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
ah-ree-VEEST´ An arriviste is a person who is just beginning to arrive on a social or artistic scene, and who may be viewed as either lacking credentials or as being […]
oat´ burr-zhwah-ZEE´ The haute bourgeoisie is the upper-middle class, especially in France
no-BLESS´ oh-BLEEZH´ French for ‘nobility obligates,’ the concept that high birth or rank obligates one to behave generously and honorably.
EN´-fuh-layd An enfilade is a series of aligned internal doorways that forms a long vista when the doors are open. Enfilades were an important feature of palace architecture in the […]
bohng´ ap-pay-TEE´ (French, ‘good appetite’) Bon appétit! is a phrase uttered at the beginning of a meal to wish other diners an enjoyable repast. Careful—French snobs, who consider it a […]