Touché, a bouquet of clichés!

Thanks to all who came up with ideas after our newsletter call for suggestions of French expressions that have passed into English and kept the same meaning.

We proposed joie de vivre, je ne sais quoi, rendezvous, nom de plume, encore, femme fatale, impromptu and déjà vu

Here’s a selection of your additions from the 220-plus responses we received.

If we missed your favourite, please excuse our faux pas

H.M. explained that there must be hundreds because the English nobility spoke French for 300 years.

Her examples included: chic, silhouette, petite, menu, apéritif, omelette, restaurant, critique, genre, cliché, chauffeur, souvenir, depot, voyeur, bouquet and entrepreneur.

P.B. came up with kiosk and chicane, while P.L. suggested cul-de-sac, coup-d’etat, mirage, façade, pot-pourri, hors d’oeuvre, matinee, touché and risqué.

To add a dash of urban couture, denim also has French roots: from Nimes – de Nimes.

And that’s all de rigeur for D.A. in his comment.

RSVP if you have any more...

Footnote: Thanks to readers for pointing out that, despite its obvious origins, the French do not use encore at a concert, for example, and instead use bis.

Stay informed:
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France

More articles from Letters
More articles from Connexion France
Other articles that may interest you

Comment

Loading some business profiles...

Loading some classifieds...