9 Beautiful French Words to Improve Your Vocabulary Today

9 Beautiful French Words to Improve Your Vocabulary Today

There’s just something about the sound of the French language that elevates it above all others for charisma. Every time I hear people speaking in French, conversations that crackle with gasps and exclamations and soothe with seductive murmurs, I want to know exactly what is being said.

It may take years to properly master your ah-bey-ceys but in the meantime here are 9 beautiful French words that will improve your vocabulary today.




I love that the French have a specific word for this phenomenon that happens, in my life at least, way too often. Thank god we’ve got friends and facetime to go through these difficult moments again and again, providing an alternative ending each time.




In France you can drink wine with breakfast and coffee with supper so it’s no wonder no one knows what time to go to bed.




If the French have an actual word/phrase for this fairly disturbing feeling then maybe it’s not so strange, after all. See also: the desire to drive your car off a cliff and the desire to do an ‘Anna Karenina’ on the train tracks.




Pronounced with a ‘sh’ not a ‘ch’, this word is an example of onomatopoeia. Say chuchoter a few times in a quiet voice and people around will wonder what that crazy person is whispering to themselves.




The refined and gentlemanly French go around kissing hands so much that they only need one word to describe the act. If you’re going to be bold enough to try this one your young lady friend then be sure to add enchanté, I think it’s against the law in France not to.




Fundamental to learning the French language itself, one must dépayser and leave their comfort zone in order to immerse themselves in a different culture. The word pays in French means country so a literal translation is something like ‘de-countrify’.




In French, the literal translation of the phrase ‘avoir le cafard’, which means to be depressed, if to ‘have the cockroach. No one wants a cockroach anywhere near them much like no one ever wants to have the blues.




This word feels like honey in your mouth. Inoubliable means unforgettable or, the more evocative, ‘never to be forgotten’. Nuit inoubliable means ‘a night to remember’, definitely a phrase to learn if you plan on going dancing and romancing in Paris.



The origins of this word go back, as so many words to, to the Ancient Greeks. The peripatetic school was the school of philosophy in Greece. Legend has it that as Aristotle taught he walked and the word peripatetic came to mean both student of philosophy and wanderer.


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