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Commonly Used Foreign Words and Phrases . Word Definitions Example of Use Parts of Speech Word Origins. Why should we study foreign words?.

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commonly used foreign words and phrases

Commonly Used Foreign Words and Phrases

Word Definitions

Example of Use

Parts of Speech

Word Origins

why should we study foreign words
Why should we study foreign words?

Foreign words are what created our present day English language. In order to better understand our spoken and written language we need to understand some foreign words and phrases. These foreign words and phrases help us to better understand our English language, express ourselves more clearly, and comprehend

the meaning behind some expressions.

directions for use
Directions for Use
  • To use this power point, click on the word you are studying from the table of contents . That will take you to the slide with the pronunciation of the word, the definition of the word, the origin of the word, the part of speech to which the word belongs, and an example of the word used in a sentence.
  • To hear the word pronounced, click on the word in blue at the top of the slide. A pronunciation window will pop up and the word should be pronounced. If this does not happen, just

click on the link in the window that says, “to hear

the word again.” The word should be pronounced.

table of contents 1
Table of Contents-1

9th Grade (these words are included in 10th, 11th, & 12th grades as well)

RSVP alma mater status quo

déjà vu cum laudejoie de vivre

faux pasfemme fatale carte blanche

du jour esprit de corps caveat emptor

bon voyageverbatimalpha and omega

E pluribus unumtabula rasa

prima donna hoi polloi

avant-garde ad nauseam

table of contents 2
Table of Contents-2

10th Grade (11th & 12th also)11th Grade (12th also)12th Grade

Carpe diemenfant terriblead hoc raison d’etre

tempus fugitterra firmacause celebrelaissez faire

C’est la vievox populimagnum opusbete noire

bona fide persona non grataen masse

savoir fairequid pro quoin absentia

non sequiturje ne sais quoi sub rosa

Id estmodus operandi schadenfreude

nom de plume noblesse oblige

haute couturesine qua non

mea culpadeus ex machina

doppelganger

coup d’etat

slide6
RSVP
  • Used on an invitation to indicate that the favor of a reply is requested
  • Part of Speech - Verb (used without object) – to reply to an invitation: Don’t forget to RSVP before Thursday.

or

    • Noun (a reply to an invitation) – He sent a lovely bouquet of flowers with his RSVP.
  • Word Origin - from the French phrase

“repondez s’il vous plait”

d j vu
déjà vu
  • Psychology; the illusion of having previously experienced something actually being encountered for the first time; disagreeable familiarity or sameness
  • The new television season had a sense of déjà vu about it—the same old plots and characters with new names.
  • Part of Speech - Noun
  • Word Origin - French
f aux pas
faux pas
  • A slip or blunder in etiquette, manners, or conduct; an embarrassing social blunder or indiscretion
  • He committed a social faux pas when he called her Mrs. Instead of Miss.
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin - French
d u jour
du jour
  • As prepared on the particular day; of the kind being served today: du = of, jour = day
  • The soup du jour is split pea.
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin - French
bon voyage
bon voyage
  • Have a pleasant trip!
  • Bon voyage, mom!
  • Part of Speech – Interjection
  • Word Origin - French
alma mater
alma mater
  • a school, college, or university at which one has studied and, usually, from which one has graduated
  • I went a football game at my alma mater, UTK.
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin - Latin
cum laude
cum laude
  • An academic honor given at graduation

(Magna cum laude: with high honors)

(Summa cum laude: the highest academic distinction)

  • She graduated magna cum laude from Georgia Tech.
  • Part of Speech – Adverb
  • Word Origin -Latin
femme fatale
femme fatale
  • An irresistibly attractive woman, especially one who leads men into difficult, dangerous, or disastrous situations; a siren
  • Angelina Jolie is a true femme fatale.
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin - French
esprit de corps
esprit de corps
  • a sense of unity and of common interests and responsibilities, as developed among a group of persons closely associated in a task, cause, or enterprise, etc.
  • Participation in community service improves the group’s esprit de corps.
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin - French
verbatim
verbatim
  • in exactly the same words; word for word

“to repeat something verbatim” – Adverb

corresponding word for word to the original - Adjective

  • James mother told him to tell the principal about the argument he had with his teacher. Adv.
  • This is a verbatim recording of the proceedings. Adj.
  • Part of Speech – Adjective or adverb
  • Word Origin - Latin
e pluribus unum
E pluribus unum
  • out of many, one

(motto of the United States)

  • E pluribus unum was adopted as the national motto for the United States in 1776.
  • Part of Speech – Phrase
  • Word Origin - Latin
prima donna
prima donna
  • a first or principal female singer of an opera company;

a temperamental person; a person who takes adulation and privileged treatment as a right and reacts with petulance to criticism or inconvenience

  • Valerie is the prima donna of our school’s senior play this year.
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin - Italian
avant garde
avant-garde
  • the advance group in any field, especially in the visual, literary, or musical arts, whose works are characterized chiefly by unorthodox and experimental methods
  • Apple computers are the avant-garde in technology. Noun

She is very avant-garde in her fashion sense. Adj.

  • Parts of Speech – Noun or adjective
  • Word Origin - French
status quo
status quo
  • the existing state or condition
  • People with money are often satisfied with the status quo.
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin - Latin
joie de vivre
joie de vivre
  • a delight in being alive; keen, carefree enjoyment of living
  • She displays a true joie de vivre.
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin - French
carte blanche
carte blanche
  • Unconditional authority; full discretionary power
  • He exercises his carte blanche frequently.
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin - French
caveat emptor
caveat emptor
  • Let the buyer beware: the principle that the seller of a product cannot be held responsible for its quality unless it is guaranteed in a warranty
  • On the web, the advice “caveat emptor” has never been more apt.
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin - Latin
a lpha and o mega
alpha and omega
  • the beginning and the end of something (Revelation 1:8); the first and last letter of the Greek alphabet
  • God is the alpha and the omega.
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin - Greek
tabula rasa
tabula rasa
  • a mind not yet affected by experiences, impressions, etc…, anything existing undisturbed in its original, pure state
  • John Locke believed that a child’s mind was a tabula rasa.
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin - Latin
hoi polloi
hoi polloi
  • the common people; the masses; (often preceded by the)
  • The hoi polloi think that Fitzgerald is a great screen director.
  • Part of Speech - Noun
  • Word Origin - Greek
ad nauseam
ad nauseam
  • to a sickening or disgusting degree
  • We have heard about all the budget cuts ad nauseam.
  • Part of Speech – Adverb
  • Word Origin - Latin
carpe diem
carpe diem
  • Seize the day; enjoy the present, as opposed to placing all hope in the future
  • It’s a beautiful day, so forget tomorrow’s tests; Carpe diem!
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin - Latin
tempus fugit
tempus fugit
  • Time flies
  • Tempus fugit when you’re having fun.
  • Part of Speech – phrase
  • Word Origin - Latin
slide29

c’ est la vie

  • express philosophical acceptance of the way things are: “That’s Life”
  • Suzanne’s response to her job loss was, “C’est la vie.”
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin - French
bona fide
bona fide
  • made, done, presented, etc…, in good faith; Without deception or fraud; Authentic; True
  • The museum has a bona fide sample of Lincoln’s handwriting.
  • Part of Speech – Adjective
  • Word Origin - Latin
savoir faire
savoir faire
  • knowledge of just what to do in any situation; tact
  • At the fancy restaurant, I realized that I lacked the savior-faire to use all of the silverware correctly.
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin - French
non sequitur
non sequitur
  • an inference or a conclusion that does not follow from the premises; a statement containing an illogical conclusion
  • We had been discussing plumbing, so her remark about astrology was a real non sequitur.
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin – Latin
id est
id est
  • that is to say; in other words
  • I’m going to the place where I work best, i.e., the coffee shop.
  • Part of Speech – Adverb
  • Word Origin - Latin
enfant terrible
enfant terrible
  • An incorrigible child, as one whose behavior is embarrassing

An outrageously outspoken or bold person who says and does indiscreet or irresponsible things

A person whose work, thought, or lifestyle is so unconventional or avant-garde as to appear revolutionary or shocking

  • The spoiled child was enfant terrible.
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin - French
terra firma
terra firma
  • Firm or solid earth or Dry land (as opposed to water or air)
  • After our stormy voyage, we were relieved to set foot on terra firma.
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin - Latin
vox populi
vox populi
  • the voice of the people; popular opinion
  • The speaker’s address got barely a whisper from the vox populi.
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin - Latin
a d hoc
ad hoc
  • For the present purpose or end presently under consideration – adverb

concerned or dealing with a specific subject, purpose, or end – adjective

  • After a tornado swept through the school, an ad hoc group of parents was formed to assist in the repairs.
  • Part of Speech – Adverb or Adjective
  • Word Origin - Latin
cause celebre
cause celebre
  • Any controversy that attracts public attention
  • The question of the draft was a cause célèbre in the 1960s.
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin - French
magnum opus
magnum opus
  • a great work
  • Moby Dick was Melville's magnum opus.
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin - Latin
p ersona non grata
persona non grata
  • an unwelcome or unacceptable person
  • He has become persona non grata in our club.
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin - Latin
quid pro quo
quid pro quo
  • One thing in return for another
  • The Chinese may make some concessions on trade, but they will no doubt demand a quid pro quo, so we must be prepared to make concessions too.
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin - Latin
je ne sais quoi
je ne sais quoi
  • an indefinable quality that makes somebody or

something more attractive or interesting

  • She has a certain je ne sais quoi that charms everybody.
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin - French
modus operandi
modus operandi
  • a method or way of doing of something
  • Her modus operandi in buying a new car always included a month of research.
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin - Latin
noun de plume
noun de plume

noun de plume

  • a naming word; a word or group of words used as the name of a class or people, places, or things, or of a specific person, place, or thing
  • Samuel Clemens noun de plume is Mark Twain.
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin - French
haute couture
haute couture
  • top fashion; exclusive and expensive clothing made for an individual customer by a fashion designer, or the industry that produces such clothing
  • The new I-Phone is a god send to techies everywhere – hot technology meets haute couture.
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin - French
mea culpa
mea culpa
  • expressing guilt or fault; used to express an admission of your own guilt
  • I gave you the wrong directions to my house – mea culpa.
  • Part of Speech – Interjection
  • Word Origin - Latin
raison d etre
raison d’etre
  • the reason for being; underlying principle
  • Professor Naylor argues that in the nuclear age, infantry forces have lost their raison d'être.
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin - French
laissez faire
laissez faire
  • principle of no regulation of industry; principle that the economy works best if private industry is not regulated and markets are free
  • People who support a laissez faire system are against minimum wages, duties, and any other trade restrictions.
  • Part of Speech - Noun
  • Word Origin - French
bete noire
bete noire
  • somebody or something that is particularly disliked
  • Tax shelters have long been the bête noire of reformers.
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin - French
en masse
en masse
  • in a group; as a body
  • The protesters marched en masse to the capitol.
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin - French
in absentia
in absentia
  • while absent; in the absence of the person or persons concerned
  • The man was tried and convicted in absentia.
  • Part of Speech - Adverb
  • Word Origin - Latin
sub rosa
sub rosa
  • Confidentially; secretly; privately
  • The meeting was held sub rosa, due to the sensitive nature of its content.
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin - Latin
schadenfreude
schadenfreude
  • gloating at somebody else’s bad luck; smug or malicious pleasure taken in somebody else’s misfortune
  • To feel envy is human, to savor schadenfreude is devilish.
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin - German
noblesse oblige
noblesse oblige
  • notion of aristocratic responsibilities; the idea that people born into the nobility or upper social classes must behave in an honorable and generous way toward those less privileged
  • In the Robinson family’s circles, public service had long been common; it connoted not personal ambition so much as noblisse oblige.
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin - French
sine qua non
sine qua non
  • an essential condition or prerequisite
  • Her presence was the sine qua non of every social event.
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin - Latin
deus ex machina
deus ex machina
  • god who resolves plot; in ancient Greek and Roman theater, a god introduced to resolve a complicated plot
  • Only a deus ex machina could resolve the novel’s thorny crisis.
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin – New Latin
doppelganger
doppelganger
  • double or mirror image
  • Doppelganger experiences have led many people to believe that they were part of a set of twins that had been separated at birth.
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin - Greek
coup d etat
coup d’etat
  • seizure of political power; the sudden violent overthrow of a government and seizure of political power, especially by the military
  • The SPD once swore to defend the Republic against any coup d’etat from the right or the left.
  • Part of Speech – Noun
  • Word Origin - French