It’s quite incredible just how much languages overlap! As people travel more and cultures blend together, ‘foreign’ words and expression are exchanged and adopted. Its natural to hear “ciao” outside of Italy as a form of greeting or parting and “bon appetit” is commonly heard outside of France as a salutation before eating a meal.

Here are ten French words and expressions frequently used in the English language:

  1. Déjà Vu literally meaning “already seen” is when a person feels an exact repetition of a situation or experience.
  2. Cul-de-sac is a road or lane that comes to an end. It literally means “bottom of the sack”.
  3. R.S.V.P is an abbreviation of “Répondez, s’il vous plait” which means “please respond”
  4. Souvenir means to remember in French; in English it means usually an object given and kept as a reminder of a person, place or event.
  5. Encore meaning “again” is called out at the end of a performance, such as a concert, requesting for more.
  6. Fiancé(e) is used for a man or woman who are engaged to be married.
  7. Mirage is an optical illusion, seen especially in the desert or sea, of an object formed by an atmospheric retraction of hot air.
  8. Vis-à-vis is an expression meaning a “face to face” meeting.
  9. Cliché is used, both in French and English, to describe something or someone that lacks originality and is predictable.
  10. Camouflage comes from the French verb “to make up for the stage” and was first used by the French Army during the First World War.

 

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