eau de Cologne: Water from Cologne
Example: After I got dressed up, he sprinkled me with eau de cologne.
eau de toilette: A Very weak Perfume
Example: He looked at the bottle of eau de toilette and said that he doesn't like it.
fait accompli: An accomplished fact, presumably irreversible
Example: There's no use protesting-it's a fait accompli
Example: She was wearing a faux pearl necklace in the party.
faux pas: A social blunder
Example: Suddenly, she realized she had unwittingly committed yet another faux pas.
femme fatale: Deadly Woman; An alluring, mysterious woman who seduces men into compromising situations
Example: She was such a femme fatale that every man she'd ever been with had ended up with a broken heart.
foie gras: Fat liver; The liver of a force-fed goose, considered a delicacy
Example: I ate the terrine of foie gras and despite a lot of people loving it, I didn’t like it.
gauche: Awkward; Tactless, lacking social grace
Example: Example of gauche is a guest at a fancy dinner party, who arrives wearing jeans and flip flops in yellow colour.
genre: Type; Used mostly in art and film
Example: I really like the genre of the movie.
haute couture: High cuisine; High-class, fancy (and expensive) cooking or food
Example: Haute couture casts its spell in Paris Fashion Show.
joie de vivre: Joy of living; The quality in people who live life to the fullest
Example: Helping the elderly is a joie de vivre of mine.
laissez-faire: Let it be - A policy of non-interference.
Example: The laissez faire policies of Coolidge and the Republicans are often blamed for the Great Depression.
mardi gras: Fat Tuesday
Example: People came out of their houses to celebrate mardi gras carnival.
Example: I went to see the matinée show of the superhit movie with my friends.
mise en scene: The stage setting; surroundings
Example: The mise en scene for the sci-fi movie was molded, futuristic furniture and blinding klieg lights.
mot juste: The exact, appropriate word
Example: 'Rats!' screamed the defiant three-year-old, immensely proud of his mot juste.
nom de plume: Pen name
Example: Deciding it was time to sit down and begin a novel, the would-be writer spent the first several hours deciding upon a suitable nom de plume.
nouvelle cuisine: New Cuisine; Cooking style developed in the 1960's and 70's that emphasized lightness and freshness
Example: This Michelin star holder restaurant has a glass floor and gourmet nouvelle cuisine.
oh la la: Oh dear
Example: Oh là là is usually misspelled and mispronounced "ooh la la" in English.
oui / non: Yes/ No
Example: Tell me if it's a qui or non from your side on this deal by noon.
papier mache: Mashed paper; Used for Art
Example: The artists in Kerala make beautiful handicraft with papier mâché.
par excellence: The best of the best
Example: His demeanor to impress people is par excellence.
passé: Old-fashioned, out-of-date, past its prime
Example: The hair falling on forehead is passé. It’s no more a fashion statement.
petit: Small; (law) lesser, minor
Example: The petit kid was bubbling with joy on seeing the balloons.
petite: Small, short
Example: The petite actress is a joy to watch on screen.
Tout le monde: Everybody; everyone of importance.
Example: Don't miss the event; it's bound to be attended by tout le monde.
Via: By way of
Example: Instead of taking the straight road, she decided to go via market so that she could pick groceries on the way.
Vis-à-vis: "Face to face" (used as an adverb). It is used more widely as a preposition though, meaning "compared with" or "in relation to."
Example: He offered a cigarette to his vis-à-vis.