French Lessons: G

English - French Dictionary

gaffe
blunder

garçon
literally “boy” or “male servant”; sometimes used by English speakers to summon the attention of a male waiter (has a playful connotation in English but is condescending and possibly offensive in French)

garde manger
literally “keeper of the food” or pantry supervisor, refers to the task of preparing and presenting cold foods.

gauche
tactless, does not mean “left-handed” (which translates in French as “gaucher”), but does mean “left”

gaucherie
boorishness

gendarme
member of a gendarmerie which is an arm of the military; the word is often incorrectly used in English to refer to any French policeman [which is civilian]. Note – the picture titled Gendarmes in fact shows Republican Guards.

genre
a type or class, such as “the thriller genre”

glissade
slide down a slope

les goûts et les couleurs ne se discutent pas
“tastes and colours are not argued over”; one does not argue over differences in taste, to each his own. French People usually shorten the sentence, to “les goûts et les couleurs…”

grâce à
“thanks to,” “by the grace of,” naming credit or fortune

Grand Prix
literally “Great Prize”; a type of motor racing

grand projet
literally “large project”; usually a government funded large scale civil engineering or technology project executed for prestige or general social benefit, and not immediately (if ever) profitable

Grand Guignol
a horror show, named after a French theater famous for its frightening plays and bloody special effects. (Guignol can be used in French to describe a ridiculous person, in the same way that clown might be used in English.)

Grenadier
a specialized soldier, first established for the throwing of grenades and later as elite troops

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