Garbled Expressions

Frenchish expressions in English

English is full of French words and expressions, but pronunciation and even meaning can get distorted along the way – so much so that their provenance may not be recognizable.

Bookoo bucks

French expressions of quantity "Bookoo" is an anglicized spelling and pronunciation of the French adverb of quantity beaucoup (a lot).

Ooh la la

Oh là là In English, "ooh la la" has a sexy connotation that the original French oh là là (oh dear) doesn’t.

San fairy ann

Ça ne fait rien This odd-looking expression dates back to World War I and comes from the French ça ne fait rien (it doesn’t matter).

Say la vee

C'est la vie How non-French speakers often spell c’est la vie (that’s life).

Toodle loo

Tout à l'heure The anglicized spelling and pronunciation of tout à l’heure (see you soon).

Toot sweet

Tout de suite It is pronounced much like this in French, but the correct spelling is tout de suite (right away).

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Garbled French expressions


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1 Response

  1. Donna Lang 26 September 2017 / 22:18

    I’ve also heard the garbled expression “boujie” recently; it sounded to me like a mangled version of “bourgeoisie”, which a quick peek on Urban Dictionary confirmed.

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