The aim of this project is to show how important the French influence was in establishing the English vocabulary. One of the most important influences ever to shape the English language arrived in 1066 AD – William the Conqueror’s invasion of the British Isles.
As a result, the French dialect the Normans spoke (Anglo-Norman) became the official language of the court, administration, and perhaps just as importantly, the language of culture.
The first stage in influencing the English language contains words which appeared before 1250. They are almost exclusively vocabulary which was used between lower classes and the French speaking nobility.
The second stage represents words which appeared after 1250: The upper classes turned more and more to the use of English and thereby transferred their French administrative, governmental, legal, ecclesiastical and military terms. The influx of French loanwords never stopped. It only became less intensive.
Verbs: allow, defeat, destroy, brush, govern, judge, push, trick. marvel
Words related to qualities: bastard, beauty, chivalry, honest, loyal, sure
Words related to church and law: court, priest, constraint
Governmental and military terms: conquest, quest, royal, quarter, castle
Other: beef, choice, cloister, dinner, forest, frail, garden, hostel, interest, mutton, paste, place, poison, pork, push, stuff, tempest, ticket, trick
Acronyms, Idioms and Slang: the Evolution of the English Language. Although the English language is only 1500 years old, it has evolved a tan incredible rate: so much so, that, at first glance, the average person in America today would find most Shakespearean literature confusing without the aid of an Old-English dictionary or Cliff's Notes. Yet Shakespeare lived just 300 years ago! Some are ...
Words related to food and drinks: aperitif/apéritif, cafe/café, chef, croissant, cuisine, dessert, gourmand, patisserie, a la carte (from the card), gourmet, bacon, buffet, cherry, peach, pear, fillet, flan, frappé, liquor, marmalade, olive, orange, crème brulée, crème caramel, crème de menthe, soufflé, bon-bon
Words related to law: accomplice, advocate, amnesty, arbitrage, felon, prison, proof, protocol, solicitor, accusation, accredit, judge, justice, proposition, claim, argue
Words related to church: anarchism, anarchist, catholic, communion, prophesy, prosecution, sacrament, nun
Governmental and military terms: allocation, army, barricade, battle, bayonet, captain, comrade, emperor, medal, military, monarch, monarchism, office, officer, parliament, proposition, succession, suspension, surrender, emperor, sergeant, reign, chateau, monarch, monarchism, sovereign, state, socialism, disarm, division, marine, majesty, county, ancestor, bourgeoisie, camouflage
Words related to grammar and language: abbreviation, accent, adjective, adverb, apostrophe, calque, grammar, jargon, plural, pronoun, pronounce, present, object
Words related to education and administration: abstract, academic, academy, office, administer, advertisement, advise, allocation, department, diplomacy, account
Words related to medicine: anatomy, surgeon, surgery, surgical, nurse, muscle, pathology, pneumatic, hospital, ambulance, gangrene
Words related to feelings and qualities: admire, adore, affection, agreeable, amorous, annoy, dignity, endurance, energy, flexible, gallant, gay, stupid, gorgeous, ignorant, imaginative, intense, love, liberal, passion, passive, pathetic, patience, philanthropic, practical, reasonable, generic, generous, brilliant, extravagance, bizarre, naïve, nice, ability, absurd, genial, ambiguous
Words related to measurements: annual, kilo, kilogram, kilometer, age, amplitude
Expressions in everyday life: faux pas, bon appétit, bon voyage, déjà vu, en suite (literally: in sequence), démodé, cliché, please, raison d’être, quiche, coup de grace, coup d’etat (the taking power by force), esprit de corps, joie de vivre
Other: abjection, abundance, abuse, accept, access, accident, accommodation, accompany, accomplish, accord, acid, acrobat, adolescence, adopt, advantage, adventure, affair, affliction, agent, aggression, analyse, ancient, angle, announce, gigolo, hotel, kiosk, money, sex, apresski/après-ski, avant-garde, bidet, canard, chevalier, debacle, debut, elite, etiquette, fiancé(e)/fiance(e), fricassee, frisson, garage, liaison, limousine, lingerie, marionette, morale, nee/née, object d’art, parole, pastiche, patisserie, petite, pirouette, prestige, regime/régime, risqué/risque, silhouette, souvenir, toilette, vignette, voyeur
The New Wave (French: LA Nouvelle Vague was a term coined by critics for a group of French Filmmakers that existed in the late 1950s and 1960s. these set of filmmakers were actually influenced by Italian Neorealism, (New form realism). Although, this group of people was not well organized filmmakers, they were however connected through their self conscious rejection of classical cinematic form and ...
Crystal, D. (1995).
The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language, CUP, Cambridge
French borrowings available at: