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  • French Phrases Hidden in English Words


  • A lot of English words come from French words that we borrowed, but some English words contain whole French phrases within them.


  • Let's take a 'petite' tour!


  • What is vinegar but sour wine?


  • And that's exactly where the word comes from, too. Vinegar is 'vin aigre', or sour wine.

    而那也正是這個字的來源:Vinegar 就是 vin aigre,代表「酸酒」。

  • "Curfew" goes back to the medieval regulation, where the village bell would ring in the evening as a signal for everyone to put out their fires.


  • Hence curfew, 'couvre feu' or cover fire.

    由此延伸了 curfew 這個字,也就是 couvre feu 或是「把火熄滅」。

  • A dandelion has notched, pointed petals that look a bit... like lion's teeth?

    蒲公英有 V 型的尖頭花瓣,看起來有點像... 獅牙?

  • In any case, that's where we get the word dandelion from, French 'dent de lion', or lion's tooth.

    無論如何,那就是這個字的來源,法文是 dent de lion,或「獅子的牙齒」。

  • We also get our name for the spikiest animal we know from a French phrase.


  • A porcupine is a 'porc épine' or spiky pig.

    豪豬是法文的 porc épine 或是「有尖刺的豬」。

  • Denim, that coolest of cool American looks, got its start as a twill fabric frommes, a southern French city known for textile manufacturing.


  • Denim is frommes, 'demes'.

    單寧牛仔布來自 Nîmes,也就是 de Nîmes。

  • Ok, it's pretty obvious that debonair is a French word, but have you ever broken it down?

    好,debonair 很明顯也是個法文字,但你把字拆解過嗎?

  • 'De bon air', of good air. A debonair person has a good disposition, a nice air about them.

    De bon air,好氣場。可以用這個字來形容一個人個性好、有風度。

  • A mortgage is a type of pledge.


  • If the loan can't be paid, the lender gets the property. If the loan is paid off, the property is the borrower's.


  • When either one of those things happens, the pledge dies; the mortgage is a death pledge, 'mort gage'.

    當其中一種情況發生,擔保就會消失殆盡,而貸款則變成「死去的擔保」,也就是 mort gage。

  • "Mayday!" is a distress signal for when you really need help.

    「Mayday!」 是一個你急需協助的求救信號。

  • It comes from 'venez m'aider!' or "Come help me!"

    它源自於 venez m'aider!,也就是「來幫我!」的意思。

  • And this little tour of French phrases should help you get to know these English words a little bit better.


French Phrases Hidden in English Words


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