Sunday, November 27, 2011

My Word Nerd Side Takes Over: Foreign Phrases

Great foreign language terms or phrases, so fun for a word-nerd like me:

1.      Café con leche (nothing happens in my world without this ebony/ivory nectar of the morning)
2.      Faux pas (thanks for reminding me, Janey, and no, I never commit zee faux pas. Well, maybe not more than once a day)
3.      Sic semper tyrannis (Latin motto of the Commonwealth of Virginia: “thus always to tyrants.” Sticking it to the man, old school! Love that!)
4.      Ménage a trois (if you don’t know, ask your mother, cause I ain’t splainin’ it)
5.      Un poco loco (as in slightly cuckoo, nutty, or fruitcake-ish; bonus points for the rhyme)
6.      Au contraire (fancy way of saying, “You are an idiot, and oh, so wrong”)
7.      Contretemps (the snooty way to say: a row, a falling-out; “Melissa blithely  threatened to pinch me when we had a contretemps about the quality of my writing”)
8.      Mas tequila, por favor (always drink responsibly-- me, I stick to una cerveza—don’t want Bad Luck Detective slapping the dreaded pink cuffs on me)
9.      Carpe diem (seize the day, gather your rosebuds, kiss your sweetie right now; this one’s for Desi, who already is a superb seizer of the day)
10.  Amigas (who doesn’t need a few more of these?  I’m proud to call Home Reared Chef mi amiga)
11.  ¿Dónde está el cuarto de baño?; Ou est la salle de bain? (Arguably the most important phrase in any language; Karen Lynn, will you come with me? Ladies need backup for that trip.)
12.  Chaise-longue (think I’ll go take a nap in one now, hi  Oh Napper Deluxe, VV, aka Belle of the Carnival)
13.  Antonio-Banderas-hubba-hubba (he needs no translation. Tonio appears in my creative visualizations happy place—make that a chaise-longue for two, please).

Are there words from languages, other than your own native tongue, that you enjoy using? If English is your second language, are there English words you find interesting, confusing, or amusing?


  1. Je ne sais quoi - something distinctive that's difficult to describe.

    There is a ne sais quoi about Melanie's writing. I hope she never stops :).

  2. My high school French never had such a workout, eh, cherie? I think I picked up some French from Pepe Le Pew, aussi, my favorite cartoon character.
    Nous sommes tres droles, n'est pas?
    Ouch, I think I sprained my brain.

  3. I hope she never stops writing too! In the next week I will be napping a hammock and only saying "Mas tequila, por favor!"

  4. Sounds perfectly reasonable to me!Mas tequila por todos!

  5. "Donde esta mi cafe?" Hubby and I have been saying this to each other for at least 25 years now. However he is the one that has prepared my coffee every morning for the last 30 years. Am I spoiled or what?!

    "Stupido, no sabes nada!" We playfully say that to each other, hubby and I, when we haven't understood something. Believe it or not, he has learned a lot of Spanish this way. LOL!

    "Mi querida," I have now been using this phrase in reference to you, Melanie. So there!

    This was definietely a fun post! Very, very cool!!


  6. Ha-ha! My brother has learned much Spanish from his Puerto Rican wife and her family.

    I think I need to review when to use por or para. Should it be Mas tequila para todos?

    My mother, a native English speaker, studies Spanish every day and reads books en Espanol to keep her brain sharpened.

    Hmmn. I'm desperate for post topics, so could this be inspiration striking?

    Thank you for stopping by mi amiga!

  7. Hahahahaha! Thank you, Melanie! I am sipping my café con leche whilst avoiding seizing this particular day. (Chores! Nooooooo!!!!!) Thank you for the smile, sweet lady :)

  8. I should say mas cafe con leche, por favor, since that will do me much better than tequila, any day of the week!
    I know, chores, ugh. Why can't the laundry crawl from the washer to the dryer to the closet by itself? This is almost 2012, by golly! :-)

  9. I am especially enamoured of #7 and #13 - although, Karl Urban is my Hottie of the Moment (not Keith, Karl).

    I sometimes use, "Vas is Das", which may not be correct but is what my Danish step-grandmother (who also speaks German and two other languages) says when she's essentially asking "what is that?" about something that is very intriguing

  10. "Should it be Mas tequila para todos" is perfect! I am proud of you!! :)