Posted by: Jack Henry | February 17, 2017

Editor’s Corner: French to English

A few weeks ago, I came home from Mexico and shared some Spanish words we adopted into English. Today, I have some French words that we’ve adopted into English (though these weren’t inspired by any traveling on my part). Today’s half of the list is brought to us by DailyWritingTips. First, you have the word, followed by our definition in English, and then in parentheses the French definitions of the words. Ooh la la!

1. accoutrement: accompanying items or accessories (a ludicrous costume or tasteless attire)

2. après-ski: socializing after skiing (snow boots)

3. auteur: a film director or other artist who artistically dominates a creative endeavor (an author)

4. au naturel: naked (acting or looking natural, unaltered or unadulterated)

5. bête noire: someone or something avoided or disliked out of fear (someone or something hated)

6. boutique: a shop selling designer or distinctive clothing, or, as an adjective, describing a small, exclusive business (a shop)

7. boutonnière: a flower placed in a buttonhole (a buttonhole)

8. chef: a professional cook (a boss)

9. claque: a group of admirers (a group of theatergoers paid either to applaud or to criticize a performance)

10. corsage: flowers worn on a woman’s dress or around her wrist (a woman’s chest, and attire covering this area)

11. coup: a forced change of government (a hit)

12. coup de main: surprise attack (give a hand)

13. debut: a first performance by an artist or entertainer (a beginning)

14. décolletage: a low neckline, cleavage (lowering a neckline, or, in agricultural and technical contexts, cutting)

15. en masse: a group or mass moving as one entity (a collection or crowd)

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

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Symitar Documentation Services

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