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135 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
fiancé / fiancée
a man engaged to be married / a woman engaged to be married
amateur
a nonprofessional or someone unskilled in the art.
hors d'oeuvre
an appetizer, side dish, or relish.
idée fixé
a fixed idea, singular proccupation or obsession
en masse
all together, in a mass
apropos
appropriate, to the point, opportune, or with regard to
faux pas
false step or blunder
je ne sais quoi
literally, "I don't know what," used to mean an indescribable thing or feeling
par excellence
incomparable, or best of all
piquant
sharp, strong, or provocative
savoir faire
literally, "know how to do." In English, the ability to do, say, and know the right and proper thing without effort.
potpourri
mixture, medley; hodgepodge
patois
local dialect; rustic speech; jargon
outré
outrageous; extravant; bizarre; extreme; eccentric
noblesse oblige
literally, "nobility obligates." In English, rank imposes responsibilities.
tour de force
a feat of strength; work of great skill or cleverness
pièce de résistance
main dish at a meal; main event
post mortem
after death or autopsy
memorabilia
a collection of remembrances or mementos; things to be remembered
non sequitur
literally, "it does not follow." In English, an illogical conclusion or unconnected, irrelevant remark.
quid pro quo
something for something; tit for tat; a trade
sub rosa
confidential, confidentially; secret, or secretly
proviso
condition or provision of an agreement
status quo
literally, "state in which." In English, present condition or state; prevalent position
caveat emptor
let the buyer bware
quasi
almost; halfway; partly; seemingly
sotto voce
in an undertone; aside; whispered
prima donna
leading lady; principal female opera lead; a woman who overestimates her value and demands undue attention. (The phrase is sometimes used to describe a man.)
la dolce vita
the sweet life, the beautiful life; a life of pleasure
a capella
without accompaniment
ambiance / ambience
surrounding atmosphere
grandeur
state or quality of being majestic or imposing
leviathan
a huge sea monster, usually thought to be a whale
misogamist
one who hates marriage
vis-à-vis
in regard to; in relation to
tête-à-tête
literally, "head to head." A private, or intimate, conversation between two people.
soiree
an evening party or reception
macabre
suggesting the horror and gruesomeness associated with DEATH.
bourgeoise
belonging to the middle class
evanescent
tending to fade or pass away
blase
indifferent; jaded; world-weary; bored
passe
no longer in style
nuance
a slight or delicate shade of tone, expression, or meaning; a subtle variation
dolce far niente
pleasant idleness
vignette
a brief description or sketch
divertimento
amusement; entertainment; diversion; in music, a light, diverting composition
al dente
litereally, "to the tooth"; in English it means a pasta that is not overcooked
cognoscenti
experts, connoisseurs
dilettante
dabbler; amateur in the arts, one who loves the arts
fiasco
failure; flop; ruin
imbroglio
mix-up; mess; confusion; swindle
vendetta
revenge; personal or family feud
poltergeist
literally, "a noise ghost"; a ghost that shows its presence by making noises, throwing things around, and so on.
auslander
foreigner; outsider
gemutlich
good-natured; congenial
gestalt
configuration; unified whole not derivable from the sum of the parts
nicht wahr
"Is it not so?", "Right?"
schuss
a long straight run at full speed on skis
zeitgeist
spirit of the time; social climate of the age
verboten
forbidden, prohibited
de facto
existing in reality with or without right or sanction; real
kaput
defeated; destroyed, or ruined
schlemiel
one who is clumsy, dull, and easily duped by others
schmo
one who is foolish or naive
kosher
conformity to or in accordance with Jewish ceremonies, especially in the preparation of food
ipso facto
by that very fact; by the fact itself
kibitzer
spectator at a card game who gives unwanted advice to players
blitz
to subject to or overwhelm by a blitz (blitzkrieg: lightning war)
pension
a boarding house in France and other European countries
hacienda
a country house, ranch, or plantation
joie de vivre
keen enjoyment of life
legerdemain
sleight of hand; trickery; deception
naïve
lacking knowledge of the ways of the world
poppycock
utterly foolish or empy talk; nonsense
chablis
dry, white wine
bona fide
in good faith; without fraud or deception; genuine
repartée
spirited exchange of quick, witty replies
impresario
one who organizes or manages live entertainment
echelon
formation
heebie jeebies
fit of nervousness; jitters
lebensraum
additional territory; "elbow room"
hoity toity
haughty, snobbish
equestrian
of or relation to horsemen, horsemanship, or horseback riding
pro bono publico
Latin, "For the public good"
sophomore
Greek word from sophos = wise, moros = foolish. Literally, wise fool. Indicates one who is conceited and overconfident of knowledge but poorly informed and immature.
trousseau
all the items brought by a bride to her new home, such as linen, silver, and clothes
beau monde
French, "the fashionable worlds"; fashionable society
à la mode
served with ice cream
magna cum laude
"with high honors"; "with high praise"
cabaret
a restaurant or cafe providing food, drink, dancing, and entertainment; a nightclub
risqué
verging on impropriety or indecency
epitaph
an inscription on a tomb or grave
esprit de corps
common spirit existing in the members of a group and inspiring enthusiasm and strong regard for the honor of the group
guru
a personal religious teacher and spiritual guide in Hinduism
abecedarian
one learning the rudiments (fundamentals) of something
esoteric
relating to knowledge that is restricted to a small group
masticate
to chew
lampoon
a harsh satire usually directed against an individual
anthropic
relating to human beings
pathos
sympathetic pity
extirpate
to uproot
colossal
huge, gigantic
seraphim
an order of angels
debonair
suave, urbane; sophisticated and self-confident
visage
the face (especially of a human being)
de rigueur
proper; fashionable; that which is required by custom or fashion
raison d'être
reason for being; justification for existence
quintessential
the most typical example; the best of a kind
penchant
a strong leaning or inclination toward something
hubris
excessive pride, to the point of being insolent
catharsis
a mental cleansing of emotion and tension through art
agape
love in its most perfect and unselfish sense
eros
sensual love, like that between husband and wife
ethos
the distinguishing character, sentiment, moral nature, or guiding beliefs of a group or culture
danse macabre
dance of death
antithesis
contrast of ideas by means of parallel arrangements of words, clauses, or sentences
pathos
sympathetic pity; tenderness
bodacious
remarkable; noteworthy; unmistakable
chicanery
deception; trickery
empirical
relying only on observation without regard for system or theory
coup d'état
a sudden seizure, usually by force, of a government by a person or group
confidant
someone to whom one's most private affairs or secrets are disclosed and entrusted
rendezvous
an appointment to meet a fixed place or time
ciao
goodbye
premise
statement or principle accepted as true without proof
syllogism
form of argument consisting of a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion logically drawn from them
doggerel
poor and trashy writing especially of poetry
sortie
a sudden attack by troops in a beseiged position upon the beseigers
protégé
one who is udner the care or guidance of another
plebeian
one of the common people
nadir
the lowest point on the celestial sphere
zenith
the highest point on the celestial sphere
nemesis
the Greek goddess of vengeance if capitalized; otherwise, one who inflicts punishment
blithe
lighthearted, gay, cheerful
forte
a strong point; that in which one excels (from fort, meaning strength)