Having a déjà-vu? How fitting!

Yes, it seems like we’ve been here before. You may have already read our list of words English borrowed from German. That list included some eye-openers, so we figured we’d give it another shot in another language!

With almost 400 million French speakers around the world, 80 million of which are native speakers, 80 million people worldwide, French is the 5th most widely spoken language in the world. It's an official language in 29 countries.

French has also had an outsized impact on the English language, in part because France occupied England in the 1100s. (Well, it was really the Normans ... it's a long story). This had a massive influence on the language, and, as a result, there is a significant number of words that English shares with French.

Here are our 25 favorite French words used in English.

25 French words used in English

1. déjà-vu = déjà-vu

déjà = already
vu (passé composé form of voir = to see) = seen
Already seen (before).

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

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

3. cul-de-sac = 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 longue

chaise = chair
longue = long
Long chair.

6. crème brûlée = crème brûlée

crème = cream
brûlée (participe passé of brûler = to burn) = burnt
Burnt cream.

7. du jour = du jour

du (de = from, of + le = the) = of the
jour = day
Of the day.

8. café au lait = café au lait

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

9. carte blanche = carte blanche

carte = card
blanche (feminine form of blanc) = white
White card.

10. comme ci, comme ça = comme ci, comme ça

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

11. eau de toilette = eau de toilette

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

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

fait = act, fact
accompli = accomplished
Accomplished fact.

13. femme fatale = femme fatale

femme = woman
fatale = fatal, deadly
Deadly woman.

14. film noir = film noir

film = movie
noir = black
Black movie.

15. foie gras = foie gras

foie = liver
gras = fatty
Fatty liver.

16. Grand Prix = Grand Prix

grand = great, large
prix = prize
Great prize.

17. hors d’oeuvre = hors d’œuvre

hors = outside
d’ (de) = from, of
œuvre = work
Outside (of) the work.

18. joie de vivre = joie de vivre

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

19. laissez-faire = laissez faire

laissez, 2nd pers. plural of laisser = to let, to leave
faire = to do
Let do.

20. ménage à trois = ménage à trois

ménage = household
trois = three
Household of three.

21. objet d’art = objet d’art

objet = object
art = art
Object of art.

22. raison d’être = raison d’être

raison = reason
être = to be
Reason for being.

23. vis-à-vis = via-à-vis

vis = face
Face to face.

24.  avant-garde = avant-garde

avant = before, (in) advance (of)
garde = guard
Advance guard.

25.  faux pas = faux pas

faux = false, wrong
pas = step; move
False/wrong step.

Learn French to increase your knowledge

Understanding this beautiful language and culture will not only allow you to travel through L’Hexagone with greater ease, but it may even give you a better understanding of English.

And there's no better time to Learn French. Brainscape's French flashcards make learning French both efficient and rewarding.

Interested? Check out our guide to learning French more efficiently for a comprehensive approach to learning the language of love.