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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 69
Jun 20, 2014
That's close because its a before dinner drink. I guess like a cocktail.
+1
level 48
May 24, 2019
I couldnt get tapas out of my head,
+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.
+2
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".
+2
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.
+2
level 48
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 63
Mar 13, 2019
Absolutely! Collins define it as "a feeling of loyalty and pride that is shared by the members of a group who consider themselves to be different from other people in some special way." Esprit de corps means exactly the same thing in both French and English, and it definitely does not mean "morale of the troups". This needs to be changed.
+1
level 69
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 45
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 77
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 46
Jun 22, 2014
It should be laisser-faire, not laissez-faire which addresses the 2nd person.
+1
level 66
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 73
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 48
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 48
Dec 16, 2016
why is there a picture of charles de gualle?
+1
level 44
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 37
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 69
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 43
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 48
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.