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Court Reporting

Foreign Words and Phrases

QuestionAnswer
al fresco outdoors, in the open
au courant fully aware or familiar
au poivre with pepper
avant-garde the advance group in any field, especially in the visual, literary, or musical arts, whose works are characterized chiefly by unorthodox and experimental method
bon mot a witty remark or comment; clever saying
bon vivant a person who lives luxuriously and enjoys good food and drink
carte blanche unconditional authority; full discretionary power
cause celebre any controversy that attracts great public attention, as a celebrated legal case or trial
chutzpah unmitigated effrontery or impudence; gall; audacity; nerve
conoscenti people with informed appreciation of a particular field, esp in the fine arts; connoisseurs
coup d'etat a sudden and decisive action in politics, especially one resulting in a change of government illegally or by force
cul-de-sac a street, lane, etc., closed at one end; blind alley; dead-end street
de rigueur strictly required, as by etiquette, usage, or fashion
dolce vita sweet life; the good life perceived as one of physical pleasure and self-indulgence
double entendre a double meaning
esprit de corps a sense of unity and of common interests and responsibilities, as developed among a group of persons closely associated in a task, cause, enterprise, etc
fait accompli an accomplished fact; a thing already done
faux artificial or imitation; fake
faux pas a slip or blunder in etiquette, manners, or conduct; an embarrassing social blunder or indiscretion
femme fatale an irresistibly attractive woman, especially one who leads men into difficult, dangerous, or disastrous situations; siren
force majeure an unexpected and disruptive event that may operate to excuse a party from a contract
gauche lacking social grace, sensitivity, or acuteness; awkward; crude; tactless
glasnost the declared public policy within the Soviet Union of openly and frankly discussing economic and political realities
gulag the system of forced-labor camps in the Soviet Union; any prison or detention camp, especially for political prisoners
imbroglio a misunderstanding, disagreement, etc., of a complicated or bitter nature, as between persons or nations
intelligentsia intellectuals considered as a group or class, especially as a cultural, social, or political elite
jihad struggle; a holy war undertaken as a sacred duty by Muslims; any vigorous, emotional crusade for an idea or principle
kamikaze a person or thing that behaves in a wildly reckless or destructive manner
laissez faire the practice or doctrine of noninterference in the affairs of others, especially with reference to individual conduct or freedom of action; leave to do
noblesse oblige the moral obligation of those of high birth, powerful social position, etc., to act with honor, kindliness, generosity, etc
nom de plume a pen name
perestroika reconstructing
piece de resistance the principal dish of a meal; the most noteworthy or prized feature, aspect, event, article, etc., of a series or group; special item or attraction
sans without
savoir-faire knowledge of just what to do in any situation; tact
shlep to drag or carry someone or something
shtick one's special interest, talent
tete-a-tete a private conversation or interview
tour de force a masterly or brilliant stroke, creation, effect, or accomplishment
verboten forbidden, as by law; prohibited
Zeitgeist the spirit of the time; general trend of thought or feeling characteristic of a particular period of time
Created by: amyswint