It IS a small world after all. The reason may be due to many phrases and terms that have entered the English language over the centuries from France, Spain, Germany, and many other countries. For example, there are quite a few French words commonly used today in both the French and English languages that are used interchangeably. So much so, that one might say French phrases have entered every aspect of our life from movies, (film noir, cinéma vérité) to fashion, (avant-garde and haute couture) to relationships (femme fatale and ménage à trois). But most especially, our cuisine (bon appétit, soup du jour, and crème brûlée.)
However, if you think by answering this quiz there may occur a faux pas (false step), not to worry, sans faire rien (it doesn't matter) you'll relish the Joie de vivre (a feeling of exuberance) when you tell others of your high score. They will think you have a special Je ne sais quoi (a positive, indescribable characteristic or literally, 'I know not what.') But don't take our word for it. Grab a café au lait and a croissant and find out how accurately you grasp the French language. Start the quiz now.
Originally "avant-garde" was a military term for ‘vanguard,’ the first guard on the front line. In French and in English, it is used especially in the arts, meaning "fashion forward."
"Cream of the cream" is a synonym for the ultimate. It is excellence described in a sophisticated and classic style.
"Déjà Vu" is an expression derived from the French, meaning "already seen." When it occurs, it seems to spark our memory of a place we have already been, a person we have already seen, or an act we have already done.
The English translation of this French phase is "A certain I don't know what." This phrase is used to describe an indefinable character, quality, or personality trait.
"Newly rich" is an insult. It said about a person who has money but has not developed the manners expected of wealthy people. That person is new to having money and does not know how to act appropriately.
The literal translation is "holy blue," which refers to the color associated with the Virgin Mary. However, this phrase is used as a general expression of shock, as in, "Oh my gosh!"
The literal translation is a "feat of strength." However, in today's English it means a masterly stroke or amazing skill. It is usually used to describe athletic prowess.
The literal French definition is "trick the eye." This is an art technique involving intense realism in order to create the illusion that the depicted objects are real rather than paintings.
The literal translation from French is "face to face." It refers to a position facing another. However, in today's vocabulary it is used as a type of similarity or comparison, such as "in relation to."
The literal translation of this French phrase is "head-to-head." Into today's English usage, it means a private meeting between two people.
In French, it refers to a positive attitude about the difference between men and women. Literally, "Long live the difference (between male and female)."
The literal French definition is know-how , such as in having social grace. To further elaborate, it's the instinctive ability to know how to deal with any situation that arises.
The literal translation of this French phrase is "cold blood." It is used to convey a coolness or indifference in a person.
RSVP is an abbreviation for "Répondez, s'il vous plaît.". The literal translation of this French phrase is "Please respond (to my message)." Today it is used mainly on invitations in order to get a response.
The literal translation of this French phrase is "reason for being." In other words, it's the thing that is central to our existence, such as family, art, financial success, etc.
The literal translation of this French phrase is "Cinema truth." In other words, a form of film characterized by realistic, typically documentary motion pictures, that avoid artificiality and artistic effect.
In English, this phrase means, "What a horrible thing." This is frequently said sarcastically when the "horror" is trivial, such as in a broken fingernail, or getting a sandwich with lettuce on it when you didn't want lettuce.
The literal translation of the French phrase, "pièce de résistance," is "the best part." It is used in French to express the best feature of something, especially of a meal. However, in the English language, it is frequently used as something that cannot be resisted.
The literal translation of the French phrase, "nom de guerre," is "war name." This is a name assumed by individuals in a military group or in espionage to conceal their true identity.
The translation of the French phrase, "noblesse oblige," is "noble rank entails responsibility." It mean there is a moral and management responsibility that comes with power.
The literal translation of the French phrase, "Mardi Gras," is "Fat Tuesday." This is the last day of Carnival and the day before the Lenten season begins on Ash Wednesday. It is a celebratory day.
The literal translation of the French phrase, "N'est-ce pas?" is "Is it not so?" This is usually heard at the end of a phrase like, It is a beautiful day, N'est-ce pas (nez pah)?
"Laissez-faire" is usually used in reference to governing principles, specifically ones in which the government does not interfere with the rights of individuals. Literally, it is "let (people) do (as they think best)." A similar phrase in English is "Let it be."
The literal translation into English of this French phrase is "a fact realized or accomplished." Such as an action is completed before those affected by it are in a position to question or reverse it. In English it's similar to "a done deal."
Literally, "spirit of the corps" refers to the common spirit among the members of a group, especially a military unit, which inspires enthusiasm, devotion, and strong regard for the honor of the group. In English, it can refer to the moral of the troops.
The literal translation into English of this French phrase is "dark film." Film noir is a bleak cinematographic style. It usually has a dark story line and is visually dark and foreboding.
A "Faux pas" is a social blunder, causing embarrassment or marring of a reputation. The literal translation into English of this French phrase is "false step."
A "Femme fatale" is an attractive and seductive woman, especially one who will ultimately bring disaster to the man who becomes involved with her. Another way to describe this person in English is "trouble."
Haute couture means "High sewing." It is a term describing expensive, trend-setting, high-fashion clothes. Haute couture is also the collective name for the leading dressmakers and designers.
A "Double entendre" is word or phrase that has a double meaning - one of the meanings is often vulgar or risque in nature. It can also mean ambiguity or innuendo.
The literal translation into English of this French phrase is a "blow of mercy" or "stroke of grace." Originally, it was a blow by which one who is condemned or mortally wounded is '"put out of his misery." However, today we use it as a finishing stroke, one that settles or puts an end to something, such as an argument.
A "Coup d'état" is an abrupt overthrow of a government through unconstitutional means, possibly by force, or peaceful occupation. In English, it is generally referred to as a coup.
The literal translation into English of this French phrase is a "terrible child." It is sometimes used to describe unruly children, but more commonly, it is used to describe adult behavior. For example, in English, you might call an adult a "big baby."
The literal translation into English of this French phrase is a "In strictness." It is something obligatory, expected, required by etiquette or current fashion
The literal translation of "Cause célèbre" into English is a "famous case." Full disclosure: this is an English invention rarely used in France. However. most people think of it as a French phrase. It refers to an issue arousing widespread controversy or debate.