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French used in English

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79 facts:

Adieu
   means   
"goodbye"
Agent Provocateur
   means   
One Who Incites Another
Aide-de-camp
   means   
A Military Officer That Serves As Personal Assistant to a Higher Ranking Officer
Amour-propre
   means   
Self-esteem / Vanity
Literally means "self-love"
Ancien Régime
   means   
Previous Established System
Apéritif
   means   
A Drink Before Dinner
From latin "to open"
Attaché
   means   
A Person Assigned to a Diplomatic Post
Au Pair
   means   
A Person Who Works for a Family Cleaning And/or Caring for Children in Exchange for Room and Board
Avant-garde
   means   
Innovative, Cutting Edge
Belle époque
   means   
A Golden Age; in France That Preceding WWI
Belles-lettres
   means   
Serious or Artistic Literature
Bete Noire
   means   
A Thing or Person That is Despised and to Be Avoided
Literally means, "black beast"; though not to be confused with the English term, "black sheep".
Blasé
   means   
Nonchalant, Lackadaisical
Bon Appétit
   means   
Have a Good Meal
Bonhomie
   means   
Good Natured, With Pleasant Disposition
Originating from "bon homme" (meaning: "good man").
Bon Mot
   means   
A Witty Remark
Bon Vivant
   means   
Person Who Enjoys the Good Life
Bon Voyage
   means   
"have a Good Trip"
Cadre
   means   
Group That Leads a Larger Group
Carte Blanche
   means   
The Freedom to Do What One Wants or Needs to Do
Cause Célèbre
   means   
Highly Publicized Cause
Usually controversial
C'est La Vie
   means   
"That's Life"
Chez
   means   
At the Home or Place of
Chic
   means   
Stylish
Cinéma Vérité
   means   
Style of Cinema Emphasizing Reality
Contretemps
   means   
An Argument
Coup D'etat
   means   
The Overthrow of a Government
Coup De Théâtre
   means   
Sudden Dramatic Turn of Events
In the theatre or in life
Crème De La Crème
   means   
Cream of the Crop
Cuisine
   means   
A Particular Type of Food or Cooking
Cul-de-sac
   means   
Dead-end Street
De Rigueur
   means   
Absolutely Required (by Social Convention)
De Trop
   means   
A Bit Too Much
Déjà Vu
   means   
Seen Before
Double Entendre
   means   
A Word or Phrase With More Than One Meaning
Girl walks into a bar, asks the barman for a Double Entendre. So he gives her one.
Du Jour
   means   
Prepared That Day
Encore
   means   
An Additional Performance Requested by an Audience
Enfant Terrible
   means   
A Troublesome or Embarrassing Person Within a Group of Artists, Thinkers, Etc.
En Masse
   means   
As a Group
Entre Nous
   means   
Between Ourselves
Esprit De Corps
   means   
A Group's Enthusiastic Devotion to a Cause
Fait Accompli
   means   
An Accomplished and Presumably Irreversible Fact or Deed
Faute De Mieux
   means   
For the Lack of Any Better Alternative
Faux Pas
   means   
A Foolish Mistake
Fin De Siècle
   means   
The End of the (nineteenth) Century
... Preceded by, "Le Belle Époque" ("The Beautiful Times/Era")
Finesse
   means   
To Handle With Skill or Deceptive Strategy
Gauche
   means   
Awkward, Lacking Social Grace
Literally, left handed
Genre
   means   
A Category Characterized by a Distinct Quality
Haute Couture
   means   
High Fashion
Hors D'oeuvre
   means   
An Appetizer
Idée Fixe
   means   
An Obsession
Joie De Vivre
   means   
Enthusiasm for Life
Laissez-faire
   means   
A Policy of Non-interference
à La Carte
   means   
From the Menu
à La Mode
   means   
In Fashion
Means "with ice cream" in the U.S.A.
Macabre
   means   
Gruesome
Matinée
   means   
The Day's First Showing of a Film or Play
Melee
   means   
A Confused, Violent Battle
Mélange
   means   
A Mixture
Mot Juste
   means   
Precisely the Correct Word
Noblesse Oblige
   means   
The Obligation Imposed by Rank and Privilege
Nouveau Riche
   means   
A Disparaging Name for Someone Recently Come Into Money
Oeuvre
   means   
Complete Works of an Artist
Parvenu
   means   
A Newcomer
Somewhat derogatory, like a johnny-come-lately
Pièce De Résistance
   means   
An Outstanding Accomplishment or the Final Part of a Project, Meal, Etc
Raison D'être
   means   
The Reason for Being
Rendezvous
   means   
A Prearranged Meeting
Like spacecraft or lovers; final s is pronounced in the plural
Risqué
   means   
Suggestive, Overly Provocative
Rouge
   means   
A Reddish Cosmetic
Répondez S'il Vous Plaît
   means   
RSVP
Sang-froid
   means   
Cool Headedness in a Emergency
Literally means "cold blood" -- though not to be confused with the English expression, "cold blooded".
Savoir-faire
   means   
Something Synonymous With Social Grace or Tact
Sobriquet
   means   
Nickname
Touché
   means   
Acknowledgement of a Point Scored in Argument
Literally "touched" or "hit!"
Tour De Force
   means   
Something Requiring Great Skill or Strength to Accomplish
Trompe L'oeil
   means   
A Painting Style Which Deceives the Eye
Tête-à-tête
   means   
A Private Conversation
Vis-à-vis
   means   
Compared to or in Relation With
Voilà
   means   
An Interjection Used to Express Satisfaction


Facts contributed by:


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