Friday, December 30, 2011

How the French Influence English

This blog entry is not on one of my usual topics of religion or politics, and I am not even complaining about anything. It's just a subject my daughter and I have played around with recently and I thought it noteworthy.

Have you ever noticed how adding the modifier "French" in front of a common word sometimes makes it sound so much better? Here are a few examples. Feel free to add your own in the comments.

Toast vs french toast
Kiss vs french kiss
Bread vs french bread
Cut vs french cut
Dip vs french dip
Manicure vs french manicure
Horn vs french horn
Pastry vs french pastry
Hens vs French hens
Braid vs french braid
Wine vs French wine
Maid vs French maid
Poodle vs french poodle
Doors vs french doors

Some people might be tempted to add french fries to the list, but in common usage, saying "fries" implies french fries unless preceded by another modifier, such as home fries or curly fries. Also, some of these items have little to do with the country of France or with French culture and most do not even need to be capitalized. French cut, for example, refers to a style of lengthwise cutting of vegetables. Use a capital letter only when the item refers to something actually associated with the country of France and is not part of a common phrase.


Shana said...

I know you already have a dog breed, but I would like to add French bulldog. I highly prefer their adorableness over the American bulldog.

Shana said...

Sorry for bogarting, but may I also add:

mustache vs. French mustache
mustard vs. French mustard

I know you won't let me add

lick vs. French Lick, Indiana, but I'm going to try anyway...