvais quart d’heure lit. “bad quarter hour”: a short unpleasant or uncomfortable moment mdr Alt., MDR. Abbreviation in SMS, akin to LOL; for mort de rire (mort, adj. or verb, past tense), or mourir de rire (mourir, verb, infinitive) Lit., as adjective or past tense, dead or died of laughing, so “died laughing” or “dying of laughter”; compare mort de faim for starve mélange a mixture mêlée a confused fight; a struggling crowd ménage à trois lit. “household for three”: a sexual arrangement between three people métier a field of work or other activity; usually one in which one has special ability or training milieu social environment; setting (has also the meaning of “middle” in French) milieu intérieur the extra-cellular fluid environment, and its physiological capacity to ensure protective stability for the tissues and organs of multicellular living organisms mirepoix a cooking mixture of two parts onions and one part each of celery and carrots mise en place an assembly of ingredients, usually set up in small bowls, used to facilitate cooking This means all the raw ingredients are prepared and ready to go before cooking. Translated, “put in place.” mise en scène the process of setting a stage with regard to placement of actors, scenery, properties, etc.; the stage setting or scenery of a play; surroundings, environment mise en table table setting montage editing le mot juste lit. “the just word”; the right word at the right time. 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, a pout mousse a whipped dessert or a hairstyling foam; in French, however, it refers to any type of foam or moss === N === né, née lit. “born”: a man’s/woman’s birth name (maiden name for a woman), e.g., “Martha Washington, née Dandridge.” n’est-ce pas? “isn’t it [true]?”; asked rhetorically after a statement, as in “Right?” noblesse oblige “nobility obliges”; those granted a higher station in life have a duty to extend (possibly token) favours/courtesies to those in lower stations. Used in French with the definite article (“La noblesse oblige”) nom de guerre pseudonym to disguise the identity of a leader of a militant group, literally “war name”, used in France for “pseudonym” nom de plume originally a “back-translation” from the English

“pen name”: author’s pseudonym nonpareil Unequalled, unrivalled; unique; more usual in modern French would be sans pareil (literally “without equal”) nouveau (pl. nouveaux; fem. nouvelle; fem pl. nouvelles) new nouveau riche lit. “newly rich”, used to refer particularly to those living a garish lifestyle with their newfound wealth; see also arriviste and parvenu nouvelle vague lit. “new wave.” Used for stating a new way or a new trend of something. Originally marked a new style of French filmmaking in the late 1950s and early 1960s, reacting against films seen as too literary === O === objet d’art a work of art, commonly a painting or sculpture; also a utilitarian object displayed for its aesthetic qualities œuvre “work”, in the sense of an artist’s work; by extension, an artist’s entire body of work opéra bouffe comedy, satire, parody or farce outré exceeding the lines of propriety; eccentric in behavior or appearance in an inappropriate way === P === pain au chocolat lit. “bread with chocolate.” Despite the name, it is not made of bread but puff pastry with chocolate inside. The term chocolatine is used in some Francophone areas (especially the South-West) and sometimes in English pain aux raisins raisin bread panache verve; flamboyance papier-mâché lit. “chewed paper”; a craft medium using paper and paste par avion by aircraft. In English, specifically by air mail, from the phrase found on air mail envelopes par excellence better than all the others, quintessential parc fermé lit. “closed park”. A secure area at a Grand Prix circuit where the cars may be stored overnight parkour urban street sport involving climbing and leaping, using buildings, walls, curbs to ricochet off much as if one were on a skateboard, often in follow-the-leader style. Originally a phonetic form of the French word parcours, which means “a run, a route” Also known as, or the predecessor to, “free running”, developed by Sébastien Foucan parole 1) (in linguistics) speech, more specifically the individual, personal phenomenon of language; see langue and parole. 2) (in criminal justice) conditional early release from prison; see parole parvenu a social upstart pas de deux lit. “step for two”; in ballet, a dance or figure for two performers, a duet; also a close relationship between two people pas de trois lit. “step for three”; in ballet, a dance or figure for three performers passe-partout a document or key that allows the holder to travel without hindrance from the authorities or enter any location pastiche a derivative work; an imitation patois a dialect; jargon père lit. “father”, used after a man’s surname to distinguish a father from a son, as in Alexandre Dumas, père peloton in cycling, the main group of riders in a road race petite bourgeoisie often anglicised as “petty bourgeoisie”, used to designate the middle class la petite mort lit. “the little death”; an expression for orgasm Pied-Noir lit. “black foot”, a European Algerian in the pre-independence state pied-à-terre (also pied à terre) lit. “foot-on-the-ground”; a place to stay, generally applied to the city house as opposed to the country estate of the wealthy pince-nez lit. “nose-pincher”, a type of spectacles without temple arms piste lit. “trail” or “track”; often used referring to skiing at a ski area (on piste) versus

skiing in the back country (off piste) plage beach, especially a fashionable seaside resort plat du jour lit. “dish of the day”; a dish served in a restaurant on a particular day but separate from the regular menu plongeur (fem. plongeuse) a male (or female) dishwasher plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose (or plus ça change, plus c’est pareil) (often abbreviated to just plus ça change) the more things change, the more they stay the same point d’appui a location where troops assemble prior to a battle. While this figurative meaning also exists in French, 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) porte cochère an architectural term referring to a kind of porch or porticolike structure poseur lit. “poser”: a person who pretends to be something he is not; an affected or insincere person; a wannabe pot-au-feu stew, soup pour encourager les autres lit. “to encourage others”; said of an excessive punishment meted out as an example, to deter others. The original is from Voltaire’s Candide and referred to the execution of Admiral John Byng pourboire lit. “for drink”; gratuity, tip; donner un pourboire: to tip prairie lit. “meadow”; expansive natural meadows of long grass prêt-à-porter lit. “ready to wear”; clothing off the shelf, in contrast to haute couture prie-dieu lit. “pray [to] God”; a type of prayer desk prix fixe lit. “fixed price”; a menu on which multi-course meals with only a few choices are charged at a fixed price protégé(e) lit. “protected”; a man/woman who receives support from an influential mentor provocateur an agitator, a polemicist === Q === Quai d’Orsay address of the French foreign ministry in Paris, used to refer to the ministry itself Quatorze juillet “14th of July”, usually called Bastille Day in English. The beginning of the French Revolution in 1789; used to refer to the Revolution itself and its ideals. It is the French National Day quelle bonne idée ! What a good idea! quel dommage ! What a sad thing! (can be used sarcastically) quelle horreur ! What a horrible thing! (can be used sarcastically) quelle surprise ! What a surprising thing! === R === raconteur a storyteller raison d’être “reason for being”: justification or purpose of existence rapprochement the establishment of cordial relations, often used in diplomacy refoulement the expulsion of persons who have the right to be recognised as refugees reportage reporting; journalism répondez s’il-vous-plaît. (RSVP) Please reply. Though francophones may use more usually “prière de répondre” or “je vous prie de bien vouloir répondre”, it is common enough restaurateur a restaurant owner Rive Gauche the left (southern) bank (of the River Seine in Paris). A particular mindset attributed to inhabitants of that area, which includes the Sorbonne roi fainéant lit. “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. The term was later used about other royalty who had been made powerless, also in other countries, but lost its meaning when parliamentarism made all royals powerless roman à clef lit. “novel with a key”: an account of actual persons, places or events in fictional guise roué

an openly debauched, lecherous older man roux a cooked mixture of flour and melted butter (or other fat) used as a base in soups and gravies === S === sacre bleu lit. “sacred blue”: a dated French minced oath originating from the blasphemous “sacre dieu!” (“Holy god!”). Meant as a cry of surprise or happiness sang-froid lit. “cold blood”: coolness and composure under strain; stiff upper lip. Also pejorative in the phrase meurtre de sang-froid (“cold-blooded murder”) sans without sans-culottes lit. “without knee-breeches”, 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. In modern use: holding strong republican views sauté lit. “jumped”, from the past participle of the verb sauter (to jump), which can be used as an adjective or a noun; quickly fried in a small amount of oil, stir-fried. ex: sauté of veau savant lit. “knowing”: a wise or learned person; in English, one exceptionally gifted in a narrow skill savoir-faire lit. “know how to do”; to respond appropriately to any situation savoir-vivre fact of following conventional norms within a society; etiquette (etiquette also comes from a French word, étiquette) sobriquet an assumed name, a nickname (often used in a pejorative way in French) soi-disant lit. “oneself saying”; so-called; self-described soigné fashionable; polished soirée an evening party sommelier a wine steward soupçon a very small amount. (In French, it can also mean “suspicion”.) soupe du jour lit. “soup of the day”, the particular kind of soup offered that day succès d’estime lit. “success of esteem; critical success”; sometimes used pejoratively in English === T === tableau chalkboard. The meaning is broader in French: all types of board (chalkboard, whiteboard, notice board …). Refers also to a painting (see tableau vivant, below) or a table (chart) tableau vivant lit. “living picture”; the term describes a striking group of suitably costumed actors or artist’s models, carefully posed and often theatrically lit tenné orange-brown, “rust” colour, not commonly used outside heraldic emblazoning tête-à-tête lit. “head to head”; an intimate get-together or private conversation between two people toilette the process of dressing or grooming. Also refers in French, when plural (les toilettes), to the toilet room torsades de pointes lit. “twisting around a point”, used to describe a particular type of heart rhythm touché lit. “touched” or “hit!”: acknowledgment of an effective counterpoint or verbal riposte; comes from terminology in the sport of fencing Not understandable in modern French, as “touché” means “emotionally touched” tour de force (also tour-de-force) lit. “feat of strength”: a masterly or brilliant stroke, creation, effect, or accomplishment tout court lit. “all short”: typically used in philosophy to mean “nothing else”, in contrast to a more detailed or extravagant alternative. For instance, “Kant does not believe that morality derives from practical reason as applied to moral ends, but from practical reason tout court” tout de suite right now, immediately. Often mangled as “toot sweet” tranche lit. “slice”: one of several different classes

of securities involved a single financial transaction triage during a medical emergency or disaster, the process of determining the priority of medical treatment or transportation based on the severity of the patient’s condition tricoteuse a woman who knits and gossips; from the women who knitted and sewed while watching executions of prisoners of the French Revolution trompe-l’œil lit. “trick the eye”; photographic realism in fine-art painting or decorative painting in a home trou de loup lit. “wolf hole”; a kind of booby trap === V === va-et-vient lit. “goes and comes”; the continual coming and going of people to and from a place venu(e) an invited man/woman for a show, or “one who has come”; the term is unused in modern French, though it can still be heard in a few expressions like bienvenu/e (literally “well come”: welcome) or le premier venu (anyone; literally, “the first who came”) vin de pays lit. “country wine”; wine of a lower designated quality than appellation contrôlée vinaigrette diminutive of vinaigre (vinegar): salad dressing of oil and vinegar vis-à-vis (also vis-a-vis) lit. “face to face [with]”: in comparison with or in relation to; opposed to. From vis, an obsolete word for “face”, replaced by visage in contemporary French. In French, this is also a real estate vocabulary word, meaning that your windows and your neighbours’ are within sighting distance (more precisely, that you can see inside of their home) vive […]! “Long live …!”; lit. “Live”; as in “Vive la France !”, Vive la République !, Vive la Résistance !, Vive le Canada !, or Vive le Québec libre ! (long live free Quebec, a sovereigntist slogan famously used by French President Charles de Gaulle in 1967 in Montreal) Unlike viva (Italian and Spanish) or vivat (Latin), it cannot be used alone; it needs a complement vive la différence ! lit. “[long] live the difference”; originally referring to the difference between the sexes; the phrase may be also used to celebrate the difference between any two groups of people (or simply the general diversity of individuals) voilà ! lit. “see there”; in French it can mean simply “there it is”; in English it is generally restricted to a triumphant revelation volte-face frenchified form of Italian volta faccia, lit. “turn face”, an about-face, a maneuver in marching; figuratively, a complete reversal of opinion or position voulez-vous coucher avec moi (ce soir)? “Do you want to sleep with me (tonight)?” or more appropriately, “Will you spend the night with me?” In French, coucher is vulgar in this sense. In English it appears in Tennessee Williams’s play A Streetcar Named Desire, as well as in the lyrics of a popular song by Labelle, “Lady Marmalade.” voyeur lit. “someone who sees”; a Peeping Tom === Z === zut alors! “Darn it!” or the British expression “Blimey!” This is a general exclamation (vulgar equivalent is merde alors ! “Damn it!”). Just plain zut is also in use, often repeated for effect: zut, zut et zut ! There is an album by Frank Zappa, punningly titled Zoot Allures. The phrase is also used on the Saturday Night Live Weekend Update sketch by recurring character Jean K. Jean, played by Kenan Thompson == Not used as such in French == Through the evolution of the language, many words and phrases are no longer used in modern French. Also there are expressions that, even though grammatically correct, do not have the same meaning in French as the English words derived from them. Some older word usages still appear in Quebec French à la mode fashionable; in the US it also describes a dessert with ice cream (as in “apple pie à la mode”) or, in some US regions, with cheese

In French, it mainly means “fashionable”, “trendy”, but is occasionally a culinary term usually meaning something cooked with carrots and onions (as in bœuf à la mode). It can also mean “in the style or manner [of]” (as in tripes à la mode de Caen), and in this acceptation is similar to the shorter expression “à la” accoutrement personal military or fighting armaments worn about one’s self; has come to mean the accompanying items available to pursue a mission, or just accessories in general. In French, means a funny or ridiculous clothing; often a weird disguise or a getup, though it can be said also for people with bad taste in clothing appliqué an inlaid or attached decorative feature Lit. “applied”, though this meaning does not exist as such in French. However “appliqué inversé” exists and has the same meaning than a reverse appliqué. Also an “applique murale” is a decorative light fixture attached on a wall après-ski lit. “after skiing”, socializing after a ski session; in French, this word refers to boots used to walk in snow (e.g. MoonBoots). Commonly used for the same thing as in English in Quebec arrêt à bon temps A counterattack that attempts to take advantage of an uncertain attack in fencing. Though grammatically correct, this expression is not used in French. The term arrêt exists in fencing, with the meaning of a “simple counteroffensive action”; the general meaning is “a stop”. A related French expression: s’arrêter à temps (to stop in time) artiste a skilled performer, a person with artistic pretensions. In French: an artist. Can be used ironically for a person demonstrating little professional skill or passion in both languages au naturel nude; in French, literally, in a natural manner or way (au is the contraction of à le, masculine form of à la). It means “in an unaltered way” and can be used either for people or things. For people, it rather refers to a person who does not use make-up or artificial manners (un entretien au naturel = a backstage interview). For things, it means that they have not been altered. Often used in cooking, like thon au naturel: canned tuna without any spices or oil. Also in heraldry, meaning “in natural colours”, especially flesh colour, which is not one of the “standard” colours of heraldry auteur A film director, specifically one who controls most aspects of a film, or other controller of an artistic situation. The English connotation derives from French film theory. 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. In French, the word means “author”, but some expressions like cinéma d’auteur are also in use bête noire a scary or unpopular person, idea, or thing, or the archetypal scary monster in a story; literally “black beast.” In French, être la bête noire de quelqu’un (“to be somebody’s black beast”) means that you’re particularly hated by this person or this person has a strong aversion against you, regardless of whether you’re scary or not. The dictionary of the Académie française admits its use only for people, though other dictionaries admits it for things or ideas too. It also means that one is repeatedly defeated by a person, who is thus considered their archenemy (for instance, “Nadal is the bête noire of Roger Federer”) boutique a clothing store, usually selling designer/one off pieces rather than mass-produced clothes Can also describe a quirky and/or upmarket hotel. In French, it can describe any shop, clothing or otherwise. The expression hôtel-boutique can be used to refer to upmarket hotels, but the word is recent and not as widespread as the equivalent expression boutique hotel boutonnière In English, a boutonnière is a flower placed in the buttonhole of a suit jacket. In French, a boutonnière is the buttonhole itself. Yet the French expression “Une fleur à la boutonnière” has an equivalent meaning c’est magnifique, mais ce n’est pas la guerre “it is magnificent, but it is not war” — quotation from Marshal Pierre Bosquet commenting on the charge of the Light Brigade. Unknown quotation in French cause célèbre An issue arousing widespread controversy or heated public debate, lit. ‘famous cause’ It is correct grammatically, but the expression

is not used in French chacun à son goût the correct expressions in French are chacun ses goûts / à chacun ses goûts / à chacun son goût: “to each his/her own taste(s)” chanson a classical “art song”, equiv. to the German Lied or the Italian aria; or, in Russian, a cabaret-style sung narrative, usually rendered by a guttural male voice with guitar accompaniment In French, it can be used to refer to any song, but it also refers to the same music genre as in English (someone practicing this genre being generally called a chansonnier in Quebec, especially if they sing at a restaurant or cabaret) château a manor house or a country house of nobility or gentry, with or without fortifications, originally—and still most frequently—in French-speaking regions. The word château is also used for castles in French, so where clarification is needed, the term château fort (“strong castle”) is used to describe a castle chef in English, a person who cooks professionally for other people. In French, a professional cook is a cuisinier (lit. “cook”), chef-cuisinier referring to a head cook. Also, sous-chef, the second-in-command, directly under the head chef. Traditionally, chef used to means the head, for example a “couvre-chef” is a headgear, but by extension it’s often used in job titles, military ranks, for a person in charge or who leads a group of people: “chef d’État” (lit. “Head of State” and “Chief of State”), “chef d’entreprise” (“Business executive”), “chef d’orchestre” (Conductor of an Orchestra), “sergeant-chef” (Staff Sergeant), “chef de gare” (stationmaster), “chef de famille” (head of household), etc. More casually in a work context, a chef is a boss cinq à sept extraconjugal affair between five and seven pm. In French, though it can also mean this, it primarily means any relaxing time with friends between the end of work and the beginning of the marital obligations. In Quebec French, it is also used as a synonym for “Happy Hour” by bars and restaurants that serve discounted drinks after working hours claque a group of admirers; in French, la claque is a group of people paid to applaud or disturb a piece at the theatre, though the common meaning of “claque” is “a slap”; clique is used in this sense (but in a pejorative way) connoisseur an expert in wines, fine arts, or other matters of culture; a person of refined taste. It is spelled connaisseur in modern French (lit “someone who knows”) corsage A bouquet of flowers worn on a woman’s dress or worn around her wrist. In French, it refers to a woman’s chest (from shoulder to waist) and, by extension, the part of a woman’s garment that covers this area coup de main (pl. coups de main) a surprise attack. In French, [donner] un coup de main means “[to give] a hand” (to give assistance). Even if the English meaning exists as well (as in faire le coup de main), it is old-fashioned coup d’état (pl. coups d’État) a sudden change in government by force; literally “hit (blow) of state.” French uses the capital É, because the use of a capital letter alters the meaning of the word (État: a State, as in a country; état: a state of being). It also cannot be shortened as coup, which literally means a “hit” in French, but can be used figuratively to mean many more things début first public performance of an entertainment personality or group. In French, it means “beginning.” The English meaning of the word exists only when in the plural form: [faire] ses débuts [sur scène] (to make one’s débuts on the stage) décolletage a low-cut neckline, cleavage. In French it means: 1. action of lowering a female garment’s neckline; 2. Agric.: cutting leaves from some cultivated roots such as beets, carrots, etc.; 3. Tech. Operation consisting of making screws, bolts, etc. one after another out of a single bar of metal on a parallel lathe démarche a decisive step. In French, it means a preparing step (often used in the plural form), a specific set of steps to get a specific result (can be used in the singular form, sometimes the expression “marche à suivre” (lit. “step to follow”) will be preferred), or a distinctive way of walking dépanneur

a neighbourhood general/convenience store, term used in eastern Canada (often shortened to dép or dep). This term is commonly used in Canadian French; however, in France, it means a repairman. In France, a convenience store would be a supérette or épicerie [de quartier] émigré one who has emigrated for political reasons French also use the word exilé (exiled) or réfugié (refugee) or even “exilé politique” or “réfugié politique” encore A request to repeat a performance, as in Encore!, lit. ‘again’; also used to describe additional songs played at the end of a gig. Francophones would say « Une autre ! » (‘Another one!’) or «Bis !» to request « un rappel » or « un bis » en masse in a mass or group, all together. In French, masse refers only to a physical mass, whether for people or objects. It cannot be used for something immaterial, like, for example, the voice: “they all together said ‘get out'” would be translated as ils ont dit ‘dehors’ en chœur ([like a chorus]). Also, en masse refers to numerous people or objects (a crowd or a mountain of things). In colloquial Québécois French, it means “a bunch” (as in il y avait du monde en masse, “there was a bunch of people”) en suite as a set (not to be confused with ensuite, meaning “then”). Can refer, in particular, to hotel rooms with attached private bathroom, especially in Britain where hotels without private facilities are more common than in North America. In French, suite, when in the context of a hotel, already means several rooms following each other. J’ai loué une suite au Ritz would be translated as “I rented a suite at the Ritz.” En suite is not grammatically incorrect in French, but it is not an expression in itself and it is not used entrée lit. “entrance”; in French, the first dish that starts a meal, i.e. the entrance to the meal. It can refer to a set of bites or small snacks, or a small dish served before a main course. The main dish or “plat de résistance” comes after the entrée. In American English, the meaning has migrated to “main dish”. In other varieties of English it maintains its French meaning épée a fencing weapon descended from the duelling sword. In French, apart from fencing (the sport) the term is more generic: it means sword escritoire a writing table. It is spelt écritoire in modern French exposé a published exposure of a fraud or scandal (past participle of “to expose”); in French refers to a talk or a report on any kind of subject femme a stereotypically effeminate gay man or lesbian (slang, pronounced as written). In French, femme (pronounced ‘fam’) means “woman.” fin de siècle comparable to (but not exactly the same as) turn-of-the-century but with a connotation of decadence, usually applied to the period from 1890 through 1910. In French, it means “end of the century”, but it isn’t a recognized expression as such. The French expression “ambiance [de] fin de règne” (lit. “end-of-reign atmosphere”) also has a light connotation of boredom and decadence forte a strength, a strong point, typically of a person, from the French fort(e) (strong) and/or Italian forte (strong, esp. “loud” in music) and/or Latin forte (neuter form of fortis, strong). French uses fort(e) for both people and objects According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, “In forte we have a word derived from French that in its “strong point” sense has no entirely satisfactory pronunciation. Usage writers have denigrated \’for-“tA\ and \’for-tE\ because they reflect the influence of the Italian-derived forte. Their recommended pronunciation \’fort\, however, 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”]. All are standard, however. In British English \’fo-“tA\ and \’fot\ predominate; \’for-“tA\ and \for-‘tA\ are probably the most frequent pronunciations in American English.” The New Oxford Dictionary of English derives it from fencing. In French, le fort d’une épée is the third of a blade nearer the hilt, the strongest part of the sword used for parrying.hors d’oeuvre

term used for the snacks served with drinks before a meal. Literally “outside of the work” The French use apéritif to refer to the time before a meal and the drinks consumed during that time, yet “hors d’œuvre” is a synonym of “entrée” in French and means the first dish that starts a meal. In Québécois French, apéritif refers to the drink only, and hors-d’œuvre (usually plural) refers to a set of bites, while an entrée is a small dish (an entrée can be made as hors-d’œuvres, but not all of them are) 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. Grammatically correct but not used in French, where one might say Tout est dans la sauce or C’est la sauce qui fait (passer) le poisson Lavatoire or Lavatory A once commonly used British term for a toilet or water closet. Before the age of the internet, it was commonly believed, and widely taught in schools in Britain, that the word Toilet was a rather vulgar, impure, corruption of the French word “Toilettes” and that Lavatory was the correct expression to use because it was much closer in meaning to the French the word it was derived from, “Lavatoire”, which was supposed to mean “to wash, or to clean, yourself”. Actually, though the word Lavatoire does exist in French, it never meant a toilet or a bathroom. The Lavatoire was the holy stone upon which the bodies of ecclesiastics, priest and members of the clergy, were once washed after their deaths, in order to prepare them for the afterlife, for their journey to heaven marquee the sign above a theater that tells you what is playing. From marquise, which means not only a marchioness but also an awning. Theater buildings are generally old and nowadays there is never such a sign above them; there is only the advertisement for the play (l’affiche) nostalgie de la boue “yearning for the mud”; attraction to what is unworthy, crude or degrading. Though grammatically correct, it is not used in French objet trouvé an ordinary object, such as a piece of driftwood, a shell, or a manufactured article, that is treated as an objet d’art because it is aesthetically pleasing. In French, les objets trouvés, short for le bureau des objets trouvés, means the lost-and-found, the lost property outré out of the ordinary, unusual. In French, it means outraged (for a person) or exaggerated, extravagant, overdone (for a thing, esp. a praise, an actor’s style of acting, etc.); in that second meaning, belongs to “literary” style passé out of fashion. The correct expression in French is passé de mode. Passé means past, passed, or (for a colour) faded peignoir a woman’s dressing gown. It means bathrobe In French, both peignoir and robe de chambre are used interchangeably, though the latter is generally considered formal and the former is generally seen as colloquial pièce d’occasion “occasional piece”; item written or composed for a special occasion. In French, it means “second-hand hardware.” Can be shortened as pièce d’occas’ or even occas’ (pronounced /okaz/) portemanteau (pl. portemanteaux) in English a portmanteau is a large piece of luggage for clothes that opens (like a book or a diptych) into two parts. From this literal sense, Lewis Carroll, in his novel Through the Looking Glass playfully coined a further figurative sense for portmanteau meaning a word that fuses two or more words or parts of words to give a combined meaning In French, lit. a ‘coat-carrier’, originally a person who carried the royal coat or dress train, now a large suitcase; more often, a clothes hanger. The equivalent of the English/ Lewis-Carroll portemanteau is un mot-valise (lit. a suitcase word) potpourri medley, mixture; French write it pot-pourri, literally ‘rotten pot’: primarily a pot in which different kinds of flowers or spices are put to dry for years for the scent précis a concise summary. In French, when talking about a school course, it means an abridged book about the matter. Literally, précis means precise, accurate première refers to the first performance of a play, a film, etc. “La première” can be used in same way in French, but it more generally means “the first” raisonneur a type of author intrusion in which a writer inserts a character to argue the author’s viewpoint; alter ego, sometimes called ‘author avatar’. In French, a raisonneur is a character in a play who stands for morality and reason, i.e., not necessarily the author’s point of view. The first meaning of this word though is a man (fem. raisonneuse) who overdoes reasonings, who tires by objecting with numerous arguments

to every order recherché lit. searched; obscure; pretentious. In French, means ‘sophisticated’ or ‘delicate’, or simply ‘studied’, without the negative connotations of the English rendezvous lit. “present yourself” or “proceed to”; a meeting, appointment, or date in French. In English, it generally endorses a mysterious overtone and refers to a one-on-one meeting with someone for another purpose than a date Always hyphenated in French: rendez-vous Its only accepted abbreviation in French is RDV reprise repetition of previous music in a suite, programme, etc. In French, it may mean an alternate version of a piece of music, or a cover version, or the rebroadcast of a show, piece or movie that was originally broadcast a while ago (although the term rediffusion is generally preferred, especially when talking about something on television). To express the repetition of a previous musical theme, French would exclusively use the Italian term coda résumé in North American English, a document listing one’s qualifications for employment. In French, it means summary; French speakers would use instead curriculum vitæ, or its abbreviation, C.V. (like most other English speakers) risqué (also risque) sexually suggestive; in French, the meaning of risqué is “risky”, with no sexual connotation Francophones use instead osé (lit. “daring”) or sometimes dévergondé (very formal language) Osé, unlike dévergondé, cannot be used for people themselves, only for things (such as pictures) or attitudes rouge (lit. “red”) 1) a rouge is red makeup, also called blusher Rouge à lèvres is French for “lipstick”, even if the lipstick is not red at all. The French equivalent to the English meaning is “fard à joues”; 2) in Canadian football, a rouge is awarded when the ball is kicked into the end zone by any legal means, other than a successful field goal, and the receiving team does not return or kick the ball out of its end zone séance a gathering, usually using a ‘medium’, attempting to communicate with the dead. In French, the word means ‘sitting’ and usually refers to any kind of meeting or session table d’hôte (pl. tables d’hôte) in English, when used it usually refers to type of meal: a full-course meal offered at a fixed price. However, in French, it refers to a type of lodging: the closest English equivalent would be “a bed & breakfast” or “B&B.” The origin of the meaning (for French speakers) is that at a table d’hôte (literally “table of the house” or “table of the host”), unlike at a full-service purpose-built hotel, all patrons eat together at the host’s table, whatever the family have prepared for themselves (typically traditional regional dishes). Indeed, in France today a lodging labeled “table d’hôte” might perhaps not even offer food; the appellation meaning what an English-speaker would think of as a “bed & breakfast -style” family-home lodging (as opposed to a purpose-built hotel) In Quebec, table d’hôte generally has the same meaning as in English, the expression couette et café (lit. “duvet and coffee”) is generally used to talk about B&B style accommodations, where the English expression is not used tableau vivant (pl. tableaux vivants, often shortened as tableau) in drama, a scene where actors remain motionless as if in a picture. Tableau means painting, tableau vivant, living painting. In French, it is an expression used in body painting touché acknowledgment of an effective counterpoint In French, used for “emotionally touched” vignette a brief description; a short scene. In French, it is a small picture or a thumbnail. By extension a vignette is the name of a compulsory road tax in the form of a small sticker affixed to a vehicle windscreen, which is now also used in several European countries == Found only in English == aide-de-camp “camp assistant”; in the army, a military assistant to a senior military officer (heads of State are considered military officers because of their status as head of the army) In Canada, it may also refer to the honorary position a person holds as a personal assistant to a high civil servant. It exists in French too but is written aide de camp (without any hyphens) cinquefoil five-petal, five-leaf flower of the genus Potentilla, family Rosaceae; also a circular 5-lobed ornamental design. Spelled quintefeuille in French cri de cœur “cry from the heart”: an impassioned outcry, as of entreaty or protest. In French, the exact expression is cri du cœur demi-monde a class of women of ill repute; a fringe group or subculture. Fell out of use in the French

language in the 19th century. Frenchmen still use une demi-mondaine to qualify a woman that lives (exclusively or partially) off the commerce of her charms but in a high-life style double entendre a figure of speech wherein a word or phrases can be taken to have two distinct coherent meanings, most often in a fashion that is suggestive and/or ironic. “Entendre” is an infinitive verb (“to hear”), not a noun; a correct rendering would be “à double entente”, an adjectival phrase meaning “of a double understanding or double interpretation” (literally, “with a double hearing”). The modern French phrase is “à double sens” in lieu (of) “in place (of)”: a hybrid phrase, partially translated from the existing French phrase au lieu léger de main (legerdemain) “light of hand”: sleight of hand, usually in the context of deception or the art of stage magic tricks. Meaningless in French, and has no equivalent maître d’ translates literally as master o’. The French term for head waiter (the manager of the service side of a restaurant) is maître d’hôtel (literally “master of the house” or “master of the establishment”); French never uses “d'” stand-alone negligée A robe or a dressing gown, usually of sheer or soft fabric for women. French uses négligé (masculine form) or nuisette. In French, the word négligée qualifies a woman who neglects her appearance succès de scandale “Success through scandal”; Francophones might use succès par médisance voir dire a trial within a trial, or (in America) jury selection (Law French). Literally “to speak the truth.” (Anglo-Norman voir [truth] is etymologically unrelated to the modern French voir [to see].) In modern American court procedure, the examination of prospective jurors for their qualification to serve, including inherent biases, views and predelictions; during this examination, 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. In England and Wales, the expression is used to refer to a “trial within a trial”, during which a judge hears evidence in the absence of the jury, typically to decide whether a certain piece of evidence should be allowed to be presented to the jury or not. For example, a judge might hold a “voir dire” to determine whether a confession has been extracted from a defendant by an unfair inducement in order to decide whether the jury should hear evidence of the confession or not == 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. Note that the “phonetic” versions of spelling are presented as shown and not the IPA SECURITAY (sécurité, “safety”) the following is a safety message or warning, the lowest level of danger PAN PAN (panne, “breakdown”) the following is a message concerning a danger to a person or ship, the next level of danger MAYDAY ([venez] m’aider, come to help me”; aidez-moi means “help me”) the following is a message of extreme urgency, the highest level of danger (MAYDAY is used on voice channels for the same uses as SOS on Morse channels.) SEELONCE (silence, “silence”) keep this channel clear for air-sea rescue communications SEELONCE FEE NEE (silence fini, “silence is over”) this channel is now available again PRU DONCE (prudence, “prudence”) silence partially lifted, channel may be used again for urgent non-distress communication MAY DEE CAL (médical, “medical”) medical assistance needed.It is a serious breach in most countries, and in international zones, to use any of these phrases without justification See Mayday (distress signal) for a more detailed explanation == See also