Émigrés

Author: Richard Scholar

Publisher: Princeton University Press (2020-07-02)

9780691209586

Émigrés ebook cover

The fascinating continuing history of French words that have entered the English language—and that reveal the fertile but fraught relationship between English- and French-speaking cultures across the world

English has borrowed more words from French than from any other modern foreign language. French words and phrases—such as à la mode, ennui, naïveté, and caprice—lend English a certain je-ne-sais-quoi that would otherwise elude the language. Richard Scholar examines the continuing history of untranslated French words in English and asks what these words reveal of the fertile but fraught relationship that England and France have long shared and that now entangles English- and French-speaking cultures all over the world.

Émigrés demonstrates that French borrowings have, over the centuries, "turned" English in more ways than one. From the seventeenth-century polymath John Evelyn's complaint that...