Foreign Phrases >

Phrase
Meaning
Ad hoc Just for this moment/purpose
Ad rem To the point
Amor vincit omnia Love conquers all things.
Ad nauseam to a sickening degree
Au courant Up to date
Beau geste A noble gesture
Bete noire Something a person dreads.
Bon mot A witty remark
Carpe diem Sieze the day
Carte blanche Unrestricted action
Caveat emptor Buyer beware
C’est la vie That’s life.
C’est la guerre That's the war / that's how it goes
Coup de grâce The finishing blow
Comme ci comme ça Something is so so
Dolce vita The sweet life
Ecce homo Behold the man
Entre nous Only between us
Ex post facto Retroactively
Fait accompli Something that is already done
Faux pas False step / a mistake
Habeas corpus Writ to ask for the body
Hoi polloi All the people / the masses
Ipso facto For that very fact
Je ne sais quoi I don't know what
Laisse faire Do it the easy way
Mea culpa My fault
Noblesse oblige Obligation for nobles to treat their lessers nobly.
Nom de guerre Pseudonym
Nom de plume Pen name
Non sequitor It does not reasonably follow what was spoken prior.
Non compos mentis Not of sound mind
Nota bene Note this well
Per se By itself, intrinsically
Prima facie Evident at first sight
Pro bono Free
Pro tem For the time being / temporarily
Quid pro quo An exchange / this for that
Raison d' etre Reason for being / purpose
RSVP Please respond (Respondez s'il vous plait )
Mens Sana In Corpore Sano A healthy mind in a healty body
Sine qua non Indispensible
Sotto voce In a quiet voiuce
Stare decisis Legal doctrine
Status quo Current condition
Tempus fugit Time flies.
Tete a tete Go head to head in some relation
Tour de force Skilled performance
Veni, vidi, vici I came, I saw, I conquered
Vis a vis Face to face / in relation to
   

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