By Philip Gooden

ISBN-10: 0713674970

ISBN-13: 9780713674972

ISBN-10: 1408103486

ISBN-13: 9781408103487

Winner of the HRH Duke of Edinburgh English conversing Union English Language e-book Award 2006. An award successful language ebook, this can be a energetic and fascinating divulge at the international phrases and words that populate our language. each one access provides a translation of the expression, the language of beginning, pronunciation, an insightful touch upon utilization, plus illuminating examples from the clicking. A Pretentiousness Index might help you steer clear of committing the final word pretend pas(!). in case you have ever been bamboozled by way of a international notice or word, or just are looking to boost your vocabulary with a few good selected bons mots, then this is often the publication for you. millions of international phrases were absorbed into the English language from the standard (kowtow) to the rather imprecise (auto-da-fe). fake Pas? specializes in frequent phrases and expressions in addition to those who are new, curious or a laugh.

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Additional resources for Faux Pas: A No-Nonsense Guide to Words and Phrases from Other Languages

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DEMI-MONDE demee-mond (French) literally ‘half world’; originally applying to a nineteenth-century world of mistresses and prostitutes which was half-in, half-out of respectable society, the term can now describe any ‘shady section of society’: As he pleads to the kangaroo court set up by thieves of the unnamed city to try him (the demi-monde having hunted the killer down themselves to draw off the police heat), inner demons compelled him to kill again and again… (Independent) PRETENTIOUSNESS INDEX Nil Le demi-monde was the title of a play by Alexander Dumas, first appearing in 1855, and dealing with a woman who had a ‘dubious’ reputation.

The phrase is quite often used in contexts where a person has simply taken carte blanche rather than being granted it, as in the reference to dictators in the Times example above. This is a convenient alternative to English expressions such as ‘free hand’ or ‘blank cheque’. CASUS BELLI carsus bellee (Latin) ‘cause of war’, ‘something which would justify a war’: The decision to overlook Thierry Henry and instead give Zinedine Zidane the world player of the year award should be a casus belli for more than just the North Bank regulars.

30 14826 20/9/05 08:12 Page 31 BOULEVERSEMENT bool-er-verss-mon (French) ‘violent upset’, ‘reversal of fortune’: One writer suggested that France’s ‘prospects of winning are little more than negligible’ and a former British Lion was moved to predict ‘a crushing defeat’. I quote these forecasts, not out of any sense of superiority […] but to illustrate just how astonishing a bouleversement this semi-final was. (Daily Telegraph) PRETENTIOUSNESS INDEX ! This isn’t a frequently used expression but sports writing, with its search for drama, is a popular venue for bouleversements and the term is an elegant if slightly formal alternative to its English equivalents.

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Faux Pas: A No-Nonsense Guide to Words and Phrases from Other Languages by Philip Gooden


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