Common Foreign Words and Phrases
Bon appetit!

Common Foreign Words and Phrases

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By now you have learned that all words have an origin (etymology), meaning that they had a start somewhere. Frequently that somewhere is based in a language other than English itself.

So, although English is the primary language here in the U.S., there are many common foreign words and phrases that are also frequently used. In fact, the foreign word is preferred over the English translation. Below is a list of several foreign words and phrases that you will hear quite often. In writing foreign words, they will generally be written in italics.

Femme fatale is a French word and means attractive woman. For example: “She’s quite a femme fatale that men find appealing.”

Verbatim is a Latin word. It means to say or repeat something “word for word.” For example: “He recited the Gettysburg Address verbatim.” This is so frequently used in English that it is rarely ever written in italics.

Et cetera is Latin and it means “so on and so forth.” It is more commonly written as “etc.” For example: “At the store she bought, eggs, milk, bread, etc.” When using the abbreviation “etc.” it is generally not written in italics.

Addendum is a Latin word. It means to add something to an existing piece such as to an agreement. This is so frequently used in English that it is rarely ever written in italics.

Bravo is an Italian word. It is a cry of cheer for an outstanding performance.

Kindergarten is a German word. I bet learning that this word is a foreign word surprised you! It refers to a group of children, ages 4 to 6, that are preparing to go to elementary school.

Buenos días is a Spanish word that means good morning and/or good day.

A la cart is a French word, often seen on restaurant menus, that simply means different foods/dishes that are listed at different prices. To buy something a la cart is to buy individual dishes rather than one main dish.

Bon appetit is a French word that means “enjoy your meal.”

E Pluribus Unum is Latin. We find it on our currency and it is the national motto of the U.S. It means “out of many, one.”

Prima donna is Italian and refers to a person who is very vain or conceited. It literally means “first lady.”

Alpha is Greek and means the “first” or the “beginning.”

Omega is Greek and means the “last” or the “end.”

1.
This means the “beginning.”
Alpha
Femme fatale
Omega
Prima donna
The foreign word that means “beginning” is the Greek word alpha. Answer (a) is the correct foreign word
2.
This means “good morning” or “good day.”
Omega
Buenos dias
Bravo
Kindergarten
The foreign phrase that means “good morning” or “good day” is the Spanish phrase Buenos días. Answer (b) is the correct foreign phrase
3.
This means an attractive woman.
Femme fatale
Prima donna
Bon appetit
Alpha
The foreign word that means “attractive woman” is the French word femme fatale. Answer (a) is the correct foreign word
4.
This means “out of many, one.”
Alpha
A la cart
E Pluribus Unum
Omega
The foreign phrase that means “out of many, one” is the Latin phrase E Pluribus Unum. Answer (c) is the correct foreign phrase
5.
This means “enjoy your meal.”
Kindergarten
Et cetera
Bon appetit
E Pluribus Unum
The foreign word that means “enjoy your meal” is the French word bon appetit. Answer (c) is the correct foreign word
6.
This refers to a group of children, ages 4 to 6, that are preparing to go to elementary school.
Prima donna
A la cart
Bravo
Kindergarten
The foreign word that refers to a group of children, ages 4 to 6, that are preparing to go to elementary school is the German word kindergarten. Answer (d) is the correct foreign word
7.
This means to add to a piece of work or agreement.
Et cetera
Verbatim
A la cart
Addendum
When adding to a piece of work or an agreement is to add an addendum. Answer (d) is the correct foreign word
8.
This means “so on and so forth.”
Omega
Alpha
A la cart
Et cetera
The foreign word that means “so on and so forth” is the Latin word et cetera. Answer (d) is the correct foreign word
9.
This means “word for word.”
A la cart
Verbatim
Omega
Prima donna
To repeat something “word for word” is to repeat it verbatim. Answer (b) is the correct foreign word
10.
This refers to individual dishes on a menu.
Et cetera
Omega
A la cart
Verbatim
The French phrase that refers to individual dishes or foods on a menu is a la cart. Answer (c) is the correct foreign phrase
Author:  Christine G. Broome

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