Top 5 words borrowed from French in English

Even though the English language is Germanic in its origin, and French is part of the romance languages, the two share many similarities and even exact words in common. Many of the words that we borrow from French were brought over by the Norman conquest of England in 1066. Even though this was almost a thousand years ago, many remnants of the language are still used in English today. Here is a quick list of 5 words that are borrowed from French, that you may not even be aware of.

  1. Cliché
  • meaning “a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought.” This is directly borrowed from French, and is pronounced and spelled the same way.
  1. Facade
  • Meaning “ an outward appearance that is maintained to conceal a less pleasant or creditable reality.” This is borrowed from the French “façade.”
  1. Utensil
  • This word, comes from the French word “utensile” which actually derives from the Latin “ūtensilis” which means “useful.” The modern French spelling is “ustensile.”
  1. Habit
  • This comes from the French “habitude” which means to have a habit. In English this word primarily refers to a tendency or practice, but can also refer to the clothing item worn by a nun.
  1. Musketeer
  • Meaning “a soldier armed with a musket” comes from the French “mousquetaire.”

There are thousands of words that the two languages share, but these are five to get you started. If you’re interested in learning more about French vocabulary, feel free to check out our French courses and summer camp sessions.