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Thread: French Keyboard Map for Mac?

  1. #1
    tim is offline
    Moderator Joined: Jun 2003 Vélo, Virginia Posts: 16,797

    French Keyboard Map for Mac?

    Can anyone direct me to a site with the French Keyboard Layout graphic for a Mac that I can copy? I like to keep one around for the accents, and I lost the last one I had.
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  2. #2
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 55,920
    You have one built in on the Mac.

    System Preferences/Language and Text /Input Sources/ check Keyboard and Character Viewer and check French

    You can toggle from English to French from the Menu Bar

    Screen Shot 2013-05-07 at 1.35.40 PM.jpg

    Screen Shot 2013-05-07 at 1.36.19 PM.jpg
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party Memorial -- June 5, 2023

  3. #3
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 55,920
    You can even add a French keyboad on your iPhone.
    Settings/General/Keyboard/Keyboards/Add New Keyboard
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party Memorial -- June 5, 2023

  4. #4
    andynap is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Oct 2002 Philadelphia Posts: 45,316
    iPad too.


  5. #5
    tim is offline
    Moderator Joined: Jun 2003 Vélo, Virginia Posts: 16,797
    I found the map, and it's neat to do away with the paper version. One question, how does one find the @ on the French keyboard map? Merci!
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  6. #6
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 55,920
    Hold Option Key down and it will appear next to the €
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  7. #7
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 55,920
    Quote Originally Posted by andynap View Post
    iPad too.
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party Memorial -- June 5, 2023

  8. #8
    tim is offline
    Moderator Joined: Jun 2003 Vélo, Virginia Posts: 16,797
    Quote Originally Posted by JEK View Post
    Hold Option Key down and it will appear next to the €
    Thqnks; I zqs zondering qbout the Euro key qs zell::)
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  9. #9
    tim is offline
    Moderator Joined: Jun 2003 Vélo, Virginia Posts: 16,797
    Now what would really be great if there were a French spell check feature.....
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  10. #10
    andynap is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Oct 2002 Philadelphia Posts: 45,316
    How would you know? :)


  11. #11
    tim is offline
    Moderator Joined: Jun 2003 Vélo, Virginia Posts: 16,797
    Quote Originally Posted by andynap View Post
    How would you know? :)
    I know a little French, but the accents are seriously challenging for me. I should practice my writing more.
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  12. #12
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 55,920
    Better French writing would look good on your résumé.
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party Memorial -- June 5, 2023

  13. #13
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 55,920
    From an old post.

    A few of our forum members seen to recoil when the French accents are used (or not) in posts, so I did some research on how many French words or phrases are more or less commonplace in English today. A few with accents and many without. A study in Franglish, so the next time you can't say I don't know any French :) :)

    Used in English and French


    farewell; as it literally means "to God," it carries more weight than "au revoir" ("goodbye", literally "see you later"): it is definitive, implying you will never see the other person again. Depending on the context, misuse of this term can be considered as an insult, as you'll wish for the other person's death or will say that you don't wish to see the other person ever again while alive.

    skillful, clever, in French: habile, as a "right-handed" person would be using his "right" hand, as opposed to his left one with which he would be "gauche" meaning "left".

    "camp assistant"; assistant to a senior military officer

    a before-meal drink (in familiar French, it is shortened as "un apéro").

    a type of cabinet; wardrobe.

    a skilled performer, a person with artistic pretensions.

    art nouveau
    a style of decoration and architecture of the late 19th and early 20th centuries (usually bears a capital in French : Art nouveau).

    a person attached to an embassy; in French is also the past participle of the verb attacher (=to fasten)

    au contraire
    on the contrary.

    au courant
    up-to-date; abreast of current affairs.

    au jus
    literally, with juice, referring to a food course served with sauce. Often redundantly formulated, as in 'Open-faced steak sandwich, served with au jus.'

    au pair
    a young foreigner who does domestic chores in exchange for room and board.

    au revoir!
    "See you later!" In French a contraction of Au plaisir de vous revoir (to the pleasure of seeing you again).

    avant-garde (pl. avant-gardes)
    applied to cutting-edge or radically innovative movements in art, music and literature; figuratively "on the edge", literally, a military term, meaning "vanguard" (which is the deformation of avant-garde) or "advance guard", in other words, "first to attack" (antonym of arrière-garde).

    a long, narrow loaf of bread with a crispy crust, otherwise called 'French bread' in the United States

    a classical type of dance

    beau geste
    literally "beautiful gesture"; gracious gesture; also, a gesture noble in form but meaningless in substance

    plenty, lots of, much; merci beaucoup: thanks a lot; used in slang, e.g. "beaucoup money", especially in New Orleans, LA. Occasionally corrupted to "Bookoo," typically in the context of French influenced by Vietnamese culture.

    unimpressed with something because of over-familiarity, jaded.

    bon appétit
    literally "good appetite"; enjoy your meal

    bon mot
    well-chosen word(s), particularly a witty remark

    bon vivant
    one who enjoys the good life, an epicurean

    bon voyage
    have a good trip!

    "good day", the usual greeting

    bonne chance
    "good luck" (as in, 'I wish you good luck')

    les boules
    (vulgar) literally "the balls"; meaning that whatever you are talking about is dreadful

    a sweet yeast bun, kind of a crossover between a popover and a light muffin; French also use the term as slang for 'potbelly', because of the overhang effect.

    a brown-haired girl. For brown-haired man, French uses brun and for a woman brune. Not used often in French, unlike brun(e). The masculine form, brunet (for a boy) is even more rarely used.

    bureau (pl. bureaux)

    lit. "stamp"; a distinctive quality ; quality, prestige.

    a coffee shop.

    café au lait
    coffee with milk; or a light-brown color. In medicine, it is also used to describe a birthmark that is of a light-brown color (café au lait spot).

    carte blanche
    unlimited authority; literally "white card" (i.e. blank check).

    c'est bon
    "that's good".

    c'est la guerre !
    "That's War!"; or "Such is war!" Often used with the meaning that "this means war", but it can be sometimes used as an expression to say that war (or life in general) is harsh but that one must accept it.

    c'est la mode.
    "Such is fashion".

    c'est la vie !
    "That's life!"; or "Such is life!" It is sometimes used as an expression to say that life is harsh but that one must accept it.

    c'est magnifique !
    "That's great!"; literally it's magnificent.

    a hat. In French, chapeau is also an expression of congratulations similar to the English "hats off to...."

    at the house of : often used in the names of restaurants and the like; Chez Marie = "Marie's"


    cinéma vérité
    realism in documentary filmmaking

    cinq, cinque
    five; normally referring to the 5 on dice or cards. In French, always spelt cinq.

    lit. negative; trite through overuse; a stereotype

    a small exclusive group of friends without morale; always used in a pejorative way in French.

    a commanding officer. In France, used for an airline pilot (le commandant de bord), in the Army as appellative for a chef de bataillon or a chef d'escadron (roughly equivalent to a major) or in the Navy for any officer from capitaine de corvette to capitaine de vaisseau (equivalent to the Army's majors, lieutenant-colonels and colonels) or for any officer heading a ship.

    comme ci, comme ça
    "like this, like that"; so-so, neither good nor bad. In French, usu. couci-couça.

    lit. communicated; an official communication

    a hotel desk manager (in French also refers to the caretaker of a building usually living at the front floor ; concierges have a reputation for gossiping)

    an awkward clash; a delay

    a flirtatious girl; a tease

    a funeral procession; in French has a broader meaning and refers to all kinds of processions.

    forced labor for minimal or no pay

    coup de grâce
    the final blow that results in victory (literally "blow of mercy"), historically used in the context of the battlefield to refer to the killing of badly wounded enemy soldiers, now more often used in a figurative context (e.g., business)

    fashion (usually refers to high fashion)

    a fashion designer (usually refers to high fashion, rather than everyday clothes design)

    a nativity display; more commonly (in UK), a place where children are left by their parents for short periods in the supervision of childminders; both meanings still exist in French

    crème brûlée
    a dessert consisting primarily of custard and toasted sugar, that is, caramel; literally "burnt cream"

    crème de la crème
    best of the best, "cream of the cream", used to describe highly skilled people or objects. A synonymous expression in French is « fin du fin ».

    crème fraîche
    literally "fresh cream", a heavy cream slightly soured with bacterial culture, but not as sour or as thick as sour cream

    a thin sweet or savoury pancake eaten as a light meal or dessert

    cri du cœur
    "cry from the heart" : an impassioned outcry, as of entreaty or protest

    a crescent-shaped bread made of flaky pastry

    a dead-end (residential) street; literally "bottom (buttocks) of the bag".

    in accord; agreed; sure; OK; of course

    de nouveau
    again; anew

    de rigueur
    required or expected, especially in fashion or etiquette

    de trop
    excessive, "too much"

    of inferior social status

    a woman's garment with a low-cut neckline that exposes cleavage, or a situation in which a woman's chest or cleavage is exposed; décolletage is dealt with below.

    the layout and furnishing of a room

    decoration with cut paper

    a reduced wine-based sauce for meats and poultry

    semi-dry, usually said of wine

    déjà vu
    "already seen" : an impression or illusion of having seen or experienced something before.

    a bicycle gear-shift mechanism

    dernier cri
    the latest fashion; literally "latest scream"

    rear; buttocks; literally "behind"

    easing of diplomatic tension

    a file containing detailed information about a person; it has a much wider meaning in modern French, as any type of file, or even a computer directory

    the senior member of a group; the feminine is doyenne

    a form of competitive horse training, in French has the broader meaning of taming any kind of animal

    du jour
    said of something fashionable or hip for a day and quickly forgotten; today's choice on the menu, as soup du jour, literally "of the day"

    eau de toilette
    perfume; can be shortened as eau (water); literally "grooming water." Usually refers to a product which is less expensive, because it has less aromatic compounds, and is thus used more for everyday purposes

    a cream and chocolate icing pastry

    Great brilliance, as of performance or achievement. Conspicuous success. Great acclamation or applause

    a distinctive flair or style

    éminence grise
    "grey eminence" : a publicity-shy person with little formal power but great influence over those in authority

    en bloc
    as a group

    en route
    on the way

    (je suis) enchanté(e)
    "(I am) enchanted (to meet you)" : a formal greeting on receiving an introduction. Often shortened to simply "enchanté".

    enfant terrible
    a disruptively unconventional person, a "terrible child"


    literally "entrance"; the first course of a meal (UK English); used to denote the main dish or course of a meal (US English)

    a person who undertakes and operates a new enterprise or venture and assumes some accountability for the inherent risks


    esprit de corps
    "spirit of the body [group]" : a feeling of solidarity among members of a group; morale. Often used in connection with a military force.

    excuse me; can be used sarcastically (depends on the tone)

    extraordinary, usually as a following adjective, as "musician extraordinaire"

    the front view of an edifice (from the Italian facciata, or face); a fake persona, as in "putting on a façade" (the ç is pronounced like an s)

    fait accompli
    lit. accomplished fact; something that has happened before any participant gets a chance to question or reverse it and is usually considered irreversible.

    false, ersatz, fake.

    faux pas
    "false step" : violation of accepted, although unwritten, social rules

    femme fatale
    "deadly woman" : an attractive woman who seduces and takes advantage of men in order to achieve personal goals after which she discards or abandons the victim. Used to describe an attractive woman with whom a relationship is likely to result, or has already resulted, in pain and sorrow

    betrothed; lit. a man/woman engaged to be married.

    film noir
    a genre of dark-themed movies from the 1940s and 1950s that focus on stories of crime and immorality

    a lit torch

    a stylized-flower heraldic device; the golden fleur-de-lis on an azure background were the arms of the French Kingdom (often spelled with the old French style as "fleur-de-lys")

    foie gras
    fatty liver; usually the liver of overfed goose, hence: pâté de foie gras, pâté made from goose liver. However, "foie gras" generally stands for "paté de foie gras" as it is the most common way to use it.

    force majeure
    an overpowering event, an act of God (often appears in insurance contracts)


    literally "boy" or "male servant"; sometimes used by English speakers to summon the attention of a male waiter (has a playful connotation in English but is condescending in French)

    tactless, does not mean "left-handed" (which is translated in French as "gaucher"), but does mean "left"

    a type or class, such as "the thriller genre"

    slide down a slope

    Grand Prix
    a type of motor racing, literally "Great Prize"

    one who regularly frequents a place

    haute couture
    "high sewing" : Paris-based custom-fitted clothing; trend-setting fashion

    haute cuisine
    upscale gastronomy; literally "upper cooking".

    arrogance; lit. height

    haut monde
    fashionable society, the "upper world"

    hors d'œuvre
    "outside the [main] work" : appetizer

    a deadlock.

    a nonchalant man/woman

    an innocent young man/woman, used particularly in reference to a theatrical stock character who is entirely virginal and wholesome. L'Ingénu is a famous play written by Voltaire.

    "I accuse"; used generally in reference to a political or social indictment (alluding to the title of Émile Zola’s exposé of the Dreyfus affair, a political scandal which divided France from the 1890s to the early 1900s which involved the false conviction for treason in 1894 of a young French artillery officer of Jewish background)

    literally, I adore. I love to the full extent. Can imply "Je t'adore", translated as "I love you", or possibly I adore you.

    joie de vivre
    "joy of life/living"

    "let do"; often used within the context of economic policy or political philosophy, meaning leaving alone, or non-interference.

    laissez les bons temps rouler
    Cajun expression for "let the good times roll": not used in proper French, and not generally understood by Francophones outside of Louisiana, who would say "profitez des bons moments" (enjoy the good moments)

    a type of fabric woven or knit with metallic yarns

    a set of clothing and accessories for a new baby

    a close relationship or connection; an affair. The French meaning is broader; "liaison" also means bond such as in "une liaison chimique" (a chemical bond)

    Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité
    "Liberty, Equality, Brotherhood" (motto of the French Republic)

    from Latin locus ("place"); in lieu of: "instead of", "in the place of". This is illustrated for instance in the English word "lieutenant", which literally means "place-holder"

    an intellectual (can be pejorative in French, meaning someone who writes a lot but does not a particular skill)

    of questionable taste;

    coarse lace work made with knotted cords

    young unmarried lady, miss; literally "my noble young lady"

    mais oui
    "but of course!". Often used as a sarcastic reply in French, in order to close the debate by feigning to agree.


    a general sense of depression or unease

    mal de mer
    motion sickness, literally "seasickness"

    Mardi gras
    Fat Tuesday, the last day of eating meat before Lent. Note that there isn't a capital to gras

    a model or brand

    supplies and equipment, particularly in a military context (French meaning is broader and corresponds more to "hardware")

    a mixture

    a confused fight; a struggling crowd

    ménage à trois
    "household for three" : a sexual arrangement between three people

    merci beaucoup
    "Thank you very much!"


    merde alors
    "**** then"

    social environment; setting (has also the meaning of "middle" in French.)

    mise en place
    a food assembly station in a commercial kitchen

    "me"; often used in English as an ironic reply to an accusation; for example, "Pretentious? Moi?"

    moi aussi
    "me too", used to show agreeing with someone

    Mon Dieu!
    my God!

    a blending of pictures, scenes, or sounds

    a recurrent thematic element

    a whipped dessert or a hairstyling foam; in French, means any type of foam

    swimming pool

    né, née
    "born" : a man/woman’s birth name (maiden name for a woman), e.g., "Martha Washington, née Custis".

    n'est-ce pas?
    "isn't it [true]?"; asked rhetorically after a statement, as in "Right?"

    nom de guerre
    pseudonym to disguise the identity of a leader of a militant group, literally "war name", used in France for "pseudonym"

    nom de plume
    author's pseudonym, literally "pen name". Originally an English phrase, now also used in France


    nouveau riche
    newly rich, used in English to refer particularly to those living a garish lifestyle with their newfound wealth.

    nouvelle cuisine
    new cuisine

    objet d'art
    a work of art, commonly a painting or sculpture



    verve; flamboyance

    lit. chewed paper; a craft medium using paper and paste

    par avion
    by air mail. The meaning is broader in French, it means by plane in general.

    par excellence
    "by excellence" : quintessential

    pas de deux
    a close relationship between two people; a duet in ballet

    pas de problème
    no problem

    pas de trois
    a dance for three, usually in ballet.

    a document or key that allows the holder to travel without hindrance from the authorities and enter any location.

    a derivative work; an imitation

    a dialect; jargon

    used after a man's surname to distinguish a father from a son, as in "George Bush père."

    la petite mort
    an expression for orgasm; literally "the little death"

    perhaps, possibly, maybe

    "foot-on-the-ground" or "foothold"; a place to stay, generally applied to the city house in contradistinction to the country estate of the wealthy

    referring to skiing at a ski area (on piste) versus skiing in the back country (off piste).

    plat du jour
    a dish served in a restaurant on a particular day but which is not part of the regular menu; literally "dish of the day"

    plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose (or plus ça change, plus c’est pareil)
    the more things change, the more they stay the same


    porte cochère
    an architectural term referring to a kind of porch or portico-like structure.

    "poser" : a person who pretends to be something he is not; an affected or insincere person: a wannabe

    stew, soup

    "for drink"; gratuity, tip; donner un pourboire: to tip.

    "ready to wear" (clothing off the shelf), in contrast to haute couture

    a man/woman who receives support from an influential mentor.

    a polemicist

    a conversationalist

    raison d'être
    "reason for being" : justification or purpose of existence

    to be in someone's "good graces"; to be in synch with someone; "I've developed a rapport with my co-workers"; French for: relationship

    the establishment of cordial relations, often used in diplomacy

    scouting; like connoisseur, modern French use a "a", never a "o" (as in reconnoissance).

    the range of skills of a particular person or group

    a restaurant owner

    a part or function of a person in a situation or an actor in a play

    "novel with a key" : an account of actual persons, places or events in fictional guise

    a cooked mixture of flour and fat used as a base in soups and gravies

    subversive destruction, from the practice of workers fearful of industrialization destroying machines by tossing their sabots ("wooden shoes") into machinery

    one who commits sabotage

    "cold blood" : coolness and composure under strain; stiff upper lip. Also pejorative in the phrase meurtre de sang-froid ("cold-blooded murder").


    "without knee-pants", a name the insurgent crowd in the streets of Paris gave to itself during the French Revolution, because they usually wore pantaloons (full-length pants or trousers) instead of the chic knee-length culotte of the nobles. In modern use: holding strong republican views.

    lit. jumped ; quickly fry in a small amount of oil.

    "knowing" : a wise or learned person; in English, one exceptionally gifted in a narrow skill.

    literally "know how to do"; to respond appropriately to any situation.

    s'il vous plaît (SVP)
    "if it pleases you", "if you please"

    an assumed name, a nickname (often used in a pejorative way in French)

    an evening party

    a wine steward

    a very small amount (In French, can also mean suspicion)

    soupe du jour
    "soup of the day", meaning the particular kind of soup offered that day


    "head to head"; an intimate get-together or private conversation between two people

    the process of dressing or grooming

    acknowledgment of an effective counterpoint; literally "touched" or "hit!" Comes from the fencing vocabulary.

    tour de force
    "feat of strength" : a masterly or brilliant stroke, creation, effect, or accomplishment

    tout de suite
    lit. everything (else) follows; "at once", "immediately" (per Oxford English Dictionary).

    very (often ironic in English)

    très beau
    very beautiful

    photograph-like realism in painting; literally "trick the eye"

    One of a kind. Unique is considered a paradigmatic absolute and something can not, therefore, be 'very unique'.

    invited man/woman for a show, once ("come"); unused in modern French, though it can still be used in a few expressions like bienvenu/e (literally well come : welcome) or le premier venu (anyone; literally, the first who came)

    vin de pays
    literally "county wine"; wine of a lower designated quality than appellation controlée

    salad dressing of oil and vinegar; diminutive of vinaigre (vinegar)

    "face to face [with]" : in comparison with or in relation to; opposed to. From "vis" (conjugated form of "voir", to see). In French, it's also a real estate vocabulary word meaning that your windows and your neighbours' are within sighting distance (more precisely, that you can see inside of their home).

    viva, vive [...]!
    "Long live...!"; lit. "Live"; as in "Vive la France!", "Vive la République!", “Vive la Résistance!”, "Vive le Canada!", or "Vive le Québec libre!" (long live free Quebec, a sovereigntist slogan famously used by French President Charles de Gaulle in 1967 in Montreal). Unlike "viva" or "vivat", it cannot be used as such, it needs a complement.

    vive la différence!
    "[long] live the difference"; originally referring to the difference between the sexes, the phrase may be used to celebrate the difference between any two groups of people (or simply the general diversity of individuals)

    literally "see there"; in French it can mean simply "there it is"; in English it is generally restricted to a triumphant revelation.

    a complete reversal of opinion or position, about face

    le zinc
    bar/café counter.

    Through the evolution of the language, there are many words and phrases that are not used anymore in French. Also, there are those which, even though they are grammatically correct, are not used as such in French or do not have the same meaning.

    personal military or fighting armaments worn about one's self; has come to mean the accompanying items available to pursue a mission. In French, means a funny or ridiculous clothing; often a weird disguise or a getup, though it can be said also for people with bad taste in clothing.

    agent provocateur
    a police spy who infiltrates a group to disrupt or discredit it. In French it has both a broader and more specific meaning. The Académie française, in its dictionary, says that an agent provocateur is a person working for another State or a political party (for examples), whose mission is to provoke troubles in order to justify repression.

    an inlaid or attached decorative feature. Lit. "applied", though this meaning doesn't exist as such in French, the dictionary of the Académie française indicates that in the context of the arts, "arts appliqués" is synonym of decorative arts.

    after skiing socializing after a ski session; in French, this word refers to boots used to walk in snow (e.g. MoonBoots™).

    A film director, specifically one who controls most aspects of a film, or other controller of an artistic situation. The English connotation derives from French film theory. It was popularized in the journal Cahiers du cinéma: auteur theory maintains that directors like Hitchcock exert a level of creative control equivalent to the author of a literary work. In French, the word means author, but some expressions like "cinéma d'auteur" are also in use.

    au naturel
    nude; in French, literally, in a natural manner or way ("au" is the contraction of "à le", masculine form of "à la"). It means "in an unaltered way" and can be used either for people or things. For people, it rather refers to a person who doesn't use make-up or artificial manners (un entretien au naturel = a backstage interview). For things, it means that they weren't altered. Often used in cooking, like "thon au naturel" : canned tuna without any spices or oil. Also in heraldry, meaning "in natural colours", especially flesh colour, which is not one of the "standard" colours of heraldry.

    bête noire
    a scary or unpopular person, idea, or thing, or the archetypical scary monster in a story; literally "black beast." In French, "être la bête noire de quelqu'un" ("to be somebody's bête noire") means that you're particularly hated by this person or this person has a strong aversion against you, regardless of whether you're scary or not. It can only be used for people.

    bureau de change (pl. bureaux de change)
    a currency exchange. In French, it means the office where you can change your currency.

    from head to foot; modern French uses de pied en cap.

    cause célèbre
    An issue arousing widespread controversy or heated public debate, lit. famous cause. It's correct grammatically, but the expression is not used in French.

    c'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas la guerre
    "it is magnificent, but it is not war" — quotation from Marshal Pierre Bosquet commenting on the charge of the Light Brigade. Unknown quotation in French.

    a group of admirers; in old French, the claque was a group of people paid to applaud or disturb a piece at the theater; in modern French, it means "a slap"; "clique" is used in this sense (but in a pejorative way).

    hairstyle. In French, means a hairstylist, a hairdresser, a barber.

    an expert in wines, fine arts, or other matters of culture; a person of refined taste. It is spelled connaisseur in modern French.

    coup de main (pl. coups de main)
    a surprise attack. In French, "[donner] un coup de main" means "[to give] a hand" (to give assistance). Even if the English meaning exists as well, it is old-fashioned.

    coup d'état (pl. coups d'État)
    a sudden change in government by force; literally "hit (blow) of state". French uses the capital É, because using or not a capital change the sense of the word (État : a State, as in a country; état : a state of being).

    a thin sweet or savoury pancake eaten as a light meal or dessert. In French, a crêpe can only be sweet, unlike a "galette". It can be eaten as a dessert, or, if you take several (while oftentimes varrying the top), a very nourishing meal. It is the custom, for example, to eat such a meal during Mardi gras. However, in Brittany the "crêpes bretonnes", made from buckwheat, are salty, typically made with ham, egg and/or cheese.

    an appetizer consisting of grated raw vegetables soaked in a vinaigrette. In French, it means uncooked vegetable, traditionally served as an entrée (first part of the meal, contrary to an appetizer which is considered as outside of the meal), with or without a vinaigrette or another sauce. Almost always used in the plural form in French (as in, crudités).

    a low-cut neckline, cleavage (This is actually a case of "false friends": Engl. décolletage = Fr. décolleté; Fr. décolletage means: 1. action of lowering a female garment's neckline; 2. Agric.: cutting leaves from some cultivated roots such as beets, carrots, etc.; 3. Tech. Operation consisting of making screws, bolts, etc. one after another out of a single bar of metal on a parallel lathe.

    déjà entendu/lu
    already heard/read. They do not exist as an expression in French: the Académie française[4] says that un déjà vu (a feeling of something already seen) can be used but not un déjà entendu or un déjà lu.

    a decisive step. In French, it means all the different kinds of manners you can walk.

    a neighbourhood general/convenience store, term used in eastern Canada (often shortened to "dép" or "dep"). In French, it means a repairman. A convenience store would be a "supérette" or "épicerie [de quartier]".

    one who has emigrated for political reasons. In French, it means someone who emigrated. To imply the political reason, French would use of the word "exilé" (exiled).

    A request to repeat a performance, as in “Encore !”, lit. again; also used to describe additional songs played at the end of a gig. Francophones would say « Bis ! » (a second time !); or « Une autre ! » (Another one !) to request « un rappel » (an encore). To say « Encore ! » implies a request to reprieve the entire repertoire.[citation needed]

    a fencing foil. In French, the term is more generic : it means sword.

    en masse
    in a mass or group, all together. In French, 'mass' only refers to a physical mass, whether for people or objects. It cannot be used for something immaterial, like, for example, the voice : "they all together said 'get out'" would be translated as "ils dirent 'dehors' en choeur" ([like a chorus]). Also, 'en masse' refers to numerous people or objects (a crowd or a mountain of things).

    en suite
    as a set (do not confuse with "ensuite", meaning "then"). In French, "suite", when in the context of a hotel, already means several rooms following each other. "J'ai loué une suite au Ritz" would be translated as "I rented a suite at the Ritz". "En suite" is not grammatically incorrect in French, but it's not an expression in itself and it is not used.

    a writing table. It is spelt écritoire in modern French.

    a published exposure of a fraud or scandal (past participle of "to expose"); in French refers to a talk or a report on any kind of subject.

    extraordinary, out of the ordinary capacity for a person. In French, it simply means extraordinary (adjective) and can be used for either people, things or concepts. The rule that systematically puts 'extraordinary' after the noun in English is also wrong, because in French, an adjective can be put before the noun to emphasize - which is particularly the case for the adjective 'extraordinaire'. In fact, French people would just as well use 'un musicien extraordinaire' as 'un extraordinaire musicien' (a extraordinary male musician, but the later emphasizes on his being extraordinary).

    a stereotypically effeminate gay man or lesbian (slang, pronounced as written). In French, femme (pronounced 'fam') means "woman".

    fin de siècle
    comparable to (but not exactly the same as) turn-of-the-century but with a connotation of decadence, usually applied to the period from 1890 through 1910. In French, it means "end of the century", but it isn't a recognized expression as such.

    a minor weakness. The word is spelt faible in French and means "weak" (adjective). Weakness is translated as faiblesse (noun).

    a strength, a strong point, typically of a person, from the French fort (strong) and/or Italian forte (strong, esp. "loud" in music) and/or Latin forte (neutral form of fortis, strong). French use "fort" both for people and objects.
    According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, "In forte we have a word derived from French that in its "strong point" sense has no entirely satisfactory pronunciation. Usage writers have denigrated \'for-"tA\ and \'for-tE\ because they reflect the influence of the Italian-derived forte. Their recommended pronunciation \'fort\, however, does not exactly reflect French either: the French would write the word le fort and would rhyme it with English for [French doesn't pronounce the final "t"]. All are standard, however. In British English \'fo-"tA\ and \'fot\ predominate; \'for-"tA\ and \for-'tA\ are probably the most frequent pronunciations in American English."
    The New Oxford Dictionary of English derives it from fencing. In French, "le fort d'une épée" is the third of a spade nearer the hilt, the strongest part of the sword used for parrying.

    cheese. Used in place of Say cheese. when taking pictures of people to get them to smile, one would utter Say fromage. French people would use the English word "cheese" or "ouistiti".

    la sauce est tout
    "The sauce is everything!" or "The secret's in the sauce!" Tagline used in a 1950s American TV commercial campaign for an American line of canned food products. Grammatically correct but not used in French, where one might say "Tout est dans la sauce" or "C'est la sauce qui fait passer le poisson" (also fig.).

    the sign above a theater that tells you what's playing. From "marquise" which not only means a marchioness but also an awning. Theater buildings are generally old and nowadays there's never such a sign above them anymore; there's only the advertisement for the play (l'affiche).

    a man or woman lacking experience, understanding or sophistication. In French, it only refers to the latest two and often has a pejorative connotation, as in gullible. Also, naïve can only be used for women; the masculine form is "naïf".

    ooh la la!
    "wowie!" Expression of exaggerated feminine delight; variation of an expression more commonly used by the French, "oh la la!" which means "yikes!" or "uh-oh!" The "zowie" intent does not exist in French.

    out of the ordinary, unusual. In French, it means outraged (for a person) or exaggerated, extravagant, overdone (for a thing, esp. a praise, an actor's style of acting, etc.) (In that second meaning, belongs to "literary" style.)

    out of fashion. The correct expression in French is "passé de mode". Passé means past, passed, or (for a colour) faded.

    a woman’s dressing gown. In French it is a bathrobe. A dressing gown is a "robe de chambre" (lit. a bedroom dress).

    small; waiflike; skinny; In French, it only means small and doesn't have those other connotations it has in English. Also, this is the feminine form of the adjectif (used for girls...); the masculine form is "petit".

    pièce d'occasion
    "occasional piece"; item written or composed for a special occasion. In French, it means "second-hand hardware". Can be shortened as "pièce d'occas'" or even "occas'" (pronounced "okaz").

    portemanteau (pl. portemanteaux)
    a blend; a word which fuses two or more words or parts of words to give a combined meaning. In French, lit. a carry coat, referred to a person who carried the royal coat or dress train, now meaning a large suitcase; more often, a clothes hanger. The equivalent of the English "portemanteau" is un mot-valise (lit. a suitcase word).

    medley, mixture; French write it "pot-pourri", lit. rotten pot (it is primarily a pot where you put different kind of flowers or spices and let it dry for years for its scent).

    a concise summary. In French, when talking about a school course, it means an abridged book about the matter.

    refers to the first performance of a play, a film, etc. In French, it means "the first", and only for a live performance; it cannot be used as a verb ("the film premiered on November" is the equivalent of "the film firsted in November").

    lit. searched; obscure; pretentious. In French, means sophisticated or delicate.

    in North American English, a document listing one's qualifications for employment. In French, it means summary; they would use instead curiculum vitæ, or its abbreviation, C.V..

    lit. "go to"; a meeting, appointment, or date. Always in two words in French, as in "rendez-vous". Its abbreviation is RDV.

    sexually suggestive; in French, the meaning of risqué is "risky", with no sexual connotation. Francophones use instead "osé" (lit. "daring") or sometimes "dévergondé" (very formal language). "Osé", unlike "dévergondé", cannot be used for people themselves, only for things (pictures...) or attitudes.

    table d'hôte (pl. tables d'hôte)
    a full-course meal offered at a fixed price. In French, it is a type of lodging where, unlike a hotel, you eat with other patrons and the host. Lit. "the host's table" : you eat at the host's table whatever he prepared for him or herself, at the family's table, with a single menu. Generally, the menu is composed of traditional courses of the region & the number of patrons is very limited.

    tableau vivant (pl. tableaux vivants, often shortened as tableau)
    in drama, a scene in which actors remain still as if in a picture. Tableau means painting, tableau vivant, living painting. In French, it is an expression used in body painting.

    a brief description; a short scene. In French, it is a small picture.

    Only found in English

    Avant-garde's antonym. French (and most English speakers) uses arrière-garde (either in a military or artistic context).

    French use brassière (note the accent). Also, the French equivalent of "bra" would be "un soutien-gorge" (which can be familiarly abbreviated as soutif). A "brassière", in French, is a special kind of woman undergarment for sports ; larger than a simple "soutien-gorge", it offers a better support of the breast.

    Suggested as "corde du roi" ("the king's cord") but this doesn't exist in French. More likely from 1780 American English "cord" and 17th "duroy", a coarse fabric made in England.

    a class of women of ill repute; a fringe group or subculture. Fell out of use in the French language in the 19th century. Frenchmen still use "une demi-mondaine" to qualify a woman that lives (exclusively or partially) of the commerce of her charms but in a high-life style.

    small cup, usually for coffee. Comes from "une demi-tasse", literally a half cup. It's not an expression as such in French.

    double entendre
    double meaning. French would use either "un mot / une phrase à double sens" (a word / a sentence with two meanings) or "un sous-entendu" (a hidden meaning). The verb entendre, to hear (modern), originally meant to understand. "Double entendre" has, however, been found previously in French documents dating back to the 15th century.[citation needed] The dictionary of the Académie française lists the expression "à double entente" as obsolete.

    term used for films that are influenced by other films, in particular by the works of a notable director. French word is written "hommage", and is used for all shows of admiration, respect.

    léger de main
    "light of hand" : sleight of hand, usually in the context of deception or the art of stage magic tricks. Means nothing in French and has no equivalent.

    maître d’
    translates as master o'. Francophones would say maître d’hôtel (head waiter) instead (French never uses "d'" alone).

    A robe or a dressing gown, usually of sheer or soft fabric for women. French uses négligé (masculine form, with accents) or nuisette. Négligée qualifies a woman who neglects her appearance.

    urban street sport involving climbing and leaping, using buildings, walls, curbs to ricochet off much as if one were on a skateboard, often in follow-the-leader style. It's actually the phonetic form of the French word "parcours", which means "course".

    pièce de résistance
    the best; the main meal, literally "a piece that resists". Francophones use plat de résistance (main dish).

    succès de scandale
    Success through scandal; Francophones might use « succès par médisance ».

    voir dire
    jury selection (Law French). Literally "to speak the truth". (Anglo-Norman voir [truth] is etymologically unrelated to the modern French voir [to see].)

    The Marius 100th Birthday Party Memorial -- June 5, 2023


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