French Lessons: S

English - French Dictionary

Sacrebleu!
Dammit! “holy Blue!” general exclamation of horror and shock; a stereotypical minced oath. Very dated in France and rarely heard.

sang-froid
“cold blood”: coolness and composure under strain; stiff upper lip. Also pejorative in the phrase meurtre de sang-froid (“cold-blooded murder”). Composure, self-control, self-possession, calmness, poise, unconcern.

sans
without

sauté
lit. jumped; quickly fry in a small amount of oil. Jump, leap, bound; spring, hop; bounce, jump out; skip, vault

sauve qui peut!
stampede; run for your life; rush. Those who can should save themselves. Used as a pragmatic response to an accident. Equivalent to the English “every man for himself.”

savant
“knowing”: a wise or learned person; scholarly, clever; erudite, skilful; wise;  scientist, scholar; expert

savoir-faire
literally “know how to do”; to respond appropriately to any situation.

savoir-vivre
good manners, breeding, fact of following conventional norms within a society; etiquette (etiquette also comes from a French word, “étiquette”)

si ce n’est pas indiscret  
if it’s not too personal a question

s’il vous plaît
“if it pleases you,” “if you please”

silhouette
the image of a person, an object or scene consisting of the outline and a featureless interior, with the silhouetted object usually being black

si tu veux  
if you will, if you want

si vous préférez
“if you prefer”

sobriquet
an assumed name, a nickname (often used in a pejorative way in French)

soi-disant
so-called; self-described; literally “oneself saying”

soigné
fashionable; polished

soirée
an evening party

sommelier
a wine steward

soupçon
a very small amount (In French, can also mean suspicion)

soupe du jour
“soup of the day,” meaning the particular kind of soup offered that day.

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