Questions about English relating to French.

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0
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1answer
39 views

First or second syllable accent for “tarot”

Is it acceptable to pronounce "tarot" with the accent on the second syllable? So, phonetically it would be pronounced "Ta-ROW." My own online research showed me that there were maybe one or two times ...
9
votes
7answers
917 views

English Idiom 'cut the apple in half'

There is a French idiom, which translated word-for-word is Let's cut the apple in two It means both parties will benefit from 50% of the requested initial negotiated deal. Can this idiom be ...
4
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1answer
72 views

Why do definite articles seem implicit in English?

I was thinking about the translation for "life" (as in everyday living) in french which translates "vie". However, in spoken language you would always refer to "la vie" in french and never to "the ...
49
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22answers
9k views

Are there any “fake” French words used in English?

Are there any "fake" French words used in English? By "fake French" I mean words that are of French origin but are not actually correct French. This could happen if the word changes as it becomes ...
0
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0answers
35 views

“à la carte” in the context outside dining

I have seen à la carte several times on a menu which means what it original meant, something separate from a package, you have to pay extra to order it separately. However, this word has gone way ...
6
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3answers
142 views

'Parasitic' Phonemes

In searching for the reason for the message -> messenger shift, I came across the theory of the 'parasitic n.' Essentially, the idea is that during the post-Norman Conquests period in England, ...
8
votes
1answer
797 views

Spelling of the word “connoisseur”

From what I gathered on the Web, "connoisseur" is spelled that way because it is derived from the old french verb "connoître" (to know) which has been spelled "connaître" for close to two centuries. ...
6
votes
1answer
117 views

The X in Xavier

The NOAD lists the pronunciation of Xavier as (ig)ˈzāvēər. In my own experience the parenthetical pronunciation is very common. I, however, do not know of any other x-initial words that are ...
2
votes
1answer
341 views

The history of 'aisle' and 'isle'

I've read about how the word 'aisle' and 'isle' each came from the French 'aile' and 'ile', respectively. I also read how the there was confusion between the two words, such that when 'isle' gained ...
0
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1answer
61 views

Why did the pronunciation of Orleans change in New Orleans, while those of French borrowed words were retained?

Words like rendezvous, faux pas, a la carte are still pronounced the same way as they are pronounced in the French language. Why was New Orleans an exception to this?
4
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2answers
159 views

“Bon/bonne chance!”: spelling and loanword specifics?

The adjective bon crossed over the Channel "in phrases such as bon apétit (1860), literally "good appetite;" bon-ton (1744) "good style;" bon mot." (Online Etymology Dictionary) Also with bon, ...
0
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0answers
29 views

“communicative support” or “communicative media” or …?

How would you say if you are working (at the same time) on a book, a video documentary, website and periodical publication. I'm looking for a short term that would summarize this activity. what ...
4
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1answer
115 views

Antonym of “crème de la crème”

The phrase "crème de la crème" means to be the best of the best. Is there a phrase that means the opposite of this, that is, to be the worst of the worst? The phrase doesn't have to come from French.
14
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3answers
1k views

Why does “attach” have two Ts but “detach” only one?

The title says it all. We have two words: attach detach Shouldn't they be ...? attach dettach Or …? atach detach
2
votes
2answers
441 views

Qualification title for French “diplôme d'ingénieur”

My Google-fu has maybe failed me, but I couldn't find an authoritative source about the correct English qualification title for a French diplôme d'ingénieur. Some sources say the title is M.Sc., ...
0
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1answer
108 views

English versus french grammar

Recently, on the internet, I have heard people say that one should conjugate cartain adjectives that are closely related to french. For example, blond for males and blonde for females in the singular ...
10
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7answers
5k views

What's the English equivalent for the French expression “veille technologique”?

In French, the expression veille technologique means the act of following the current trends in technology. Is there such a phrase in English? I can only think of expressions like keeping up to date ...
1
vote
3answers
162 views

Word to describe something of something of something

What is a word for recursion/nesting of an entity in English ? I'm looking for a word that replaces the colloquially used -ception suffix. A generic term that encapsulates all nested attributes. For ...
0
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2answers
120 views

How did 'to rejoin' evolve to mean 'to retort' (only in English)?

I know of the 2 different homonyms behind 'rejoin'; I ask only about the one that means 'to retort'. rejoin (v.2) [⟸] "to answer," mid-15c., legal term, from Middle French rejoin-, stem of ...
7
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2answers
2k views

When citing a French citation in the original, should the guillemets (angle quotes) be changed? What about punctuation order?

I’ve come across a puzzling punctuation problem! I’m working on a document in US English. It includes a citation of a French text in the original French, and this citation includes a citation (all in ...
1
vote
0answers
51 views

Did 'inter-' evolve to mean 'together'?

entertain (v.) (<--) late 15c., "to keep up, maintain, to keep (someone) in a certain frame of mind," from Middle French entretenir, from Old French entretenir "hold together, stick ...
0
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0answers
62 views

What is special about Anglo-French legal usage of [the] infinitive as a noun?

I was reading the etymology of attainder (n.), when I saw its reference to: use of French infinitives as nouns, especially in legal language, see waiver. waiver (n.) [<--] [...] Other ...
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3answers
126 views

How did 'estate' evolve to mean 'area of land or property'?

The following are definitions of the word 'estate': estate {noun} = 1. An area or amount of land or property, in particular = 3. {archaic or literary} A particular state, period, or condition ...
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4answers
218 views

What is the expression for a list of low importance items, part of a more important speech?

Summary: I am trying to find an expression equivalent to annonces parafiales in French I am looking for an expression which means "list of items of low importance, appended to a more important ...
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4answers
270 views

How do you say “question de cours” in English?

In French, une question de cours, is a question in a test for which you just need to know the content of your course. It is an easy question (usually) which does not require any reflection.
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2answers
148 views

How did 'countenance' evolve to mean 'support or approval'?

[OED:] The extension of sense from ‘mien, aspect’ to ‘face’ appears to be English: compare French use of mine. [ Etymonline for 'countenance (v.)' ] late 15c., "to behave or act," from ...
13
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3answers
4k views

It's too cute! But what is “it”?

Sometime on the Internet we see some cute cat doing some cute things: And because of that, an English speaker will say: It's too cute. Because I'm French, and in French we have no good equivalent ...
0
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2answers
147 views

Why did English adopt both 'estrange' and 'strange'?

I'm not asking about the definitions of estrange and strange, and I realise that modern usage isn't a strict function of the original meaning of a word. I wish to know why English appropriated both ...
3
votes
1answer
132 views

How did 'ply' evolve into these 4 different definitions?

ply = {with object} 1. Work steadily with (a tool) 2. {no object, with adverbial of direction} (Of a vessel or vehicle) travel regularly over a route, typically for commercial purposes ...
2
votes
5answers
18k views

English equivalent of the French custom “l'apéro”

In France, when gathered with friends, it is customary to drink beers or other light alcohol around 7pm, and this time is called apéritif (or apéro). Does this custom have an English (UK and/or US) ...
0
votes
0answers
81 views

Polarly opposite connotations of 'head'?

Such aphorisms as 'Think With Your Head, Not Your Heart' connote positivity of the noun 'head', but such English words as heady and testy connote negativity. So why this clash and polarity of ...
1
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1answer
70 views

English expression for “Dans la continuité de” in french [closed]

I would like to know how to say this french sentence "Ce projet ce situe dans la continuité d'un travail réalisé auparavant" in english. Is "This project follows on a work realized before" correct ? ...
0
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1answer
150 views

French's 'ne explétif' in English?

●Source: p 249, Zizek's Ontology ..., by Adrian Johnston ●●Source: p 65, L'Odyssé d'Homère: tr. en français, Volume 2, translated by Dugas Montbel ● Bruce Fink helpfully compares the French ne ...
3
votes
2answers
267 views

How common is the French loanword “métier”?

Our daughter lives in Leeds and is a scientist too, although not in my field, her speciality is haematology. My son lives in Manchester at the moment, for the music scene, he says. He writes his ...
1
vote
1answer
126 views

The etymology of February

According to my dictionary, the word February originates directly from Middle English "Feverer" from Old French "Feverier" yet the Modern English word more closely resembles the original Latin ...
1
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4answers
181 views

Middle ground between “I'll live with it” and “Bring it on!”?

The context is a typical conversation. You've settled for a course of action and expressed yourself accordingly. Then you get from someone a warning of sorts about potential risks or consequences ...
0
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2answers
128 views

Make use of & be appreciated for (using a skill)?

In French, one can use the verb valoriser while applying for a job, writing a motivation letter etc. when one wants to make use of some particular skills and be appreciated for using them. I have ...
2
votes
1answer
214 views

Why do the French say “dent” where the English say "tooth? [closed]

I am preparing for an exam in "Earlier Englishes" and I have following question out of a mock exam: Why do the French say dent where the English say tooth? The answer gives 3 points, so may be there ...
19
votes
7answers
96k views

Pronunciation of “cache”

I have been pronouncing the word "cache" as kaysh. I know a few people who pronounce it more like cash, cashay or even catch. After consulting a few dictionaries, it turns out that the correct ...
1
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2answers
317 views

words derived from French that have re-entered French from English [closed]

I am looking for a few examples of words that originated in French (or in Latin and then entered French), entered English and were reimported into French.
7
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2answers
538 views

How did “invoice” end up with an 's'-sound?

The Etymonline entry for invoice states (source): apparently from M.Fr. envois, pl. of envoi "dispatch (of goods)," Although my French is pretty poor, my understanding is that the 's' is silent. ...
0
votes
6answers
498 views

Is there an English idiom equivalent to “coup de main”

I am looking for a translation of the French military term coup de main. (Not the common French civilian usage which translates as helping hand.) The term occurs frequently in the correspondence ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

English for “À l’abordage!”?

Basically, pirates would use the term À l’abordage! as a battle cry when boarding enemy ships like described in the phrase’s Wiktionary entry. Is there a English translation for this, or is it an ...
3
votes
1answer
341 views

How can choosing to speak in English rather than French have an emotional impact on me? [closed]

I’ve grown up speaking two languages. I can seamlessly swap between French and English, but somehow I often feel like I can’t speak my mind when speaking French. When it comes to things that are ...
1
vote
2answers
177 views

Etymology of “Sort”

Did the English word sort originate from the French word sort? e.g., sortie. Whereas, in French its meaning derives to out, exit, going out. How did it end up in English to mean category, ...
16
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2answers
1k views

“Quyer” When and why did the spelling change so drastically?

The snippet above is taken from The Gentleman's Magazine (London, England), Volume 53, dated, 1783. It's only when you say Quyer out loud, do you realize what the word is. It is one of the ...
5
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4answers
4k views

Why do 'fine words butter no parsnips'?

I was at a dinner last night where some rather nice herb butter was served with the vegetables. Conversation close to me then turned to the English expression 'Fine words butter no parsnips'. It ...
12
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6answers
4k views

Is there an idiom that conveys the meaning of the French “mi figue mi raisin”?

The French idiom “mi figue, mi raisin” (literally: “half fig, half grape”) refers to someone or something that is neither entirely good, nor entirely bad. I guess the meaning of the expression can be ...
3
votes
4answers
179 views

What is a good translation of “crâne de piaf” as a nickname?

I'm looking for a translation of "Crâne de piaf", in English, in the context of a nickname given to some fictional character. Also, take note that I am native from France. What I'm looking for, ...
0
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3answers
940 views

What is the meaning of “a trouvaille, mon cher”? [closed]

I was reading A Model Millionaire by Oscar Wilde and came across this line. Can someone explain it to me? "An amazing model?' shouted Jain at the top of his voice; 'I should think so! Such ...