English XP

French words in English Vocabulary and how they are used– 5 at 5

Hi everyone, I thought I should drop in with a 5 at 5 article today. Today I am going to focus on French words in everyday English lexicon. What motivated today’s theme is the headline from an incident in Sudan. The headline reads “Sudan failed coup: Government blames pro-Bashir elements – BBC News”. Now that sounds like unfortunate news, and thankfully the incursion was unsuccessful. However, the word coup which looks so natural in there is an abbreviated French word( coup de tat). It got me thinking, how many French words are used In everyday English language? I bet they much be in their thousands. Today I will be listing 5 French words that are so ubiquitous In English lexicon that they could almost be called English words.

  1. faux pas [fəʊ ˈpɑː]: an embarrassing or tactless act or remark in a social situation.
  2. savant [ˈsav(ə)nt]: a learned person, especially a distinguished scientist.
    • Usage: Have you met Paul? he is particularly gifted. You could call him a savant.
    • To be honest you would not meet too many savants, however if you are trying to assess if someone you know deserves to be called a savant then judge them by this standard Leonhard Euler – Wikipedia. I am just joking, but being called a savant is both a blessing and a curse.
  3. restaurant [rɛst(ə)rɒnt]: a place where people pay to sit and eat meals that are cooked and served on the premises.
    • Usage: Do you prefer formal restaurants to brassieres? I fancy brassieres because they are more relaxed.
    • I am sure everyone has come across the word. In my book a restaurant is where belts become tighter and pockets become lighter. I hope I have not made you hungry.
  4. silhouette [ˌsɪlʊˈɛt]: the dark shape and outline of someone or something visible in restricted light against a brighter background.
    • Usage: Even on foggy days, I can still make out the silhouette of the tower. It is such an imposing structure.
    • When one thinks of a silhouette, what may come to mind is something dark or perhaps even horrible. But silhouettes have their place in art, particularly in cinema. As a lover of film noir movies, I would know. For a good understanding of its application, check out this video.
  5. arrange [əˈreɪn(d)ʒ] :put (things) in a neat, attractive, or required order.
    • Usage: I would like to arrange an appointment with the dentist please. Would you mind sharing her available dates?
    • I dont know about you but tidying up is one thing am not the greatest fan of. Thanks to this device vacuuming and tidying up takes less of my time. But nothing can replace the advice given to me by my mum. “Return things to where you picked them up from”

So there you have it, if you are familiar with these words, perhaps this is a reminder that you should apply these words more often and if not why not insert them into your vocabulary. If you like this article, I have got so many like this, from guides to improving your vocabulary and writing to tongue twisting games. Share with friends and loved ones. See you soon