Commonly Used Foreign Words and Phrases in English

Foreign Words and Phrases in English Language
( A )
ab initio (L.)—From the beginning
ab origine (L.)—From the origin
addenda (L.)—Things to be added; list of additions
ad finem (L.)—To the end
ad hoc. (L)—To or with respect to this (object); elected or appointed for a definite work (as a school board for education)
ad infinitum. (L.)—To infinity
ad rem. (L.)—To the purpose; to the point.
ad valorem (L.)—According to the value
affaire d’amour (F.)—A love affair
Agnus Dei (L.)—Lamb of God.
a la carte (F.)—According to the bill of fare.
a la mode (F.)—According to the custom (or fashion)
al fresco (It.)—In the open air
alter ego (L.)—Another self
a merveille (F.)—Admirably; marvelously
amour propre (F.)—Self-love; vanity
anglice (NL)—In the English language or fashion
anguis in herba (L.)—A snake in the grass; an unsuspected danger.
au contraire (F.)—On the contrary
au courant (F.)—Fully acquanited with matters
au fait (F.)—Well acquainted with; expert
au fond (F.)—At bottom.
au reste (F.)—As for the rest; besides
au revoir (F.)—Until we meet again

( B )
beau monde (F.)—The world of fashion
beaux esprits (F.)—Men of wit
bon jour (F.)—Good day; good morning
bon mot. (F.)—A witty saying
bonne foi (F.)—Good faith
bon naturae (F.)—Good nature
bon soir (F.)—Good evening
bon voyage (F.)—A good voyage or journey to you!

( C )
Carpe diem (F.)—Enjoy the present day; improve the time

( D )
d’accord (F.)—In agreement
de facto (L.)—In point of fact
Dei gratis (L.)—By the grace of God
de jure (L.)—From the law; by right

( E )
elite (F.)—The best part; the pick
emeritus (L.)—In undress
enfant gate (F.)—Lost children
enfants terrible (F.)—A terrible child
en route (F.)—On the way
en avant (F.)—A terrible child
en rapport (F.)—In harmony; In agreement
errats (L.)—Errors; list of errors
excelsior (L.)—Higher; that is, taller; loftier
exit (L.)—He goes out
ex officio (L.)—In virtue of (his) office
experto crede (L.)—Trust one who has had bad experience
expose (F.)—A statement
ex post facto (L.)—After the deed is done; retrospective
extra muros (L.)—Beyond the walls

( F )
fagon de parler (F.)—Way of speaking
fait accompli (F.)—A thing already done
femme de chambre (F.)—Lady’s maid
fortuna fevet fortibus (L.)—Fortune favours the bold

( G )
gaucherie (F.)—Awkwardness
gloria patri (L.)—Glory be to the Father
gout. (L.)—Taste, relish

( H )
hors de combat (F.)—Out of the combat; disabled
hotel de ville (F.)—A town hall
hotel-Dieu (F.)—A hospital
humanum est errare (L.)—To err is human

( I )
ibidem (L.)—At the same place (in a book)
ich dieu (G.)—I serve
ici on parle francois (F.)—French is spoken here
impasse (F.)—A deadlock
in extenso (L.)—At full length
infra dignitatem (L.)—Below one’s dignity
in loco (L.)—In the place
in loco parentis (L.)—In the place of parent
in medias res. (L.)—Into the midst of things
in memoriam (L.)—To the memory of; in memory
in re. (L.)—In the matter of
in statu quo (L.)—In the former state
inter alia (L.)—Among other things
intra muros (L.)—Within the walls
ipso facto (L.)—By that very fact
ipso jure (L.)—By the law itself

( J )
jeu de mots (F.)—A play on words; a pun
jubilate Deo (L.)—Rejoice in God; be joyful in the Lord
jure divine (L.)—By divine law
jure hunane (L.)—By human law

( L )
labor omnia vincit (L.)—Labour conquers everything
laus Deo. (L.)—Praise to God
le beau monde (F.)—The fashionable world
lex scripts (L.)—Statute law
lex non scripts (L.)—Unwritten law; common law
Phomme prepose, et Dieu Dispose (F.)—Man proposes, and God disposes

( M )
me judice (L.)—I being judge; in my opinion
memento mori (L.)—Remember that you must die; a reminder of death
meum et tuum (L.)—Mine and thine
mirabile (L.)—Wonderful
modus vivendi (L.)—Manner of living
mon ami (F.)—My friend (masc.)
mon cher (F.)—My dear (masc.)
moyen age (F.)—Middle Ages

( N )
natura non facit saltum (L.)—Nature does not make a leap
ne plus ultra (L.)—nothing futher
ne quid nimis (L.)—Avoid excess
Noël (F.)—Christmas
non de plume (F.)—A pen name
non est. (L.)—It (or he) is not
non est inventus (L.)—He has not been found
non sequitur (L.)—It does not follow

( O )
obiit (L.)—He (or she) died
omnis vincet amor (L.)—Love conquers all things
ora et labora (L.)—Pray and work
ora pro nobis (L.)—Pray for us

( P )
par escellence (F.)—Pre-eminently
par example (F.)—For example
par hasard (F.)—By chance
Parole d’honneur (F.)—Win of honour
pas. (F.)—A step; precedence
pater patria (L.)—Father of his country
peine forte et dure (F.)—Strong and severe punishment
penchant (F.)—A strong liking
peco a peco (It.)—Little by little
point d’ppul (F.)—Point of support; basis
pour faire rire (F.)—To excite laughter
prima facie (L.)—At first view (or consideration)
primo (L.)—In the first place
principia, nos homines (L.)—principles, not men
pro bono publico (L.)—For the good of the public
pro et contra (L.)—For and against
pro forma (L.)—For the sake of form
pro patria (L.)—For our country
pro rata (L.)—According to rate or proportion

( Q )
qualis rex, talis grex (L.)—Like king, like people
quantum libet (L.)—As much as you please
quid pro quo (L.)—Something in return
qui va la? (F.)—Who goes there?
qui vive? (F.)—Who lives ?
quot homines, tot sententiae (L.)—Many men, many minds

( R )
raconteur (F.)—A teller of stories
rapprochement (F.)—The act of coming together
rara avis (L.)—A rare bird
role (F.)—A character represented on the stage
rouge et noir (F.)—Red and black; a game of chance

( S )
salle a manger (F.)—Dining room
sanctum sanctorum (L.)—Holy of holies
sans facon (F.)—Without ceremony
satis superque (L.)—Enough, and more than enough
satis verborum (L.)—Enough of words; no more need be said
semper idem (L.)—Always the same
semplice (It.)—Simple, plain
Seriatim (L.)—In a series; one by one
sub judice (L.)—Under consideration
sub rosa (L.)—Under the rose, confidentially
sine cura (L.)—Without change or care
sine die (L.)—Without a day being appointed
soi disant (F.)—Self-styled
status quo (L.)—The state in which; the existing condition

( T )
tableau vivant (F.)—A living picture; the representation of some scene by group of persons.
table d’hote (F.)—A public dinner at an inn or hotel
te judice (L.)—You being the judge
tempus fugit (L.)—Time flies
terminus a quo (L.)—The term from which.
terminus ad quem (L.)—The term to which
terra incognita (L.)—An unknown country
tout de suite (F.)—Immediately.

( U )
una voce (L.)—With one voice
urbi et orbi (L.)—To the city and to the world

( V )
vale (L.)—Farewell
verbum sat sapienti (L.)—A word is enough for a wise man
via (L.)—The way
veritas (L.)—The truth
vita (L.)—The life
vice versa (L.)—The terms of the case being interchanged or reversed; conversely
vis-a-vis (F.)—Opposite; face to face
vis inertia (L.)—The power of inertia; resistance to force applied
vis medicatrix naturae (L.)—The healing power of nature
vis vita (L.)—Living force; energy
vivat regina (rex) ! (L.)—Long live the queen (king) !
viva voce (L.)—Orally
vive le roil ! (F.)—Long live the king !
vulgo (L.)—Commonly
voila tout (F.)—That’s all

( W )
Wanderlust (G.)—Passion for travelling
Wanderjahr (G.)—Year of wandering (travelling)


Comments & Contact Form


Email *

Message *