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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.”