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French Phrases used in English

Guess these French words and phrases that are used in the English-speaking world.
Last updated: June 19, 2014
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Clue
Answer
"Enjoy your meal!"
Bon Appétit
Limo driver
Chauffeur
Snails as food
Escargot
Young woman introduced
to society for the first time
Débutante
Military overthrow of the government
Coup d'état
The illusion of having experienced
the same thing before
Déjà Vu
On the contrary
Au Contraire
Dead-end of a street
Cul-de-sac
Goose liver
Foie Gras
The newly rich
Nouveau Riche
The joy of life
Joie de Vivre
Clue
Answer
Artistic vanguard
Avant-Garde
Morale of the troops
Esprit de Corps
Thawing of political tensions,
such as in the Cold War
Détente
The wealthier class of commoners
Bourgeoisie
"Hands-off" system of government
Laissez-Faire
Refers to separately-priced menu items
À la Carte
Dangerously charming woman
Femme Fatale
Lacking in social graces;
Literally "left"
Gauche
Wine steward
Sommelier
A fancy shindig
Soirée
Appetizer
Hors d'œuvre
+3
level 35
Jun 19, 2014
Sheesh, I kept thinking apperitif for appetizer.
+1
level 49
Jun 19, 2014
Yeah, me too, though I got it eventually.
+1
level 68
Jun 20, 2014
That's close because its a before dinner drink. I guess like a cocktail.
+2
level 61
Jun 19, 2014
Foie Gras is not necessarily goose liver, it can be duck liver too. In both cases, it's yummy!
+2
level 71
Mar 31, 2015
And in both cases it's cruel.
+2
level 73
May 10, 2016
@Wombat Agreed. I used to love it until I discovered how it's made. I'm not into eating tortured animals. There's a fellow in Spain, Eduardo Sousa, who's figured out how to raise "ethical" foie gras; the geese gorge themselves in autumn and are free to migrate if they want (though they mostly stay since he grows their favourite plants). Interesting story and he seems like a sweet, creative, deep thinker.
+1
level 45
Dec 16, 2016
lol
+1
level 63
Jul 17, 2018
It's even more delicious with veal.
+1
level 37
Apr 28, 2018
and if one answers "pate de foie gras" one does not get accepted although one thinks one should
+2
level 64
Jun 19, 2014
What about "camaraderie" for "Morale of the troops"?
+1
level 65
Jun 19, 2014
Rapprochement could also work for Detente: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/rapprochement I also tried aperitif for appetizer although it specifically refers to wine served as an appetizer.
+1
level ∞
Jun 19, 2014
Yes, except that it was specifically referred to as détente during the Cold War.
+1
level 44
Jun 20, 2014
Yes, I tried rapprochement too.
+1
level 28
Jun 19, 2014
cul de sac, depsite the actual words, would refer to a circle at the end of the street right? not just a dead end.
+2
level 65
Mar 31, 2015
Not necessary. In French you could used either cul de sac or impasse as a dead end, no matter if there's a circle for a u turn or not an the end
+1
level 55
Apr 27, 2015
Yeah, that threw me off because I've never heard of a deadend referred as a cul de sac. I've only heard of a circle at the end of a street called that.
+1
level 53
Jun 19, 2014
I'm French and I can say "esprit de corps" doesn't mean "morale of the troops" in English... It means rather "corporate spirit" .
+2
level ∞
Jun 19, 2014
Yes, but in English it means "morale of the troops".
+1
level 67
Jun 29, 2016
Morale and esprit de corps are definitely different things, although related. Also, the current meaning applies to businesses just as much as the armed forces. Morale is the collective emotional condition with regard to things like confidence, contentedness, optimistic outlook, etc. Esprit de corps has more to do with group identity, loyalty, camaraderie, pride, etc.
+1
level 47
Mar 3, 2018
Reference? Wiktionary defines it as we do in French: "(idiomatic) A shared spirit of comradeship, enthusiasm, and devotion to a cause among the members of a group, for example of a military unit."
+1
level 68
Jun 20, 2014
I think it is more general, meaning feelings of loyalty, allegiance, devotion towards a particular group of people by the members of the group. Could be military troops, a sports team, a club, whatever.
+1
level 44
Aug 24, 2016
I'm pretty sure that 'cul-de-sac', which definitely means 'dead end' in England and the rest of the UK, although not necessarily the rest of the English speaking world, is also not used for this purpose in France, where it literally translates to 'arse of the bag' as a teacher once gleefully informed me in a school French lesson. The quiz is not about translation, it's about common English use of French phrases, regardless of their literal meaning.
+1
level 76
Sep 10, 2017
In french, "Cul-de-sac" means... "dead end" ;).
+1
level 38
Oct 11, 2017
You may be French, but you are taking a rather narrow view of the matter. Yes, it may have that meaning if your in the business world but to the rest of us slobs, it merely means a feeling of fellowship shared by members of a particular (ANY particular) group.
+1
level 75
Jun 19, 2014
12/22 I would have had 5 more if I could figure out how to spell things in French.
+1
level 32
Jun 20, 2014
Knew all but one. Couldn't spell most of them.
+1
level 70
Jun 21, 2014
Yes - got 22 out of 22 with 1:38 left on the clock, thank you for being forgiving of slight spelling errors on this one!
+1
level 45
Jun 22, 2014
It should be laisser-faire, not laissez-faire which addresses the 2nd person.
+1
level 65
Jun 24, 2014
You should really specify that the English meaning does not necessarily reflect the original French meaning! Also, I concur that even in English, foie gras can be made from either duck or goose.
+1
level 76
Dec 21, 2014
Well, most of the times it does. "Esprit de corps" is surprising, does it really mean "morale of the troops" in english? We would use... well, "moral des troupes" ^^. Foie gras can indeed be made from duck, though goose is more traditional.
+1
level 39
Aug 7, 2015
Both goose and duck liver are produced in an extremely cruel way. Anyone who eats it and knows what happens to the birds, should be ashamed.
+1
level 67
Mar 31, 2015
An hors d'oeuvre is not an appetizer, it's something served with the apéritif. The French word for an appetizer is entrée, and the English for the course served before the main dish is appetizer. Also, if you're going to say "the" newly rich, which implies plural, the French should be nouveaux-riches.
+1
level ∞
Apr 1, 2015
This quiz isn't about proper French grammar. It's about the way the phrases are used in English.
+1
level 75
Oct 18, 2016
There may be a limit to the way the phrases are used in English. I still laugh when I remember overhearing a man at a wedding reception ask a server if there were any more "horse doovers".
+1
level 72
Oct 4, 2016
you're lucky "entrée" is not on the list
+1
level 39
Apr 21, 2015
Finally a word quiz that's not biased towards US players. More please! Only missed two and would have got those if the clues had been better. "Laissez faire" doesn't only apply to government, and "shindig" definitely bears no relation to a soirée.
+1
level 45
Jan 14, 2019
How is it not? Unless you mean Us opposed to Uk. Because for non english speaking (native) people it is still hard. Most of these terms arent used in other countries.

PS not a complaint, but just pointing out that this quiz (obviously) is still in favour of englishspeaking countries.

I think we only have: chauffeur ( but we use it as driver in general like in busdriver it is bus chauffeur) dejavu, alacarte (but mainly in french restaurants so not sure if that counts..) femme fatale, though I havent really heard anyone say it. I think it saw it written somewhere once though. And I guess some say bon appetit.

+1
level 48
Jul 5, 2015
Would you accept "ingénue" instead of "débutante"?
+1
level 38
Dec 2, 2017
"Ingenue" would be a newcomer, such as an actress in her first role, or a newly minted apprentice.
+1
level 63
Sep 16, 2015
How about "coquette" for "a dangerously charming woman"? I guess a coquette isn't quite as dangerous...
+1
level 38
May 22, 2017
a Cquette would be a flirt, n'est pas? Not a femme fatale, which conjures up something far more serious in my mind. Same goes for Entrée. It literally means begin with or or first, which would not translate into the main course, even in English.
+1
level 45
Oct 17, 2016
Technically the word "entree" actually means appetizer in French. My wife is from Paris and she was completely confused the first time she saw it on an American menu meaning "main course." Here's the french definition: Plat chaud ou froid servi entre le potage ou les hors-d'œuvre et le plat principal. "Hot or cold plate served between the soup or the hors-d'oeurves and the principal plate."
+1
level 45
Dec 16, 2016
why is there a picture of charles de gualle?
+1
level 43
Dec 16, 2016
My spelling is awful. Foie Gras!
+1
level 48
Jan 23, 2017
you could add double entendre and rendez-vous
+1
level 43
Aug 30, 2017
I know a lot of allowances have been made, but do you think you could loosen the spelling just a little more? Like for newly rich, took me a while
+1
level 75
Sep 6, 2017
The French are horrible spellers
+1
level 38
Jan 20, 2018
I kept putting in Petite Bourgeois, but it wasn't working. The clue made it seem like they were richer than bourgeois
+1
level 67
Apr 17, 2018
Is anyone else having a déjà vu regarding not one French person you meet understanding what déjà vu means?
+1
level 20
Apr 26, 2018
can you add col de sac for cul de sac?
+1
level 41
Jun 14, 2018
anders, surely a cotillion is a dance??
+1
level 57
Aug 31, 2018
I didn't even know what a shindig was... I thought it was an offence aimed at someone, like a kick in the shins :)
+1
level 38
Oct 10, 2018
^ LOL! You're absolutely right! - It's a misnomer in any event. My first thought when seeing "Shindig" was "Fete". A soiree conjures something much more formal.
+1
level 45
Jan 14, 2019
I thought it was a "house" like welcome to my shack, welcome to my shindig. I guess i thought that since there is an overlap. the party is at the house. ANd cool shindig when someone arrives at a party, when you dont know it he could ve meant nice place.