30 French Words Used in English! (video)

Have you noticed that some English words don’t quite sound English?

Have you noticed some English words with accents?

That’s because we stole some French words and made them English words! (We also changed the pronunciation and definitions a bit, too!)

Those of you who have studied history will know that the English language is a mixture of Germanic languages and the French spoken by the Normans (from western France) who conquered England in 1066. However, the words in this video are recent additions to English!

(See below for the definitions of these words.)



Here are the 30 words in the video:

balleta classical style of dance

bouqueta group of flowers put together either to display or to carry

boutiquea small store that sells fashionable (and sometimes expensive) clothes and accessories

café a small, simple restaurant or coffeeshop

chefa professional cook (who usually works in a restaurant)

coup / coup d’etatan overthrow (removal) of a government (usually by the military); a seizure of power

coup (another definition) – an achievement that is unexpected and impressive

debaclea messy defeat or failure

debutthe first appearance or performance of something (a play, a song, a product, etc.), usually in public

décorthe appearance of a room or indoor space; the colour of the walls, the window coverings, the furniture, etc.; the way the room is decorated

déjà vualready seen; the strange feeling that you have already experienced something that is happening now

encorean audience calls ‘encore’ at the end of a performance (a concert, a play, etc.) when they want the performance to continue

en masseall together, as a group, at the same time

en route on the way (to somewhere)

entréethe main course/dish of a meal

entrepreneura person who starts their own business

façadethe front of a building

faux pas an embarrassing mistake, especially socially or in fashion

fiancé(e)the person you are engaged to / committed to marry; fiancé – male, fiancée – female

genrea particular style or type of art, movie, book, etc.,

hors d’œuvresappetizers; small bits of food before a meal or at a party

liaisona person or organization that helps other people or organizations work together effectively and helps them communicate

matinéethe afternoon performance of a play, or showing of a movie

menua list of things you can choose from, for example dishes at a restaurant, choices on a computer

naïveinnocent, simple, too ready to believe someone or something because of a lack of knowledge or experience

petiteused to describe a small, slender woman

potpourria nice smelling mixture of dried petals, leaves, and spices; used to make a room or other place smell nice

protégéa younger person who is taught, helped, by someone older, more knowledgeable, and more experienced

restauranta place of business where you can buy and eat a meal

resuméa written summary of your education, work experience, and achievements; also known as a ‘curriculum vitae’ (CV)

sautéa method of cooking; to fry food in a small amount of fat (usually oil)


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