List Of French Words And Phrases Used By English Speakers
Here are some examples of French words and phrases used by English speakers.
English contains many words of French origin, such as art, competition, force, machine, police, publicity, role, routine, table, and many other Anglicized French words. These are pronounced according to English rules of phonology, rather than French. Around 28% of English vocabulary is of French or Oïl language origin, most derived from, or transmitted by, 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.
This article, however, covers words and phrases that generally entered the lexicon later, as through literature, the arts, diplomacy, and other cultural exchanges not involving conquests. As such, they have not lost their character as Gallicisms, or words that seem unmistakably foreign and "French" to an English speaker.
The phrases are given as used in English, and may seem correct modern French to English speakers, but may not be recognized as such by French speakers as many of them are now defunct or have drifted in meaning. A general rule is that, if the word or phrase retains French diacritics or is usually printed in italics, it has retained its French identity.
Few of these phrases are common knowledge to all English speakers, and for some English speakers most are rarely if ever used in daily conversation, but for other English speakers many of them are a routine part of both their conversational and their written vocabulary. They may however possibly be used more often in written than in spoken English.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Not used as such in French — Found only in English — French phrases in international air-sea rescue — See also — References
Famous quotes containing the words list of, list, french, words, phrases, english and/or speakers:
“Every morning I woke in dread, waiting for the day nurse to go on her rounds and announce from the list of names in her hand whether or not I was for shock treatment, the new and fashionable means of quieting people and of making them realize that orders are to be obeyed and floors are to be polished without anyone protesting and faces are to be made to be fixed into smiles and weeping is a crime.”
—Janet Frame (b. 1924)
“Religious literature has eminent examples, and if we run over our private list of poets, critics, philanthropists and philosophers, we shall find them infected with this dropsy and elephantiasis, which we ought to have tapped.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“He that is born to be hanged shall never be drowned.”
—14th-century French proverb, first recorded in English in A. Barclay, Gringores Castle of Labour (1506)
“O he was fair,
even when I flung his words in his teeth,
I will soon be dead
I must learn from the young.”
—Hilda Doolittle (18861961)
“And would you be a poet
Before youve been to school?
Ah, well! I hardly thought you
So absolute a fool.
First learn to be spasmodic
A very simple rule.
For first you write a sentence,
And then you chop it small;
Then mix the bits, and sort them out
Just as they chance to fall:
The order of the phrases makes
No difference at all.”
—Lewis Carroll [Charles Lutwidge Dodgson] (18321898)
“His character as one of the fathers of the English language would alone make his works important, even those which have little poetical merit. He was as simple as Wordsworth in preferring his homely but vigorous Saxon tongue, when it was neglected by the court, and had not yet attained to the dignity of a literature, and rendered a similar service to his country to that which Dante rendered to Italy.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“The problems of society will also be the problems of the predominant language of that society. It is the carrier of its perceptions, its attitudes, and its goals, for through it, the speakers absorb entrenched attitudes. The guilt of English then must be recognized and appreciated before its continued use can be advocated.”
—Njabulo Ndebele (b. 1948)