Skip to content

Je ne Sais What? A Guide to de rigueur Frenglish for Readers, Writers, and Speakers (English and French Edition)

By Jon Winokur
Sold out
Book Details
  • Author: Jon Winokur
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Published: 1995-01-01
  • Edition: First Printing
Countless apt locutions from French have entered the English language, some becoming everyday phrases, others tossed around recklessly by film critics and gourmets. Until now there hasn't been a single handy source a non-French speaker could turn to for explanation - or riposte. In Je Ne Sais What? Jon Winokur, author of The Portable Curmudgeon, explores the French expressions, maxims, and literary allusions that grace English. With his customary finesse, Winokur offers definitions and often brief etymological notes and illustrative quotations for such Gallicisms as cherchez la femme, savoir vivre, nom de guerre, demi-monde, sang froid, and c'est la vie. Unlike Franglais, the hybrid of French and English which has the French Academy in a furor over phrases like les chicken nuggets, Frenglish, as Winokur defines it, is grammatically correct French that enriches English discourse. A nonpareil companion to Eugene Ehrlich's Amo, Amas Amat and More, which helped make Latin a living language once more, Je Ne Sais What? is both a practical reference and a word lover's bon ami. The perfect browsing antidote to ennui, the perfect gift for Francophiles, armchair linguists, and crossword addicts, this delightful guide to the language of love, fashion, food, and diplomacy explains the French everyone uses but few fully understand.