Words of French origin

(Many words from French are used in English)

crèche, creche (KRESH) (s) (noun); crèches (KRESH uhs) (pl)
1. In the United States, a set of figures that represent the scene of Jesus Christ's birth and which is displayed during Christmas; a representation of the Nativity scene: The children gathered around the crèche and sang Christmas songs.
2. Primarily British, a hospital for orphaned infants; a foundling hospital: Merna's aunt worked as a housekeeper at the famous crèche for orphaned children after the war.
3. Chiefly British, a day care center; a place where young children are cared for during the day while their parents are working: Katherine learned many delightful songs and games when she attended the local crèche.
4. In biology, a group of young birds, animals, etc. that stay together for protection; especially, among birds, a gathering of the young of several families, tended by one or more adults; such as, ducks, geese, etc.: The fox crèche which included about six fox babies was watched over by the vixen or mother fox.
5. Etymology: from French for "crib", a day nursery provided by the state, a local government, or by private institutions which enables mothers to work while their babies are cared for by others.

A crèche, or communal nursery

Even the crèche, which is the social core of every pride of lions, is shaped by violence. This was verified after scrutinizing groups of nursing mothers for countless hours.

A lactating female nursed another's young rarely, usually after an unrelated cub sneaked onto her nipple. An alert lioness reserved her milk for her own offspring.

In contrast to the widespread belief that crèches were maternal "day-care centers", it was observed that nursing mothers stick together primarily for defense.

During takeovers by outside males, solitary females lost litter after litter, while cooperating lionesses stood a better chance of protecting their cubs and fending off males, each of which can outweigh a female by as much as fifty percent.

—Compiled from information located in
"The Truth about Lions" by Abigail Tucker;
Smithsonian magazine; January, 2010; page 34.
crepe (s) (noun), crepes (pl)
1. A thin pancake in which to wrap savoury or sweet foods: Betty enjoyed a crepe with aromatic herbs for lunch, which was often filled with grated pear and cheese and slightly grilled to melt the cheese.
2. A soft, wrinkly surfaced sole of a shoe, often used to prevent slipping when walking: The bottoms of Greg's shoes were made of crepe which gave him assurance against falling.
3. A woven fabric with an uneven surface: Years ago, many people wore a band of crepe on their arms to indicate that they were in mourning for the death of a close friend or family member.
croquet (s) (noun) (uncountable)
A lawn sport requiring a minimum of two players who use different coloured wooden mallets to direct a similarly coloured small wooden ball through a series of wickets or hoops towards a goal: John and his friend, Janice, often played croquet in the local park on summer afternoons.
debutante (s) (noun), debutantes (pl)
A young woman, typically of an upper class background, who is formally entering society and social activities, often in the context of a lavish party or ball: Alison was a debutante at the local Charity Ball which raised money to support children's hospitals.
déclassé, declasse (day kla SAY, day klas AY) (French) (adjective); more déclassé, more declasse; most déclassé, most declasse
Pertaining to an inferior quality, social status, class, or rank: Jim and Jane used to go to a chic, or top quality, restaurant that is now a completely declasse place.
Relating to a lower quality.
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deluxe (adjective), more deluxe, most deluxe
Descriptive of something very luxurious, grand, wonderful of the finest quality: Michelle's train accommodations were deluxe, including velvet cushions and lace curtains.
deluxe (adverb), more deluxe, most deluxe
Pertaining to how something is done in a grand style: The count and his friends traveled deluxe on all occasions.
detour (s) (noun), detours (pl)
An indirect way to go from one place to another; a thought or speech that switches directions from time to time: The road sign said DETOUR ahead so the drivers were cautious driving down the road.

The audience was often puzzled by the detours Mr. Hathaway made in his talk on infrastructure.

ecru (adjective), more ecru, most ecru
Descriptive of a very light brown color, similar to unbleached cloth made of a particular fabric: The ecru linen jacket George wore looked very cool and comfortable.
elite (s) (noun), elites (pl)
The best, brightest, and highest quality of individuals in a group: The bridge players represented the elite of the country's competitive teams.
encore (s) (noun), encores (pl)
The repetition of a previously performed piece or of a new piece, which is spoken, sung, or played at the enthusiastic request of the audience: The encore which the pianist played was met with more applause.
encore (verb), encores; encored; encoring
To call for a second rendition of a concert piece: The audience in the auditorium encored repeatedly for the soprano to sing another song.
entre nous (adverb); more entre nous, most entre nous
Pertaining to how private matters or secrets are told or held in strict confidence between one person and another one: Jerome told his friend entre nous about an incident that happened at work.

George heard entre nous that Sam and Alice were getting married the following week.

Pertaining to a secret or private matter.
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A reference to keeping a secret.
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entrée, entree (s) (noun); entrées, entrees (pl)
1. The main part of a meal: At the fancy restaurant a fine selection of desserts followed the entrée of various meat dishes.
2. The introduction to or access to a social group: Viola had an entree to the upper society because her fiancé was the son of a major investor in the company.
The main course of a meal.
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escapade (s) (noun), escapades (pl)
1. An adventure which is dangerous and exciting: Little Sally loved to go out with her older brother and enjoy the escapades of climbing trees in the garden.
2. A practical joke, lark, or trick which is lighthearted or carefree: After school, Jack told his friend of the escapade he played on his sister by hiding the photo of her boyfriend.

See other English words from foreign languages at this
Other Languages Index.