10 French expressions we’ve all heard!

  1. C’est la vie – Translates to “That’s life” in English. An often-used expression reflecting acceptance of life’s ebb and flow, making it a relatable phrase for moments of resignation.
  2. Joie de vivre – Meaning “Joy of living,” this iconic French saying encapsulates a zest for life. It’s a testament to the French culture’s celebration of simple pleasures.
  3. Laissez-faire – Translated as “Let it be” or “Hands-off approach.” Beyond its economic roots, this term has become a philosophical shorthand for non-interference.
  4. Chacun voit midi à sa porte – Literally “Everyone sees noon at his doorstep.” An insightful phrase highlighting individual perspectives and limited awareness of others’ viewpoints.
  5. À la carte – This French term means “On the menu” or “According to choice.” Its culinary connotation extends to various contexts, emphasizing customization.
  6. Savoir-faire – Translating to “Skillful know-how.” Evoking sophistication and competence, this phrase embodies the French commitment to finesse.
  7. Coup de grâce – Literally “Blow of mercy.” Its symbolic usage signifies the final decisive action that concludes a situation.
  8. Déjà vu – Meaning “Already seen.” It captures the familiar feeling of experiencing something again, even if it’s the first encounter.
  9. Rire dans sa barbe – Translating to “To laugh in one’s beard.” An idiom capturing the art of hiding amusement, lending an air of intrigue to the expression.
  10. Rendez-vous – Meaning “Meet-up.” Can be use for a formal appointment with a doctor or a meet-up with friends or even a romantic date!