French words in English/Catalogs

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An informational catalog, or several catalogs, about French words in English.

List of French words in English

This is a list of words that retain their French spelling in English. Some of them may also feature written French accents, or be written in italics (both optionally), or have a strange or little-known pronunciation in English, in any combination.

The accents in the pronunciation column show stress and pronunciation (see English spellings for a table; unaccented final e is always silent). The equals sign (=) introduces a word that has the same pronunciation (no other kind of connection is implied).

Click on any of the letters below to see the words beginning with that letter.

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z


(All French accents placed over vowels are included here, though they are frequently omitted in English)

à bas—down with (à bas the profiteers) à-bà
abatis, abattis—a defensive obstacle formed by felled trees with sharpened branches facing the enemy ábatis, abáttis
abattoir—a slaughterhouse ábətwar
abbé—a member of the French secular clergy ábbay
absinthe[2]—a green liqueur flavored with wormwood, anise, & other herbs ábsínth, ábsànth; or -t
accouchement—the time or act of giving birth acoûshmàn
accoucheur—one that assists at a birth, esp. an obstetrician acoushër
accoutre—to provide with equipment or furnishings acoûtrə
accoutrement—equipment, trappings; superficial characteristic or device acoûtrəmón
à deux—privately or intimately with only two present à-dë
acquis—the body of common rights and obligations that is binding on all European Union member states akêe
adieu—farewell adyë
administration—administration administrâtion
(agent) provocateur—one who incites others to some incriminating action ázhonprovoca-tër
agile—agile ájîle
aide(-de-camp)—a military aide or civilian aide to an executive = âid help dəcàn
aigrette—a spray of feathers for the head aigrét
aide-mémoire—a mnemonic or a written summary or outline of important items = âid help mém-wàr
aiguille—a sharp-pointed pinnacle of rock aigwîl
aiguillette—a shoulder cord worn by designated military aides aigwilét
aileron—a movable airfoil on the trailing edge of an airplane wing âileron
-aire—like its anglicised form '-ary', forms nouns and adjectives = ãir breathe
à la carte—a menu with each item's price shown separately àlà càrt
à la mode—fashionable, stylish; topped with ice cream àlà môde
alimentation—alimentation alimentâtion
allée—a walkway lined with trees or tall shrubs
amour propre—self-esteem amorprópr
amuse-bouche—a small complimentary appetizer offered at some restaurants amûse boûsh
amuse-gueule—a small complimentary appetizer offered at some restaurants[3] amûse gïrl (BrE gïrl)
ancien régime—a system or mode no longer prevailing ánciàrè-zhêem
aperçu—a brief survey or sketch; outline; immediate impression; insight aperçu
apéritif—an alcoholic drink taken before a meal as an appetizer aperitêef
appellation—a name for a geographical area where authorized wines or other culinary products are made appellâtion
appliqué—a cutout decoration fastened to a larger piece of material áplì-kây
après—after; usually used in combination, ie, après-theater aprây
après-ski—social activity after a day's skiing apray-skì
arabesque—a ballet posture, or elaborate or intricate pattern arabésk
arbitrage[4]—the nearly simultaneous purchase and sale of securities or foreign exchange in different markets to order to profit from price discrepancies àrbitràzh
argent—heraldic and poetic term for silver colour *àrjənt
argot—vocabulary and idiom peculiar to a certain group, slang = Àrgo ship
arras—a wall hanging or screen of tapestry árras
arrière-ban—proclamation of a French king calling his vassals to arms; the body of vassals summoned áriér-bán
arrière-pensée—a mental reservation áriér-pànsây
arrivé—one who has risen rapidly to success, power, or fame arrêevây
arriviste—a new and uncertain arrival as in social position or artistic endeavor árì-vêest
arrondissement—administrative district of some large French cities; the largest division of a French department áron-dêesmon
artiste—a skilled adept public performer; an artistic or creative person artêest
art moderne—art deco armo-dérn
art nouveau—a design style of the late 19th century characterized by sinuous lines and foliate forms arnu-vô
assurance—assurance əshŏrənss, əshûrənss
attaché—a technical expert on a country's diplomatic staff at a foreign capital ətáshay
atelier—an artist's or designer's studio or workroom; a workshop ətéliây
aubade—a song or poem greeting the dawn; morning music ô-bàd
auberge—inn ô-bérzh
aubergine—eggplant ôberzhêen
Aubusson—a figured scenic tapestry for wall hanging or upholstery ôbə-són
au courant—fashionable, stylish; fully familiar, conversant ôcù-ràn
au fait—to the point; fully competent; fully informed; socially correct ôh Fây
au fond—at bottom; fundamentally ô-fón
au gratin—covered with bread crumbs or grated cheese and browned (as under a broiler) ôgra-tán
au jus—served in the juice obtained from roasting (referring to meat) ô-zhû
au naturel—cooked or served plainly; nude ônatu-rél
au pair—a young foreign person who cares for children in return for room and board and the opportunity to learn the family's language ô-pãir
au poivre—prepared or served with a generous amount of coarsely ground black pepper, as "steak au poivre" ô-pwàhvr
au revoir—goodbye, see you again ôrə-vwàr
auteur—an artist (musician or writer) or film director whose style and practice are distinctive ô-tër
avalanche—a mass of snow, rock and ice descending a mountain rapidly ávalanche
avant—culturally or stylistically advanced, as "avant jazz" á-vàn
avant-garde—an intelligensia that develops new or experimental concepts, esp. in the arts ávàn-gàrde
avant la lettre—before a specified name for the category existed, e.g., "Douanier Rousseau was an avant la lettre surrealist painter", i.e., before that term was invented avànlà-létrə
avenue—avenue ávenue
avoirdupois, avoir-du-pois—weight; heaviness; personal weight; expressed in avoirdupois weight avrdupŏiz
badinage—playful repartee, banter bádinàzh
bagasse—plant residue, as of sugarcane or grapes, left after a product has been extracted bagásse
bagatelle—a trifle; various games involving rolling balls into scoring areas; a short literary or musical piece in a light style bagatélle
baguette—a small molding; a gem in the shape of a long narrow rectangle; a long thin loaf of French bread bagét
bain-marie—a cooking utensil containing heated water in which food in smaller pots is cooked bán-marìe
ballade—a fixed verse form of three stanzas; a musical composition, usually for piano suggesting the epic ballad ballàde
ballet—dancing in which conventional poses and steps are combined with light, flowing figures, as leaps and turns; music composed for this bálay
banal—banal, ordinary bənàl
bandeau—a fillet or band for the hair; brassiere; a band-shaped covering for the breasts bandô
banderole—a long, narrow flag or streamer; a long scroll bearing an inscription or a device banderôle
banlieue—a French suburban housing block; suburbs containing these bàn-lyë
banquette—a built-in upholstered bench along a wall bàn-két
baroque—characterized by grotesqueness, extravagance, or flamboyance; an irregularly shaped pearl barôk, barók
barquette—a small boat-shaped pastry shell barkét
barrage—an artificial dam; artillery fire; a vigorous projection of many things at once, as "a barrage of protests" bárràzh
baton—music conductor's stick, policeman's hitting implement, army officer's ceremonial stick BrE bátón, AmE bətón
béarnaise—a sauce of egg yolks and butter flavored with shallots, wine, vinegar, and seasonings béar-nâyz
beau (singular), beaux (plural)[5]—a dandy; a boyfriend singular, bôz plural[6]
beaucoup (slang)—great in quantity or amount; many , much, e.g., "he spent beaucoup dollars" bô-coô
beau geste (singular), beaux gestes or beau gestes (plural)—a graceful or magnanimous gesture; an ingratiating conciliatory gesture bô-zhést
beau idéal (singular)[7], beaux idéals (plural)—the perfect type or model bôwidây-ál, bôzidây-ál
beau monde—the world of high society and fashion bô-mónd
beaux arts—the fine arts bô-zàr
beige—a cloth made of natural undyed wool; a variable color averaging light grayish-yellowish brown; a pale to grayish yellow bâizh
belle—a popular and attractive girl or woman; especially a girl or woman whose charm and beauty make her a favorite, ie, "the belle of the ball" = béll ring
belle époque—a period of high artistic or cultural development; especially such a period in fin de siècle France bélây-pók
belles lettres—literature that is an end in itself and not merely informative; specifically, light, entertaining, and often sophisticated literature béll létra
béret—a visorless, usually woolen cap with a tight headband and a soft full, flat top béray
bête noire—a person or thing strongly detested or avoided; bugbear bét-nwàr
beurre blanc—a seasoned butter sauce (as for fish) flavored with white wine, shallots, and vinegar or lemon juice bër-blànc
beurre manié—flour and butter kneaded together used as a thickener in sauces bër-mániay
beurre noir—butter heated until brown or black and often flavored with vinegar or lemon juice bër-nwàr
bézique—a card game similar to pinochle that is played with a pack of 64 cards bəzêek
bidet—a bathroom fixture used especially for bathing the external genitals and the anal region BrE bêedây, AmE bidây, bidét
bizarre—strikingly out of the ordinary: odd, extravagant, or eccentric in style or mode; involving sensational contrasts or incongruities bí-zàr, cf. bazàar shop, bə-
blancmange—a usually sweetened and flavored dessert made from gelatinous or starchy ingredients and milk bləmànzh
blasé—apathetic to pleasure or excitement as a result of excessive indulgence or enjoyment; world-weary; sophisticated, worldly-wise; unconcerned blà-zây
blouson—a garment (as a dress) having a close waistband with blousing of material over it bloûzon
boîte—a nightclub bwút
bon mot—a clever remark; witticism bón-mô
bon ton—a fashionable manner or style; the fashionable or proper thing; high society bón-tón
bon vivant—a person having cultivated, refined, and sociable tastes especially with respect to food and drink bón-vìvàn
bonhomie—good-natured easy friendliness bónóm-êe
bouclé—an uneven yarn of three plies, one of which forms loops at intervals; a fabric of bouclé yarn boûclây
boudin—a blood sausage, especially "boudin noir"; a spicy Cajun sausage containing rice and meat (as pork) or seafood boûdán
boudoir—a woman's dressing room, bedroom, or private sitting room boûdwàr
bouffant—puffed out, as bouffant hairdos or bouffant veils boûffàn
bougie—wax candle; a tapering cylindrical instrument for introduction into a tubular passage of the body; a suppository boozhêe
bouillabaisse—a highly seasoned fish stew made with at least two kinds of fish; a potpourri bwêeabâisse
bouillon—a clear seasoned soup made usually from lean beef; broadly, broth bwêeon
boule[8]—a synthethically formed mass (as of sapphire) with the atomic structure of a single crystal boûle
boulevard—a broad, often landscaped thoroughfare boûlevard
boulevardier—a frequenter of the Parisian boulevards; broadly, a man-about-town boôlə-vàrdiay
bouleversement—a reversal; a violent disturbance; disorder boôlə-vérsmón
bouquet—flowers picked and fastened together in a bunch, a nosegay; a medley, such a bouquet of songs, a compliment; a distinctive and characteristic fragrance, as of wine; a subtle aroma or quality, as of an artistic performance boukây
bouquet garni—an herb mixture that is either tied together or enclosed in a porous container and is cooked with a dish but removed before serving boukâygar-nêe
bourgeois—adjective: of, relating to, or characteristic of the townsman or of the social middle class; marked by a concern for material interests and respectability and a tendency toward mediocrity; dominated by commercial and industrial interests; capitalistic; noun: a burgher; a middle-class person; a person with social behavior and political views held to be influenced by private-property interest; a capitalist bŏrzhwà
bourgeoise—noun: a woman of the middle class bŏrzhwàz
bourgeoisie—the middle class; also plural in construction, as "members of the middle class"; a social order dominated by bourgeois bŏrzhwà-zì
bourguignonne, bourguignon—prepared or served in the manner of Burgundy (as with a sauce made with red wine), ie, "beef bourguignonne" bŏrgin-yon
bourrée—a 17th century French dance usually in quick duple time; a musical composition with the rhythm of this dance; a pas de bourrée bŏrây
bourride—a fish stew similar to bouillabaisse that is usually thickened with egg yolks and strongly flavored with garlic bourrìde
bourse—an exchange, specifically a European stock exchange; a sale of numismatic or philatelic items on tables (as at a convention) bŏrse
boutique—a small, fashionable shop; a small shop within a large department store; a small company that offers highly specialized services or products, such as "boutique wineries", "an independent investment boutique" bootêek
boutonnière—a flower or bouquet worn in a buttonhole boôtoni-ére
Bouvier des Flandres—any of a breed of large, powerfully built rough-coated dogs of Belgian origin used especially for herding and in guard work—called also a Bouvier Boûviâydây-Flàndrə
brasserie—an informal, usually French restaurant serving simple hearty food brásserie
brassière—a woman's undergarment to cover and support the breasts bráziére
bric-à-brac—a miscellaneous collection of small articles commonly of ornamental or sentimental value; curios; something suggesting bric-à-brac especially in extraneous decorative quality brícabrac
brie—a soft, surface-ripened cheese with a whitish rind and a pale yellow interior brìe
brioche—a light, slightly sweet bread made with a rich yeast dough brêe-ósh
bruit—to rumor or report; as a noun, the same, but also din or noise brûêe, or = brûte force
buffet—a sideboard; a counter for refreshments; chiefly British, a restaurant operating in a public space (as in a railway station); a meal set out on a buffet or table for ready access and informal service bùffay, boôfay
bureau—British: a writing desk, especially one having drawers and a slant top; a low chest of drawers for use in a bedroom; a specialized administrative unit, especially a subdivision of an executive department of a government; a branch of a newspaper, newsmagazine, or wire service in an important news center; a usually commercial agency that serves as an intermediary especially for exchanging information or coordinating activities, ie "credit bureau" bûro
bureau de change—an office at airports, railway terminals, etc., where one can buy foreign currency bûrodə-shónzh
burette or buret—a graduated glass tube with a small aperture and stopcock for delivering measured quantities of liquid or for measuring the liquid or gas received or discharged burét
burlesque—a literary or dramatic work that seeks to ridicule by means of grotesque exaggeration or comic imitation; mockery. usually by caricature; theatrical entertainment of a broadly humorous. often earthy character, consisting of short turns, comic skits, and sometimes striptease acts burlésk
cabaret—archaic: a shop selling wines and liquors; a restaurant serving liquor and providing entertainment, as by singers or dancers; a nightclub; the show provided at a cabaret cábəray
cabernet franc—a dry red wine often used in blends, as with merlot or cabernet sauvignon cábernây-fràn, some AmE cábernây-fránk
cabernet sauvignon—a dry red wine made from a single widely cultivated variety of black grape—called also cabernet cábernâysovêen-yón
cabotage—a trade or transport in coastal waters or airspace or between two points within a country; the right to engage in cabotage cábotàzh
cabotin—a second-rate actor, strolling player cábotán
cabriole—a ballet leap in which one leg is extended in midair and the other struck against it; a curved furniture leg ending in an ornamental foot cábriôle
cabriolet—a light, 2-wheeled one-horse carriage with a folding leather hood, a large apron, and upward-curving shafts; a convertible coupe cabriolây
CAC 40 (CAC quarante) các-carànt
cachalot—a sperm whale cáshalót, cáshalô
cache—a hiding place, especially for concealing and preserving provisions or implements; a secure place of storage; something hidden or stored in a cache; a computer memory with very short access time used for storage of frequently or recently used instructions or data—called also cache memory = cásh money
cachepot—an ornamental receptacle to hold and usually to conceal a flowerpot cáshpo, cáshpót
cachet—a seal used especially as a mark of official approval; an indication of approval carrying great prestige; a characteristic feature or quality conferring prestige; prestige; a medicinal preparation for swallowing consisting of a case usually of rice-flour paste enclosing a medicine; a design or inscription on an envelope to commemorate a postal or philatelic event; an advertisement forming part of a postage meter impression; a motto or slogan included in a postal cancellation cáshây
cachou—a pill or pastille used to sweeten the breath = cáshew nut
cadet—cadet (in particular, a younger child or branch of a family) cadét
café—a usually small and informal establishment serving various refreshments (as coffee); broadly, a restaurant, barroom, cabaret, or nightclub cáfè
café au lait—coffee with usually hot milk in about equal parts; the color of coffee with milk cáfè ôh lây
café noir—coffee without milk or cream; also a demitasse cafè nwàr
cahier—a report or memorial concerning policy especially of a parliamentary body càyay
camembert—a soft, surface-ripened cheese with a thin grayish-white rind and a yellow interior cámembér
camouflage—the disguising, especially of military equipment or installations with paint, nets, or foliage; also the disguise so applied; concealment by means of disguise; behavior or artifice designed to deceive or hide cáməflàzh
canapé—an appetizer consisting of a piece of bread or toast or a cracker topped with a savory spread such as caviar or cheese; a kind of hors d'oeuvre cánapè
canaille—the rabble; riffraff; proletarian canàî, kənŷ
canard—a false or unfounded report or story, especially a fabricated report; a groundless rumor or belief; an airplane with horizontal stabilizing and control surfaces in front of supporting surfaces; a small airfoil in front of the wing of an aircraft that can increase the aircraft's performance cánàrd
caprice—a sudden, impulsive, and seemingly unmotivated notion or action; a sudden, usually unpredictable condition, change, or series of changes (the caprices of the weather); a disposition to do things impulsively caprìce
caramel—an amorphous brittle brown and somewhat bitter substance obtained by heating sugar and used as a coloring and flavoring agent; a firm, chewy, usually caramel-flavored candy cáramél
carrousel[9]—a tournament or exhibition in which horsemen execute evolutions; a merry-go-round; a circular conveyor (the luggage carousel at the airport); a revolving case or tray used for storage or display carəssél
carte blanche—full discretionary power (was given carte blanche to furnish the house) càrt-blànsh
cause célèbre—a legal case that excites widespread interest; a notorious person, thing, incident, or episode côze-celébrə; informally cåuse celéb
centre (French and British spelling) = cénter (American spelling of same word)
cerise—a moderate red cerìse
c'est la vie—that's life; that's how things happen sâyla-vêe
c'est la guerre—that's war; it cannot be helped sâyla-gãir
Chablis—a dry, sharp, white burgundy wine; a semidry, soft, white California wine shábly
chaconne—an old Spanish dance tune of Latin-American origin; a musical composition in moderate triple time typically consisting of variations on a repeated succession of chords shacón
chacun à son goût—everyone to his own taste shákən-ason-goô
chagrin—disquietude or distress of mind caused by humiliation, disappointment, or failure shágrin
chaise longue shéz lóng
chalet—a remote herdsman's hut in the Alps; a Swiss dwelling with unconcealed structural members and a wide overhang at the front and sides; a cottage or house in chalet style shálay
chamois—a small, goatlike bovid (Rupicapra rupicapra) of mountainous regions from southern Europe to the Caucasus; also chammy or shammy: a soft pliant leather prepared from the skin of the chamois or from sheepskin; a cotton fabric made in imitation of chamois leather BrE shámwà, AmE shámmy
Champagne, BrE champagne[10]—a white, sparkling wine made in the old province of Champagne, France; also, a similar wine made elsewhere; a pale orange yellow to light grayish-yellowish brown shám pâin
chanson—a song; specifically, a music-hall or cabaret song shànson
chanteuse—a songstress, especially a woman who is a concert or nightclub singer BrE shàn-tëz, AmE shán-tûz
chapeau (singular), chapeaux (plural)—hat sháppo, sháppôz
chaperon—a person (as a matron) who for propriety accompanies one or more young unmarried women in public or in mixed company; an older person who accompanies young people at a social gathering to ensure proper behavior; broadly, one delegated to ensure proper behavior; any of a class of proteins that facilitate the proper folding of proteins by binding to and stabilizing unfolded or partially folded proteins—called also molecular chaperone sháperôn
charabanc—British: a sight-seeing motor coach shárabang
charade—a word represented in riddling verse or by picture, tableau, or dramatic action; plural, a game in which some of the players try to guess a word or phrase from the actions of another player who may not speak; an empty or deceptive act or pretense ("his concern was a charade") BrE shəràd, AmE shərâde
charcuterie—a delicatessen specializing in dressed meats and meat dishes; also the products sold in such a shop sharcûterie
chargé d'affaires—a subordinate diplomat who substitutes for an absent ambassador or minister; a diplomat inferior in rank to an ambassador or minister who heads a mission when no ambassador or minister is assigned shàrzhâydá-fãir
charivari—a shivaree: a noisy mock serenade to a newly married couple BrE sharivàri, AmE shivarêe
charlotte—a dessert consisting of a filling (as of fruit, whipped cream, or custard) layered with or placed in a mold lined with strips of bread, ladyfingers, or biscuits shàrlot
charlotte russe—a charlotte made with sponge cake or ladyfingers and a whipped-cream or custard-gelatin filling shàrlot rûss
chartreuse—a variable color averaging a brilliant yellow green BrE shartrëuz, AmE shartreûz
chassé—a sliding dance step resembling the galop shássay
chasseur—a hunter, huntsman; one of a body of light cavalry or infantry trained for rapid maneuvering; a liveried attendant, a footman shassur
châssis[11]—the supporting frame of a structure, as an automobile or television; also, the frame and working parts, as of an automobile or electronic device, exclusive of the body or housing shássy
château (singular), châteaux (plural)—a feudal castle or fortress in France; a large country house or mansion; a French vineyard estate shátto, sháttôz
chateaubriand—a large tenderloin steak usually grilled or broiled and served with a sauce, as béarnaise shatôbriand
chatelain—a castellan shátelán
chatelaine—the wife of a castellan; the mistress of a château; the mistress of a household or of a large establishment; a clasp or hook for a watch, purse, or bunch of keys shátelain, shátelén
chaud-froid—a cold meat jelly or aspic that includes cream shô-fwà
chauffeur—a person employed to drive a motor vehicle shô-fër
chef—a skilled cook who manages the kitchen, as of a restaurant; a cook shéf
chef d'oeuvre—a masterpiece, especially in art or literature shây-dëvr
chemin de fer—a card game in which two hands are dealt, any number of players may bet against the dealer, and the winning hand is the one that comes closer to but does not exceed a count of nine on two or three cards shəmánda-fãir
chemise—a woman's one-piece undergarment; a loose, straight-hanging dress shəmêez
chemisette—a woman's garment, especially one as of lace to fill the open front of a dress shəmeezét
chenille—a wool, cotton, silk, or rayon yarn with protruding pile; a pile-face fabric with a filling of this yarn; an imitation of chenille yarn or fabric" chənêe, chənìl
chèque—in BrE, a written order to a bank to pay money, AmE check = chéck investigate
cherchez la femme, chercher la femme—look for the woman shérchèla-fám
cheval-de-frise (singular), chevaux-de-frise (plural)—a defense consisting typically of a timber or an iron barrel covered with projecting spikes and often strung with barbed wire; a protecting line, as of spikes, on top of a wall—usually used in the plural shəváldə frêeze, shəvôdə frêeze
chevalier—a cavalier; a member of any of various orders of knighthood or of merit, as the Legion of Honor; a member of the lowest rank of French nobility; a cadet of the French nobility; a chivalrous man shəválêeây
chevelure—a head of hair shəvəlûre
chèvre—goat cheese shévra
chez—at or in the home or business place of = Shây
chic—smart elegance and sophistication, especially of dress or manner; style (wears her clothes with superb chic); a distinctive mode of dress or manner associated with a fashionable lifestyle, ideology, or pursuit (wearing the latest in urban chic); a faddishly popular quality or appeal; something, as a practice or interest, having such appeal (the transient tides of academic chic — Irving Kristol) shèek
chichi—frilly or elaborate ornamentation; affectation , preciosity; chic shêshê
chiffon—an ornamental addition, as a knot of ribbons, to a woman's dress; a sheer fabric especially of silk shíffon
chiffonade—shredded or finely cut vegetables or herbs used especially as a garnish shiffonàd
chiffonier—a high narrow chest of drawers shiffónìây
chignon—a knot of hair that is worn at the back of the head and especially at the nape of the neck shìnyon
chinoiserie—a style in art, as in decoration, reflecting Chinese qualities or motifs; an object or decoration in this style shinwazerìe
choucroute—sauerkraut; sauerkraut cooked and served with meat—also called choucroute garnie = shoô away croût
chûte—a quick descent, as in a river; a rapid; an inclined plane, sloping channel, or passage down or through which things may pass; a slide; a parachute; a spinnaker = shoôt shot
cigarette—a slender roll of cut tobacco enclosed in paper and meant to be smoked; also, a similar roll of another substance, as marijuana cigərét
cinéma—a motion picture—usually used attributively; a motion-picture theater; movies; especially, the film industry or the art or technique of making motion pictures cínemà, cínemə
cinéma vérité—art or technique of filming a motion picture so as to convey candid realism cínema véritè
cinémathèquea small movie house specializing in avant-garde films cínematek
clairvoyantone who claims to see into the future clãir-vŏyant
claque—a group hired to applaud at a performance; a group of sycophants cláck
claqueur—a member of a claque clackër
cliché—a trite phrase or expression; also, the idea expressed by it; a hackneyed theme, characterization, or situation; something, as a menu item, that has become overly familiar or commonplace clêeshây (AmE stresses 2nd syllable)
clientèle—a body of clients (a shop that caters to an exclusive clientele) cleeontél
clique—a narrow, exclusive circle or group of persons; especially one held together by common interests, views, or purposes clêek
cloche—a transparent plant cover used outdoors especially for protection against cold; a woman's close-fitting hat usually with deep rounded crown and narrow brim clósh
cloisonné—of, relating to, or being a style of enamel decoration in which the enamel is applied and fired in raised cells (as of soldered wires) on a usually metal background cloizənây
cocotte—a prostitute; a shallow individual baking dish usually with one or two handles cocót
collage—an artistic composition made of various materials (as paper, cloth, or wood) glued on a surface; a creative work that resembles such a composition in incorporating various materials or elements <the album is a collage of several musical styles>; the art of making collages; a hodgepodge <a collage of ideas>; a work (as a film) having disparate scenes in rapid succession without transitions cóllàzh (cf. anglicised cóllege *cóllij)
colporteur—a peddler of religious books cólporter
comédienne—a woman who is a comedian comediénne
comme ci, comme ça—so-so comsêe-comsà
comme il faut—conforming to accepted standards; proper comêel-fô
commode—a woman's ornate cap popular in the late 17th and early 18th centuries; a low chest of drawers; a movable washstand with a cupboard underneath; a boxlike structure holding a chamber pot under an open seat; also chamber pot; toilet commôde
commune—the smallest administrative district of many countries, especially in Europe; commonalty; community, as a medieval usually municipal corporation; mir; an often rural community organized on a communal basis cómmune
communiqué—official communication or report commûnikay
compère—chiefly British: the master of ceremonies of an entertainment (as a television program) cómpére host, cf. compãre contrast
compote compóte
concierge cóncìërzh
confit cónfì
confrère cónfrére
concours d'élégance concordéle-gànce
conduit cóndwít
consommé consómmè
contretemps cóntratóm
coq au vin cóck ôh ván
coquette cô-két
cordon sanitaire cŏrdon sanitãire
corniche cor-nêesh
cornichon cornishón
corps army = cŏre apple
corps de ballet cŏrda-bálay
corps d'élite cŏrdây-lêet
corsage corsàzh
corsetière corsetiére
cortège—a funeral procession cortézh
coryphé(e) coryfây
Côte d'Ivoire—country formerly known as Ivory Coast Côat divwàr
coterie—an intimate and often exclusive group of persons with a unifying common interest or purpose côterie
coulis, coulisse coulìsse
couloir—a steep mountainside gorge coûlwà(r)
coup d'état coôdây-tà
coup de grâce coôdəgràss
coup de théâtre[12] coôdətay-átrə
coupé coûpè
courage—courage cúrij BrE, cürij AmE
courante—a dance of Italian origin; music in quick triple time courànte
coureur de bois—a French or métis trapper of N. America, esp. Canada courëur de *bwà
courgette[13] cŏr-zhét
couscousière cusscussiér
couture coutûre
cortège cŏr-tézh
crayon crâyón
crèche crésh
Crédit—credit crédit
crème créme
crème anglaise cremongléz
crème brulé crembrulây
crème caramel cremcaramél
crème de cacao cremdəcacòw
crème de cassis cremdəcassìs
crème de la crème cremdəlacrém
crème de menthe cremdmónt
crème fraîche, crème fraiche cremfrâysh, cremfrésh
crèpe crèpe
crepe de chine crèpe de shêen
crèpe suzette crèpe suzét
crepon crépon
crevasse crəváss
cri de coeur crìdə-kër
crime passionnelcrime of passion crêam pasionél
critique critêek, cf. crític
crochet crôshây
croissant quàson
Cro-Magnon Cro-Mágnon, Cro-Mányon
crôquet crôcây
croquette crockét
croquignole cróckêen-yôle
croquis cróck-êe
croupier croôpêeây
croustade crùs-tàd
crouton croôton
crudités cruditây
cuirassier quêer-ássiây
cuisine quêe-zêen
cul-de-sac cúll de sáck
culotte culót
curé cyûrây
curetage cyùretàzh
curette, curet cyurét
cuvée cûvay
dauphin—the eldest son of the king of France dô-fán
dauphine—the wife of a dauphin dô-fêen
débâcle debàcle
débit—debit débit
débris BrE débrêe or dèbrêe, AmE dəbrêe
début —first appearance in public dèbyû or débyû
débutant male dèbyûtàn or débyûtàn
débutante female—woman being presented at the royal court, or appearing in "Society" for the first time, or, by extension, performing for the first time dèbyûtànt or débyûtànt
déclassé declássè
décolletage noun, décolleté male, décolletée female daycoletàzh, daycoletây
décor dâycor
dégringolade dây-gráng-go-làd
degustation—a tasting of foods or wines in a series of small portions dây-gù-stá-ssión
de haut en bas də-ôwàn-bà
déjà vu dâyzhà-vû
deluxe, de luxe də-lúxe, də-lûxe
demi-glace démi-gláce
démarche—a course of action; maneuver; diplomatic protest
demimondaine démimon-dâne
demimonde démimonde
demi-sec démi-séc
demoiselle dəmwazél
démonstration—demonstration, proof of a theorem demonstrâshn
dénouement dây-noûmon
dépôt BrE déppo, AmE dêpo
dérailleur dayrî-yër
déraciné, déracinée dayrácinay
de règle də-réglə
de rigueur dərigër - hard g
dernier cri dãirny-ãir-crêe
derrière Dérry ãir
déstruction—destruction destrúction
détail—detail dêtâil
détective—detective, private inquiry agent detéctív
détente daytànt
de trop dətrô
digestif deezhestêef
discothèque díscoték
divorcé man, divorcée woman; divorcee eitherdivorced person divorsây; divorcêe
donnée, donnéa given, basic fact or assumption, subject or theme of story, etc dónnây
double entendre[14]a word or expression capable of two interpretations, with one usually being risqué doôblon-tóndrə
douche doôsh
doyen man, doyenne woman doyén (man can be dǒyen)
droit dwà
droit du seigneur dwàdusen-yer
du jour [15] dû-zhûr
duvet dûvay
eau de Cologne ôdaco-lône
eau de parfum ôdapar-füm
eau de toilette ôda-twà-lét
eau-de-vie ôda-vêe
échelon éshelón, échelón
éclair eclãir
éclaircissement eclaircìsmàn
éclat è-clà
édification—edification edificâtion
éducation—education educâtion
élan è-làn
embonpointplumpness (of person) ómbonpwàn
embouchure emboû-shûre or óm-
embourgeoisement ombŏurzhwazmón
émigré émigrè
éminence grise éminonce-grêez
en attendant ón ətóndón
en banc ón bónk
en bloc, bloc ón blóck, blóc
en brochette ón broshét
enceinte ón sánt
en clair ón Clãir
encore óncore
en face ón fáss
en famille ón famì
enfant terrible ón fànté-rìbl
en fête ón fét
engagé ón gázhây
en masse ón máss
en passantin passing: in chess, of a pawn taking a pawn that has reached the same rank as one's own only by virtue of the fact that on its first move a pawn has the option of moving two squares ón pásson
en plein ón plán
en poste ón póst
en prisein a position to be captured (in chess, etc.) ón prêez
en rapport ón rá-pŏr
en route ón roûte
ensemble ón sómbl
ensilage ón silàzh
en suite ón swêet
entente ón tónt
entente cordiale óntónt cordiàl
entourage ónturàzh
entrechat óntrəshà
entrecôte óntrecote
entrée ón trây
entremets óntrəmây
entrepôt óntrəpô
entrepreneur óntrəprənër
entresol óntrəsól
equipage ekípàzh
escarole éscarôle
espionage espìonàzh
esprit de corps espreedəcŏr
esprit d'escalier or esprit de l'escalier—literally, staircase wit: thinking of a witty retort when it is too late espreedescáliay
estaminet éstáminay
etiquette étikét
étouffée ây-toûfay
étude âytûde
etui ây-twì
euclase ëugh-clàz
exposé expôzây, cf. expôse
façade fəssàd
facile—facile fássîle
fait accompli fétəcóm-plêe
farouche fəroûsh
falsification—falsification falsificâtion
fatigue fətêeg
faute de mieux fôte de-myə
fauteuil foe toô ê
fauve fôv
faut-naïf fôe nîgh êef
faux pas fô-pâ
femme fatalewoman with whom it may be dangerous to have a liaison fám-fatàl
fête festival = fâte destiny
fiancé man, fiancée woman fì-ànsây
figurine figurìne
filet = fíllet; or fêelây
filet mignon or mignon fêelây-mêenyón
fils fêece
fin de siècle"end of the century", in particular the 'naughty nineties' of the nineteenth fándəsì-éclə
finesse finésse
flan—flan flán
flânerie flánə-rìe
flâneur flanëur
flèche arrow flésh meat
fléchette flésh-ét
foie gras fwà-grà
folie à deux folìà-dë
fondant fóndàn
forté fŏrtè
foyerentrance hall in hotel, theatre or cinema fŏyèh
fragile—fragile frájîle
franc = Frank person
franc-tireur fràncti-rer
frappé, frappe fráppây, fráp
frisée, frisé frìzây
frisson frìsson
froideur fwàh-dër
frottage frótàzh
frou-frou froû-frou
fuselage fûsilàzh
fusil fûzil
fusilier, fusileer fusilêer
fusillade fuzilàd
gaffe mistake = gáff blow, fishing
galantine galantìne
galère galére
galette galét
galop = gállop horse
garage AmE gəràzh, gəràj, BrE gáràj, gáràzh or the despised gáríj
garçon gàr-són
garde-manger gàrdmàn-zhây
gastronome gástronôme
gâteau, gâteaux gáttô, gáttôz
gauche gôsh
gaucherie gôshery
gavotte gavótte
gelée—a cosmetic gel zhelây
genre zhónrə
gigot zhêego
glacé glássây
gouache gouásh
grain—grain grâin
grand—big, great gránd
grandeur—great power, rank or eminence; nobility, splendour grándure
grand jeté—in ballet, a jump in which a dancer springs from one foot to land on the other with one leg forward of their body and the other stretched backward while in the air.
grand mal—the worst kind of epilepsy grà-mál
Grand Prix—international motor-racing championship Gràm Prêe
grande dame—dignified lady gràn-dám
grange—a country house with farm buildings attached grânge
gratin—a brown crust formed on cooked food, or the crusted food itself gratán
gratitude—gratitude grátityûd
grave—grave, serious grâyv
gratiné or gratinée —to cook au gratin; a dish cooked in that manner gratinây
grillage grêeàzh
grille lattice = gríll cook
grotesque grotésk
grotesquerie grotéskery
guide—(a) guide, as a culinary or the Michelin gîd
gruyère gruyére
guillotine gilətêen
hautbois ôboy
habitué habítyoo-ây
haute, also haut = ôat meal, ôh surprise
haute couture ôat-coô-tûre
haute cuisine ôat-kwì-zêen
haute école otay-cól
hauteur otër
haut monde, also haute monde ôh-mónd, ôat-mónd
honi soit qui mal y pense ónny-swà-kêe-málly-pànss
hors commerce orcommérce
hors de combat ordəcom-bà
hors d'œuvre ŏr-dëvr
hotelier hotélier
idée fixe êedây fêex
impasse ímpasse, ámpasse
imperméable—impenetrable, as to a liquid, say impërmêable
infusion ánfûzi-ón
ingénue ánzhé-nû
ingratitude—ingratitude ingrátityûd
injure—an insult ínjə(r)
insouciance ánsoossi-àhnss
insouciant ánsoossi-àhn
instruction—inquiry, as with an examining majestrate; instruction instrúction
instrument—instrument ínstrument
intelligence—intelligence intélligence
-iqueforming nouns êek
jabot zhàbo
j'ádoube"I adjust", said when centring a chessman on its square zhadoûb
je ne sais quoi zhənəsâi-kwà
jeté zhətay
jeu d'esprit zhëdé-sprêe
jeunesse dorée zhənéss-dórây
joie de vivre zhwàd-vìvrə
julienne juliénne, zhulién
justification—action of showing something to be right or reasonable justificâshn
képi = KP kây-pêe
Khmer Rouge Kəmãir Roûzh
laïcité là-ìcì-tây
laissez-faire = lây sây fãir
lamé làmè
largesse larzhéss
latrine latrìne
lavabo lavàbo
lavage lavàzh
lavaliere or lavalliere pendant lavalìer
lavalier or lavaliere microphone ləválier
layette layét
lèse-majesté lâys mázhestay
leveea natural or artificial slope or wall to regulate water levels lévêe
liaisonlove affair, probably temporary liâizon
lieu lyë
lieutenant AmE lieuténant, BrE lefténant
littérateur literatër
longue duréestudy of history giving priority to long-term structures lóng durây
lorgnette, lorgnon lornyét, lornyón
louche - disreputable loôsh
lunes = loôn crazy
luthiera maker of stringed instruments such as violins or guitars lûtiər
luxe lúx, lûx
macabre macàbre
macédoinemixed fruit or vegetables, especially cut up small or in jelly masidwàn
mâche màsh
machine məshêen
madame brothel, Madame title madáme, cf. mádam shopping
madeleine mádeleíne
mademoiselle madame wàzél
maisonette maizonét
maître d' métra-dêe, mâitra-dêe
maître d'hôtel métradô-tél, mâitradô-tél
majuscule májuscule
mal de mer máldə-mér
malines malêen
manifestation—manifestation manifestâyshn
mandoline (also 'mandolin' in English) mándə-lín
manqué—short of, or failing to, reach one's aspirations or talents mànkay
margarine marjərìne
marionette marionét
marque type = màrk write = Màrk person
marquee = màr kêy
marquis màrquís
marquise markêez
marron márron
martinet mà(r)ti-nét
māsque drama = māsk face
masquerade maskerâde
massage mássàzh (cf. anglicised méssage *méssij)
masseur BrE massër, AmE massûr
masseuse BrE massëz, AmE massûze
matériel— matériel or materiel: equipment, apparatus, and supplies used by an organization or institution matérì-él
matinée mátinèe
mauve môve; cf. move motion, pronounced moôve
mayonnaise mayonnâise
Médecins sans Frontières Mâydsán són Frontiãir
mélange mây-lànzh
mêlée méllay
ménage à trois ménàzhà-twà
menagerie menádgery
merlon mérlon
merlot merlô
Messrs. (abbreviation of Messieurs) méssers
métier mâytiây
métis maytêess
mignonette minyonét
milieu miliëü
minaudière minodiér
mirage—an optical effect; something illusory or unobtainable míràzh
mirepoix—a sautéed mixture of diced vegetables used as a base for sauces mêerpwà
mise en abyme—placement at the center of an escutcheon of a smaller copy of the same escutcheon; containment of an entity within another identical entity; image of an image mêezoná-bêem
mise-en-page—placement on a page; design of a printed or manuscript page mêzóm-pàzh
mise-en-scène—arrangement of actors and scenery on a stage for a theatrical production; stage setting mêzon-sén
moi—me, I (first person pronoun) mwà
Monsieur—Sir, Mister Məs-yər
montage móntàzh
montagnard móntanyar
moquette mokét
moresque morésque
mot juste, le mot juste mô-zhûst, ləmô-zhûst
motif motìf repeated pattern
Moulin Rouge Moûlán Roûzh[16]
Mousquetaire Mousketãire
mousse moûsse
mousseline mousselìne
mousselìne de soie mousselìne de swà
moustache AmE mústásh, BrE mə-stàsh
moyen-âge mwayenàzh
musique concrète muzêek concrét
mystìque mistêek
nacelle—streamlined enclosure for an engine on an aircraft nacélle
naïve nî-yêeve
naïveté[17] nî-yeevì-tây
néebefore a woman's maiden name[18] = nây no
négligee, négligé néglizhây
négritude—a consciousness of and pride in the cultural and physical aspects of the African heritage; the state or condition of being black négritude
Nez Percé Naypãir sây, Néz-Pérss, Nézperz
niche nêesh
noblesse oblige nô bléss oblêezh
noir nwàr
nom de guerre nóm-de-gãir
nom de plume nóm de plûme
nougat nougat
nouveau nû-vô
nouveau riche noôvô-rêesh
nouvelle nuvél
nouvelle cuisine nuvél-quizêen
nouvelle vague nuvél-vàg
nuance nûànce
objet d'art óbzhâi-dàr
objet trouvé óbzhâi-troûvây
odalisque ôdalísk
oeil de boeuf oidə-bəf
oenophile ênofîle
œuvre ëvr
omelette ómlət/ómlit
on dit—literally: they say (introducing a piece of gossip, vague rumor) ondêe
opéra bouffe ópera boûf
opéra comique ópera comêek
or–heraldic term for gold colour = ŏr either
oubliette–a dungeon where people can be forgotten about ("oubliés") oûbli-ét
outré oûtrè
paillard pîàr
paillette pà yét
pain-au-chocolat pánnoshoko-là
palette pálit
panache pənásh
papier-mâché BrE pápiay-máshay, AmE pâper-məshây
papillon pápêeon
papillote pápêeot
parachute párashoot
parfait parfây
par excellence parexelónss
parole parôle
parquet pàrkây
parterre partér
parvenu pàrvən(y)û
pas de bourrée pàdə-boùray
pas de chat pàdə-shà
pas de deux pàdə-dë
pas de quatre pàdə-kátr
pas de trois pàdə-twà
passé pássè
passe-partout pàss pâr toô
pastille pastìlle
pâté pátè
pâté de foie gras pátèdəfwà-grà
Pathéthique[19] patetêek
pâtisserie—pastry; a pastry shop patìsserie
patois - colloquial language pátwà, rhyming with fátwà
peignoir—woman's loose dressing gown pâynwàr
penchant AmE pénchant, BrE pànshàn
pensée - thought, witty saying pànsây
perdu or perdue perdû
père - father pére
petit pətêe
petit bourgeois pətêe-bŏrzhwa
petite - small, cute pətêet
petite bourgeoisie pətêet-bŏrzhwa zêe
petite sirah, petite syrah pətêet-sírə
petit four[20] pətêe fŏur
petit-maître pətêe-métr
petit mal pətêe-mál
petit point pətêe-pwàn
pièce de résistance pì-éss də râyzêe-stànss
pied-à-terre pyédà-téər
pince-nez pánss-nây
pinot noir pêeno-nwàr
piolet—alpinist's two-headed ice-axe piolây
pipette pipét
pique = pêak mountain
piqué = PK, K stressed
piquet = PK, P stressed
pirogue pirôg
pirouette pirouét
pis aller pêace állây
pissoir—men's public urinal pêeswahr
pistesafe skiing areas pêast
plagebeach plàzh
plantation—plantation plantâyshn
pláteau, pláteaux (plural)— pláttô, plátôz; in both, the second syllable is stressed in AmE
plus ça change—the more it changes (the more it remains the same) ploôssà-shànzh
police—police, policing pəlêess
politessepoliteness politésse
pommée pómmây
portmanteau portmántô
portrait—portrait pŏrtrâit
poseur pô-zër
pot-pourri pôpu-rêe
pouf, pouffe, pouffet poùf, poùf, poùffay
poularde poûlarde
pour encourager les autres—literally, to encourage others; in fact, to deter others when making an example of someone poûroncoûràzhâylâyz-ôtr
pourboire porbwàr
pourparler porpàrlây
pourpoint porpwàn
pousse-café poosscaffây
poussette poôssét
précis prâysêe
première prémiãir
préparation preparâyshn
prestige prést-êezh
prie-dieu prêe-dyü
procédure—series of actions done in a certain way or order: established or accepted way of doing something; medical treatment or operation prəsêejə(r)
profiterole—eclair as a sweet profiterôle
promenade prómenàde
proneur prón-ër
protégé prôtezhây
Provençal Provonssàl
provocation—provocation provocâtion
puce pûce
puisne judge = pûny small
purée pûrây
putative—putative putâtive
question—question kwéshchn
queuenoun and verb, British English for 'line' as in 'to stand in line', 'to queue up' = cûe signal, billiards
quiche kêesh
raclette rác-lét
raconteur rácon-tër
ragout ragoû
raison d’être râizon-détrə
rapport rá-pŏr
rapporteur rapportëur
rapprochement rappróchement
ratafia ratafìa
ratatouille ratatoôêe, ratatwêe
recherché rəshãirshây
reculer pour mieux sauterretreat in order to jump further rəculây pŏr myə sôtay
rédaction—redaction redáction
réduction—reduction redúction
régie—state monopoly of tobacco, salt, etc. rây-zhêe
régimepresent system of government, etc., often derogatory, see also ancien régime rây-zhêem
rendezvous róndâyvoô, róndivoô
renifleur rəníflër, rənì-flër, réniflër
renaissance renâisàhnss
rentier ràntêeây
repertoire répertwàr
reservoirlake, usually artificial, for preservation of water réservwar
restaurant réstərànt
restaurateur restratëur
réstriction—restriction restríction
résumé [21] rézyumây, râyzyumây, cf. resûme (rizyûme)
retroussé retroûsay
revanche revànsh
reverie réverie
ricochet BrE ríkəshay, AmE rikəshây
riposte ripóste
risqué rískây, rêeskây
rôle part = rôll over, eat
rondeau = róndo
rondel rondél
rondelle rondél
rondelet róndelay
rondure rondûre
roquefort BrE róck fŏr, AmE rôkefərt, rôkefŏrt
rosé wine rôzay
rosette rozét
rotisserie rotíssery
roué roôwây
rougered powder for facial colouring roûzh
roulette roulét
route BrE = roôt, AmE = ròut
roux roû
sabotage sábotàzh
salon sálon
sang-froid song-fwà
sans sáns
sans culotte sàncû-lót
sardine sardìne
sauce-sauce såuss
sauté sôtây
sauterne, sauternes plural sô-térn
sauvignon blanc sôvêenyàn-blàn
savant(e)—learned person sávant
savate savàte
savoir-faire sávwà-fãir
savoir-vivre sávwà-vìvrə
séance sâyónce
sec séc
secateur secatërr
serviette serviét
silence—silence sîlənss
silhouette siluwét
simplification—simplification simplificâtion
sobriquet sóbrikây
soi-disant swà-dêezon
soigné, soignée swàn-yây
soirée swàray
soixante-neuf swàsont-nëf
solfège solfézh
solitaire solitãire
son et lumière sonaylumiére
sorbet sŏrbay
sortie sŏrtie
sou coin = sûe legal, Sûe Susan
soubise soû bêes
soubrette soûbrét
soufflé soûflây
soupçon soûpsón
sous vide, sous-vide soô-vêed
souvenir souvenìr
stage—part of a bicycle race; intermediary step stâge
standard—standard stándɘ(r)d
steak tartare, steack tartare steâk tartàre
sublime—sublime səblîme
suede (from 'Suède', Sweden)—fabric = swâyed sway
suite = swêet sour
surprise—surprise sə(r)prîz
suture sûture
table d’hôte tàbla-dôte
tábleau, tábleaux plural táblô, táblôz
tartar(e) (sauce) tartàr
tarte tatin tàrt tà-tán
terrine terrìne
terroir—combination of local factors including soil, climate, and sunlight that gives wine grapes their distinctive character té-hwà(r)
tête-à-tête tétà-tét
-tionforming nouns shən
toque, toque blanche tóc, tóc blànsh
torque tŏrk
torsades de pointesa medical condition involving rapid heartbeat torsád-də-pwànt
tort–in English[22] law, anything other than breach of contract you can sue someone for tǒrt
touché tooshây
toupée toô-pây
tour de force toûr de fŏrce
Tour de France Toûr de Frànce
tourniquet BrE toûrnikây, AmE türnikit
trâit characteristic = trây carry
travail travâil
triage trîage
tripe—tripe trîpe
triste trêest
trompe l'œil trómp-lŏy
troûsseau trûsô (either stressed)
trouvaille trouvaî
trouvère trouvére
unique yunêek
urine yùrín
valise vəlêez
vaudeville—entertainment, comedy, farce våwdəvíl
vase BrE vàz, AmE vâce, vâze
velocipede velócipede
vermouth BrE vërməth, AmE vr-moôth
venue vényû
Vichyssoise—a cold soup[23] vishyswàz
vigneron vìnyeron
vignette veenyét
vinaigrette—small ornamental bottle for holding aromatic salts; vinaigrette sauce: salad dressing of oil and wine-vinegar vinaigrét
vingt-et-uncard game, also known as blackjack or pontoon vántayán
violation—violation vî-əlâtion
vis-à-viswith regard to víza-vêe, vêezà-vêe
vitrineglass-panelled cabinet vitrìne
vive...[24]long live... vêev
voilàthere you are, here it is, etc. vwà-là
vol-au-ventsmall case of puff pastry with a savoury filling vóllow-vón
volte-faceabout-face: a reversal in policy = vôlt electric fáss
voyageur vŏyázh-ër, vwŷázh-ër
voyeur vŏy-ër, vwŷ-ër


  1. Ideally, final -n nasalises the preceding vowel, but some just pronounce the n.
  2. An English variant is absinth.
  3. "Amuse-bouche" is more commonly used in English-language restaurants than in France, where "amuse-gueule" is frequently used.
  4. Arbitrageur (arbitrazhër) does not exist in French.
  5. The spelling beaus is not correct in French but is frequent in English.
  6. In French, the singular and plural are pronounced the same (bô).
  7. Correct French for this would be bel idéal; the phrase "Beau Ideal" was popularized in English after being the title of a 1931 film, itself the sequel to another popular film called "Beau Geste"
  8. "Boule" derived from the French should not be confused with the very different "boule" derived from the Greek, defined as "a legislative council of ancient Greece consisting first of an aristocratic advisory body and later of a representative senate"
  9. Carousel, with a single r, is more frequent in English.
  10. Also BrE champâign with the meaning "open country".
  11. Generally spelled chassis.
  12. 'Theatre' outside this phrase has no accents and is pronounced thêeətər.
  13. British English; zucchini in American.
  14. Correct French for this is sous-entendre, an "under-understanding" rather than "double understanding"
  15. Used only in expressions with a preceding noun: soupe du jour, buzzword du jour, starlet du jour, etc.
  16. Though some Americans incorrectly say Moulàn/Moulón.
  17. There is also the anglicisation naìvity, nà-ìvity.
  18. There is also a masculine form .
  19. Used as a title for musical works including, most famously, Tchaikovsky's sixth symphony and Beethoven's eighth piano sonata, retaining the original meaning of pathos, in contrast to 'pathetic'.
  20. Does not exist in French; they are called 'mignardises'.
  21. The second accent (not usually both) is often used to avoid confusion with resûme.
  22. In Scottish law the term "delict" is used instead.
  23. Although commonly thought of as being a French soup, it was apparently invented in New York City around 1917 by a French chef named Louis Diat at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. He took a traditional French soup of leeks and potatoes, refined it somewhat, and served it cold instead of hot. After becoming well-known in the States, it made its way to France. Diat named it after the French spa of Vichy, which was near his childhood home.
  24. Used only in expressions with a following noun: vive le roi, vive la France, vive la différence, etc.