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Note 181 – The French phrase ‘vis à vis’

Vis à vis is a preposition meaning ‘in relation to’ or ‘regarding’ according to the Collins English Dictionary & Thesaurus.  Here are a few facts noted from about the phrase vis à vis:

    1. The French spell it vis à vis.
    2. The English sometimes miss off the grave accent on the à and print it as ‘vis-a-vis’ or ‘viz-a-viz’.
    3. The literal French meaning is ‘face to face’.
    4. The author and politian Horace Walpole introduced the phrase in the mid 1800s and the English have used it ever since.
    5. Horace Walpole wrote a letter in 1753 which indicated that he was being followed by a vis à vis (a small carriage with people sitting face to face). 

Sentences using ‘vis à vis’

  • When meaning ‘in relation to’ it can be used in a sentence as follows: “Where are you vis à vis the finishing line?”
  • When meaning ‘face to face’ it can be used in a sentence as follows: “She found herself dancing vis à vis with a prince”.

That’s it for today – I’ll save the phrase ‘dos à dos’ for another day.

This blog post 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 or my ‘Tips and LuxuriesFacebook page. Requests for future blogs (punctuation/grammar/writing tips) are always welcome.

Until tomorrow…

Freelance writer
Please visit for more information on my services as a freelance writer.

My writing challenge

My other blogs:
Sandra’s space
My OpenLeaf Journey

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

Twitter: @madeirasandra @tipsandluxuries @OpenLeafJourney

Reference list:

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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