Saturday, January 01, 2005

A guide to the foreign words and phrases we hear all the time

From Real Simple, February 2005

WORDS YOU MIGHT READ
Ad hominem - appealing to prejudices and emotions rather than reason; attacking an opponent's character rather than his or her arguments

Ad infinitum - to infinity

Apres - After

Bete Noir - a dreaded or detested person or think

e.g. - for example

i.e. - in other words

enfant terrible - a difficult child; an unconventional or outspoken person whose behavior dismays or embarasses others

quid pro quo - an equal exchange

sturm und drang - turmoil, upheaval


WORDS YOU MIGHT SAY

ad nauseum - to a sickening degree

chez - at the home of; at or by.

faux pas - a social blunder

shlemiel - fool

shlimazel - an unlucky person

shlep - to drag, carry with difficulty, travel slowly or awkwardly

shmooze - to talk casually, chat, network

vis-a-vis - face-to-face with; compared with; in regard to


PHRASES YOUR POMPOUS NEIGHBOR MIGHT SAY

bon mot - a clever remark or witticism

chacun a son gout - each to his or her own taste (it's French - I don't know how to add the symbols in Blogger...sorry)

eminence grise - someone who would wield considerable power secretly or unofficially, a "power behind the throne"

je ne sais pas - I don't know.

joie de vivre - A hearty enjoyment of life

ne plus ultra - the ultimate

perona non grata - unacceptable or unwelcome

piece de resistance - the prized item in a collection

raison d'etre - reason for being

schadenfreude - pleasure felt at another's misfortune

sui generis - unique

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