PER´-gol-uh A pergola is a tunnel-like framework, often consisting of two parallel rows of columns connected by overhead beams, on which climbing plants are trained. Pergolas can be long or […]
flaw-NUR´ A flâneur is a man who strolls about town, often observing society; an idler or dawdler. The term dates to the late 19th century, soon after Paris had been […]
moh´-vay kat DUR´ (French, ‘bad quarter of an hour’) A mauvais quart d’heure is a brief experience that is unpleasant, embarrassing, or both. Running into one’s bitter ex-spouse in the […]
bone´ vee-VAHN´ A bon vivant is a person who has cultivated and refined tastes, who has an appreciation for good food, and who likes parties and other social events. Plural: […]
zhwah duh VEE´-vruh (French, ‘joy of living’) Joie de vivre is an extreme enjoyment of life or feeling of happiness about life.
ahn-truh NEW´ (French, ‘between ourselves’) The term entre nous means ‘just between the two of us.’ It is used when a speaker wishes to keep a matter private. • Let’s […]
bahn-ah-MEE´ (from the French bonhomme, ‘good fellow’) Bonhomie is geniality or easy friendliness. Chatting with strangers in an elevator is an example of bonhomie.
rep-er-TEE´ Repartee is quick and witty conversation between two or more people. Like badinage, repartee is a form of verbal sparring, but it lacks the teasing (and semi-insulting nature) of badinage.
sav-wah FAIR´ (French, ‘know-how’) Savoir faire is the ability to act correctly and confidently in any social situation. Those who possess savoir faire have worldly experience and a polished confidence […]
new´-voh REESH´ A nouveau riche is a person who is newly rich and who flaunts his or her money in conspicuous and tasteless ways. Plural: nouveaux riches