Foreign words and phrases | Sunday Observer

Foreign words and phrases

18 July, 2021

English has borrowed many words and phrases from foreign languages. Here is a collection of such words and phrases.
Ars longa, vita brevis (Latin) A work of art outlives its creator
“Ars longa,” said Captain Wraggle, pathetically drifting into Latin – “Vita brevis.”
(Wilkie Collins)
Artiste (French) a performing artist, an entertainer
The show featured several prominent artistes.
Ashram (Sanskrit) a place where Hindu priests live together, away from other people
We visited an ashram run by an Indian guru.
Asphyxia (Greek) suffocation resulting from a lack of oxygen or an excess of carbon dioxide in the body
Assassin (Arabic) a person who commits murder for political motives or payment
Police are keeping a sharp lookout for the assassin.
Asthma (Greek) a chronic respiratory disorder, often associated with allergies
People with asthma should avoid smoky atmosphere.
Asylum (Latin) a place of retreat or sanctuary or an institution where the mentally ill are treated or confined
Roger has been granted asylum in France.
Atelier (French) an artist’s or a craftsman’s studio or workshop
The old artist spent most of his time in his atelier.
Atoll (Maldivian) a coral island comprising a central lagoon surrounded by a reef
The atoll was devastated by its use for nuclear tests.
Attache (French) someone who works in an embassy and deals with a particular subject
Tom worked as cultural attache at the French embassy for some time.
Audio (Latin) relating to the broadcasting or reproduction of sound The studio was full of audio and video equipment.
Auditor (Latin) someone whose job is to officially examine a company’s financial records Willie worked as an auditor in a government department.
Auditorium (Latin) the part of a theatre where people sit when watching a play
The Lotus theatre has a large and modern auditorium.
Au fait (French) be familiar with a system or way of doing something I am not really au fait with the computer system.
Au lait (French) prepared or served with milk
They finished the evening session with a café au lait.
Au pair (French) a young man or woman who lives with a family free of charge in exchange for performing various domestic duties
Emma expected the au pair to do the ironing for her.
Aura (Greek) a quality or feeling that seems to surround or come from a person or a place
The old building still retains an aura of mystery.
Au revoir (French) Goodbye
They parted with a volley of au revoirs and shakes of the hand.
Aurora (Latin) dawn
We sat in the aurora of a sunrise which put out all the stars.
Auspices (Latin) patronage or guidance
Negotiations were held under the auspices of the United Nations.
Auteur (French) a film director who has a strong influence on the style of the film that he makes
Auto (Greek) it is a prefix meaning ‘self’ Sandra bought a camera with an auto focus lens.
Automaton (Greek) a self-operating mechanical device or a person who acts in an involuntary way
Automobile (French) a motor vehicle This is the age of the automobile.
Avalanche (French) a large mass of snow, ice and rocks that falls down the side of a mountain
Two people were killed in the avalanche.
Avant-garde (French) extremely modern and often seems strange or slightly shocking