Faux amis

I am going to shamelessly steal my friend Allison’s idea for her blog and share some ‘faux amis’ or false cognates. Some of them are interesting, some of them are just surprising, and some of them are funny and incredibly embarassing if confused.

la promiscuité ≠ sexual promiscuity
= proximity, especially unwanted

plein(e) ≠ full, as in not hungry
= pregnant, usually referring to an animal

préservatif ≠ preservative, as in food
= condom

blesser ≠ to bless, benedict
= to harm

décevoir ≠ to deceive
= to disappoint

réaliser ≠ to realize, that you forgot something for example
= to achieve or to direct a film

séculaire ≠ secular, nonreligious
= sensitive

surnom ≠ surname or last name
= nickname

avertissement ≠ advertisement
= a warning or caution

bigot(e) ≠ intolerant, narrow-minded
= over-devout

candide ≠ open, frank, sincere
= naïve, ingenuous

draguer ≠ to pull along
= to flirt, to hit on

entrée ≠ the main course
= the appetizer

Maggie B.

2 thoughts on “Faux amis

  1. Salut, Maggie! I love falsche Freunde! (Well, the linguistic kind anyhow.) Thanks so much for that. Re. the last one, I don’t know how we Yankees ever ended up distorting it. I mean, the “entry” course for something we have as second or even third? Just so you know for when you come down here, the Aussies have preserved the original French usage: “For the entrée I’ll have the prawns and for my main the kangaroo steak, rare.”I know I may have mentioned this somewhere but now that I’ve seen even more of them: Je trouve que tes photos sont très très belles!Ciao ciao,Chris

  2. well at least you admit your thievery! you should at least have posted my link so everyone could read the original! haha. also, as it turns out, the avignon trip was cancelled this week (so says the cea kids)

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