All you need to know about French loan words in the English language

Do you know what a loan word is? A loan word is a word that has been borrowed from another language and incorporated into the new language. Today, we are going to learn about French loan words. French has had a significant impact on the English language over the years. Many common English words were actually borrowed from French. Let’s take a closer look at some of these words!

How common are French loan words in the English language?

One study found that approximately 30% of all English words are of French origin. That means that about one in every three English words has a French root! This is not surprising when you consider the historical relationship between the two languages.

So where do these French loan words come from?

During the Norman Conquest of England in the 11th century, Old English was replaced by Anglo-Norman, a form of French. As a result, many French words were adopted into English. Over time, the two languages diverged and developed their own unique vocabularies. However, the influence of French can still be seen in the English language today.

The origins of French loan words

Many French loan words were borrowed during the medieval period, when the English language was heavily influenced by French. At this time, French was the language of the royal court and the upper classes in England. As a result, many common English words are actually of French origin. Here are some examples:

Are there French loan words in other languages apart from English?

Yes, there are French loan words in other languages as well. For example, the word “balcony” is of French origin and can be found in many Romance languages, such as Spanish and Italian. Other languages that have borrowed from French include German, Dutch, Russian, and even Japanese!

What are some common French loan words in English?

Now that we’ve learned a little bit about French loan words, let’s take a look at some of the most common ones. Here are just a few examples:











What are some more unusual examples of French loan words?

Here are a few more examples of French loan words that you might not be familiar with:

-Bouillon (a type of soup)

-Cache (a hiding place)

-Carafe (a glass pitcher)

-Chaperone (a person who accompanies a young person in public)

-Faux pas (an embarrassing social mistake)

-Gourmet (a connoisseur of fine food)

-Ménage à trois (a sexual arrangement involving three people)