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[[:{{{code}}}:|French edition]] of Wiktionary


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Inherited from Средњи Енглески Frenche, Frensch, Frensc, Frenshe, Frenk, Franche, from Стари Енглески Frenċisċ (Frankish), from Franca (Frank) + -isċ (-ish); more at Frank, -ish (compare Frankish). Cognate with Дански fransk (French), Шведски fransk, fransysk (French), Исландски franska (French).

In reference to vulgar language, from expressions such as pardon my French in the early 19th century, originally in reference to actual (but often mildly impolite) French expressions by the upper class, subsequently adopted ironically by the lower class for English cursewords under the charitable conceit that the listener would not be familiar with them.

In reference to vermouth, a shortened form of French vermouth, distinguished as usually being drier than Italian vermouth.


  • (UK, US) enPR: frĕnch, МФА(кључ): /fɹɛnt͡ʃ/, /fɹɛnʃ/
  • (file)
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  • Риме: -ɛntʃ

Proper noun

French (countable and uncountable, plural Frenches)

  1. (chiefly uncountable) The language of France, shared by the neighboring countries Belgium, Monaco, and Switzerland and by former French colonies around the world.
    She speaks French.
    • c. 1390, Robert Grosseteste, translating Chateau d'Amour as The Castle of Love, ll. 25 ff.:
      Ne mowe we alle Latin wite...
      Ne French...
    • 1533, Thomas More, The Debellacyon of Salem & Bizance, fol. 96:
      I... wolde also be bolde in such french as is peculiare to the lawys of this realme, to leue it wyth them in wrytynge to.
    • 1720, Daniel Defoe, Memoirs of a Cavalier, p. 13:
      I could speak but little French.
    • 1991, Michael Clyne, Pluricentric Languages: Differing Norms in Different Nations, Walter de Gruyter (→ISBN), page 169:
      Thus, complementary to the French of France, the Quebecois (and in a lesser degree the Frenches of Africa, Swiss French, etc.) would constitute languages in their own right.
    • 1997, Albert Valdman, French and Creole in Louisiana, strana 29:
      Almost three quarters of the population 65 and older reported speaking French.
    • 2004, Jack Flam, Matisse and Picasso: The Story of Their Rivalry and Friendship, strana 18:
      Although he would spend the rest of his life in France, Picasso never mastered the language, and during those early years he was especially self-conscious about how bad his French was.
    • 2013, Jocelyn Wogan-Browne, Language and Culture in Medieval Britain: The French of England, C.1100-c.1500, Boydell & Brewer Ltd (→ISBN), page 361:
      The Frenches of England remain as working languages in the different registers of various occupational communities and for particular social rituals. Beyond the fifteenth century, French is a much less substantial presence in England, though []
  2. (uncountable) The ability of a person to communicate in French.
    My French is a little rusty.
    • 1742 April 4, R. West, letter to Thomas Gray:
      [Racine's] language is the language of the times, and that of the purest sort; so that his French is reckoned a standard.
  3. (uncountable) French language and literature as an object of study.
    I'm taking French next semester.
  4. (uncountable, euphemistic, now often ironic) Vulgar language.
    Pardon my French.
    • 1845, Edward Jerningham Wakefield, Adventure in New Zealand, Vol. I, p. 327:
      The enraged headsman spares no ‘bad French’ in explaining his motives.
    • 1986, John Hughes, Ferris Bueller's Day Off:
      Cameron: Pardon my French, but you're an asshole!
    • 2005 May 29, New York Times Book Review, p. 12:
      The book... is a welcome change from theory-infected academic discourse, pardon my French.
  5. (countable) A презиме​.Script error: The function "template_categorize" does not exist.
    Dawn French.

Derived terms

  • (surname): Frenchburg
  • Descendants


    See also


    French (countable and uncountable, plural French or +)

    1. (chiefly collective and in the plural) The people of France; groups of French people.
      The Hundred Years' War was fought between the English and the French.
      Under the Fourth Republic, more and more French unionized.
      • 1579, Geoffrey Fenton, translating Francesco Guicciardini as The Historie of Guicciardin, p. 378:
        [] to breake the necke of the wicked purposes & plots of the French []
      • 1653, Thomas Urquhart, translating François Rabelais as Works of Mr. Francis Rabelais, Vol. I, p. 214:
        Such is the nature and complexion of the frenches, that they are worth nothing, but at the first push.
      • 2002, Jeremy Thornton, The French and Indian War, strana 14:
        On the way, scouts reported that some French were heading toward them across the ice.
    2. (uncountable, dated slang, sex) Synonym of oral sex, especially fellatio.
      • 1916, Henry Nathaniel Cary, The Slang of Venery and Its Analogues, Vol. I, p. 94:
        French--[sic] to do the French--Cocksucking; and, inversely, to tongue a woman.
      • 1968, Bill Turner, Sex Trap, p. 64:
        You can be whipped or caned... or you can have French for another pound.
      • 1986 May 6, Semper Floreat, p. 34:
        Always use condoms with Greek (anal intercourse), straight sex (vaginal intercourse, fucking), French (oral sex).
      • 1996 October 13, Observer, p. 25:
        French’—still used by prostitutes as a term for oral sex.
    3. (chiefly uncountable, dated slang) Ellipsis of French vermouth., a type of dry vermouth.
      • 1930, Ethel Mannin, Confessions & Impressions, p. 177:
        Tearle replied that gin-and-French and virginian cigarettes would do for him.
      • 1967, Michael Francis Gilbert, The Dust & the Heat, p. 14:
        He was drinking double gins with single Frenches in them.

    Usage notes

    The use of the plural form Frenches occurred in early modern English but is only seldomly and exceptionally encountered in contemporary English. As with other collective demonyms, French is preceded by the definite article or some other determiner when referring to the people of France collectively.

    Derived terms



    The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


    French (comparative more French, superlative most French)

    1. Of or relating to France.
      the French border with Italy
      • 2015 мај 3, John Oliver, “Standardized Testing”, in Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, season 2, episode 12, HBO:
        That must have hurt, especially because you knew the French children weren’t even trying. “Uh, go on, play weez your seellee nambeurs. Zey tell you nosseeng of ze true naytcheur of ze soula. I’ll weepa for you.”
    2. Of or relating to the people or culture of France.
      French customs
    3. Of or relating to the French language.
      French verbs
    4. (slang, sexuality) Of or related to oral sex, especially fellatio.
      French activeperson who is fellated
      French girla prostitute who offers fellatio
    5. (informal, often euphemistic) Used to form names or references to venereal diseases.
      French diseasea venereal disease
      French crownhair loss from venereal disease
      French poxsyphillis


    Derived terms



    The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


    French (third-person singular simple present Frenchs, present participle Frenching, simple past and past participle Frenched)

    1. Alternative letter-case form of french
      • 1995, Jack Womack, Random Acts of Senseless Violence, strana 87:
        Even before I thought about what I was doing we Frenched and kissed with tongues.

    Alternative forms

    Derived terms


    See also


    Further reading

    • ISO 639-1 code fr
    • [[ethnologue:{{{code}}}|Ethnologue entry for French]], {{{code}}}