Having a déjà-vu? Well perhaps it's because you read our list of words the English language has borrowed from German. But it was so fun researching and writing that article that we decided to do the same for French, which—with the Norman occupation of England in the 1100's—has had a profound impact upon the English language.

French and English also share many Latin influences and as a result, the two languages overlap in many interesting ways. So, with that said, here are our 25 favorite French words used in English!

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25 French words used in English

1. Déjà-vu

Déjà = already
Vu (passé composé form of voir = to see) = seen
Already seen (before).

2. à la mode (not used as such in French)

à (preposition) = in(to), at
La mode = way, style
In the way (style) of.

3. Cul-de-sac

cul (coll./vulgar) = bottom, ass
de (preposition) = from, of
sac = bag
Bottom (ass) of the bag.

4. RSVP = répondez s’il vous plaît

Répondez, 2nd person plural of répondre = to reply, to answer
S’il vous plaît = please
[However, it is a compound of
s’ (abbrev. of si) = if
il = he/it
vous = you (formal)
plaît (3rd pers. sing. of plaire) = to care for, to please]
Reply, if it pleases you.

5. Chaise longue

Chaise = chair
Longue = long
Long chair.

6. Crème brûlée

Crème = cream
Brûlée (participe passé of brûler = to burn) = burnt
Burnt cream.

7. Du jour

Du (de = from, of + le = the) = of the
Jour = day
Of the day.

8. Café au lait

Café = coffee
au (à = in; with + le = the) = in/with the
Lait = milk
Coffee with milk.

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9. Carte blanche

Carte = card
Blanche (feminine form of blanc) = white
White card (i.e. blank canvas = complete freedom to act as one wishes)

10. Comme ci, comme ça

Comme = like
ci = this
ça = that
Like this, like that.

11. Eau de toilette

Eau = water
de = from, of
toilette = toilette, wash [toiletter = to groom]
Grooming water.

12. Fait accompli (not used as a stand-alone)

Fait = act, fact
Accompli = accomplished
Accomplished fact.

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13. Femme fatale

Femme = woman
Fatale = fatal, deadly
Deadly woman.

14. Film noir

Film = movie
Noir = black
Black (dark) movie.

15. Foie gras

Foie = liver
Gras = fatty
Fatty liver.

16. Grand Prix

Grand = great, large
Prix = prize
Great prize.

17. Hors d’œuvre

Hors = outside
d’ (de) = from, of
œuvre = work
Outside (of) the work, i.e. not part of the ordinary set of courses in a meal.

18. Joie de vivre

Joie = joy
de = of
vivre = to live
Joy of living.

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19. Laissez-faire

Laissez, 2nd pers. plural of laisser = to let, to leave
Faire = to do
Let do, i.e. to leave as it; to let be.

20. Ménage à trois

Ménage = household
Trois = three
Household of three (Ha! you were thinking something else?)

21. Objet d’art

Objet = object
Art = art
Object of art.

22. Raison d’être

Raison = reason
être = to be
Reason for being.

23. Vis-à-vis

vis = face
Face to face.

24.  Avant-garde

Avant = before, (in) advance (of)
Garde = guard
Advance guard.

25.  Faux pas

Faux = false, wrong
Pas = step; move
False/wrong step.

Learn French more efficiently

Understanding French empowers you to order off the menu with greater confidence; sound uber attractive to your desired gender; opens up incredible opportunities for travel in 29 countries; and helps you to understand your own language, English, better.

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Bonne chance!