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Phrases, Words

Note 138 – The expression ‘faux pas’

The noun faux pas (pronounced fo pa) is a French expression, literally translated as ‘false step’.  It is commonly used in British English where the actual meaning is “social blunder or indiscretion” (according to The Free Dictionary and the Collins English Dictionary & Thesaurus).  Wikipedia also define it as “a slip or blunder in etiquette, manners, or conduct”.

According to Wikipedia the words faux pas stem back from the reign of Louis XIV when “dance was so important in the royal courts that to make a false step in any one of the many dances could get you thrown out”.  It can also be described in French to mean a loss of balance.

Examples in sentences:

“Tara committed a terrible faux pas at the office party when she was overheard talking tabout her manager’s awful outfit.”

“Drinking less alcohol and watching who is behind you could prevent you committing a faux pas at the next Christmas party!”

That’s it for today.  This blog forms part of my writing challenge. Don’t forget that you can subscribe to receive my daily blogs by email so that you don’t miss any. Just click ‘sign me up’ on the home page. Alternatively you can follow my blogs on Twitter!/madeirasandra or my new ‘Tips and Luxuries’ Facebook page. Requests for future blogs (punctuation/grammar/writing tips) are always welcome.

Until tomorrow…


My writing challenge:

This blog:

My other blog:

My website: (includes the introduction to my upcoming book ‘A Gift for Stressed and Busy Parents’)

Twitter: @madeirasandra and @tipsandluxuries

Reference list:

The Free Dictionary 

The Collins English Dictionary & Thesaurus



About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Subjects I tend to blog about are life skills, parenting, decluttering, worklife balance, etc. At the moment I am on a decluttering mission creating space in my house, garden and mind. I have challenged myself to do at least ten minutes a day and write about it. Have a good day! Sandra Freelance Writer


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