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More Beautiful French Words


Though I am in no way fluent in French, I do appreciate learning a few new beautiful words every now and again.  Plus, it’s such a lyrical language – one that is easily butchered if you don’t have the ability to speak it in the back of your throat and through your nose.  I’m still working on it.

Some words sound more beautiful than others – and feel good in your mouth when you say them. “Mouth Candy” to quote a Francophile friend.

You may remember Beautiful French Words from a while back.  Well, I thought it was time for another installment?

If you’d like to hear them spoken (and you’d be crazy not to want that!) try this fab AT&T program – just type in your word, pick the male or female voice and voilà! , musical French to your ears.  It’d be fun to practice…non?

pamplemousse {grapefruit}

ameliorer {to improve}

parapluie {umbrella}

inoubliable {unforgettable}

beaujolais {type of wine}

bibliothèque {library}

malheureusement {unfortunately}

aubergine {eggplant}

volontiers {with pleasure}

enchanté {delighted to}

merveilleux {marvelous}

époustouflant {mind-boggling}

délirant {wild, hysterical}

Do you have favorite French words?  Share in the comments!

  • User Gravatar
    entre2 Nuages
    March 15th, 2010

    on pourrait peut etre essayer avec

    INOUBLIABLE et
    AUBERGINE ( which by the way in france is not only a vegetable but a less than flattering way to designate a female traffic warden… )

    all the best, lovely blog design !

    Entre2Nuages ..

    Thank you for your comments. I can’t believe that is aubergine is a slang term as well ;) I learned something new today!

  • User Gravatar
    Alison
    March 15th, 2010

    I’ve always loved pamplemousse but I also really like libellule (dragonfly).

    Oh, nice. I like dragonfly. Thanks for the new word!

    .-= Alison´s last blog ..Belgian Chocolate Shops in Brussels, Grand Sablon =-.

  • User Gravatar
    Meredith
    March 15th, 2010

    Poubelle! Acutally sounds like something nice but it’s a grabage can – so French to make something ordinary sound classy

    Exactly what I love about French. Who knew refuse could sound so pretty? :)

  • User Gravatar
    Francoise
    March 15th, 2010

    What a merveilleuse list!
    But eggplant is spelled aubergine. :)

    Thank you. I fixed it – I really need a foreign language spell-check :)

  • User Gravatar
    Jen Laceda
    March 15th, 2010

    Folie à Deux! But, I’m just biased! LOL!!

    Hmmm, me thinks I should add Mélange to the list as well ;)

    .-= Jen Laceda´s last blog ..Tiramisù Rustico del Cioccolato =-.

  • User Gravatar
    Lisa Harris
    March 15th, 2010

    I like French curse words. But I don’t always know exactly what they mean.

    Casse-toi is a fave. And merde of course. (“Shit always sounds better in French.”) There are others, but I don’t want to litter your blog…lol.

    Yes, for some reason, swearing in a foreign language is fun :)

    .-= Lisa Harris´s last blog ..You Are =-.

  • User Gravatar
    Claire T
    March 15th, 2010

    My favourite are:

    batifoler (to frolic)

    enchevêtrement (entanglement)

    They are so delicious to say.

    Merci! Exactly what I was looking for….

  • User Gravatar
    Franca Porter
    March 15th, 2010

    Although my French was quite good when I moved, 3 years ago, to the Charente, the 1st new word here for me was ‘the tip’…La Déchetterie…
    Not romantic but very useful!
    Sometimes people say to my daughter ‘ma petite puce’ (my little flee) ;-)
    I like the word ‘Ma Doudou’ which is actually your favorite cuddling toy.
    My all times favorite French singer, Julien Clerc, has a song which is called Ma Doudou.

    Regards,
    Franca (you ‘know’ me from twitter)

    Merci Franca! I love all of your favorites, especially ‘ma petit puce’ :)

  • User Gravatar
    Tanya
    March 15th, 2010

    I adore saying génial.

    That is a nice one Tanya. Thanks for sharing your fav!

  • User Gravatar
    Mark H
    March 15th, 2010

    I learnt French for six years at school and I’m still a terrible French speaker. But one favourite word for me was “saucissons” and a favourite tongue twister I recall from school to help our pronunciation was “Tonton, ton thé t’a-t-il ôté ta toux?” which I believe translates roughly as “Tonton, did the tea relieve your cough” (a French speaker may be able to correct the translation if it is incorrect).

    I hear you, Mark. I think I will always struggle with French. I can’t even imagine a French tongue twister ;)

    .-= Mark H´s last blog ..Photo of the Week: Grey Crowned Crane (Uganda) =-.

  • User Gravatar
    Boomergirl
    March 15th, 2010

    One of my all-time favourites:

    tappete à mouche (fly swatter)

    Merci! What a great name for an otherwise mundane product.

    .-= Boomergirl´s last blog ..Fishing Lake of Bays with Peter Wasag =-.

  • User Gravatar
    Frenchholiday
    March 15th, 2010

    Ah – it’s time someone added what the French are famous for – L’amour (love), faire l’amour (make love) and amour en cage (winter cherry or Chinese lantern – the plant). It’s the way they pronounce the final r which makes it sound so wonderful!

    I agree 100% Jean. I love to hear it spoken well. It’s the language of love….

  • User Gravatar
    brett | design babylon
    March 16th, 2010

    I love “coquelicot” {red poppy}

    or “coup de foudre”{love at first sight}

    Oh, those are both lovely. Merci for sharing!

    .-= brett | design babylon´s last blog ..design collaboration | diane von furstenberg & claridge’s of london =-.

  • User Gravatar
    Laura
    March 30th, 2011

    Agree with pamplemousse and libellule =)

    My favs:

    Citrouille (pumpkin)

    Nenuphar (water lily) (note the e should have accent aigu)

  • User Gravatar
    Romain
    October 20th, 2011

    Hello My mélange!
    On your beautiful website again!
    I’m a french, and actually I’ve never heard ‘aubergine’ used as a pejorative word ! It may be an old one…
    I really love your site, when I’m down I come to see all the comments about this article and I have the hope that french is not going to disappear and that it still possible to share something in another language than english (which I love though).

    Et surtout, enivrez-vous de la musique des langues! (the “en-” of “enivrez” is pronounced like the beginning of “encore”)
    (Above all,let yourself be elated by the music of languages)

    Merci

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