Latin words make up around another 30 per cent of today’s modern English vocabulary. For Latin terms used in academic English click here.
With reference to something/someone. “Jameela remarked apropos the seminar, ‘It’s not going to cut ice with the other side.'”
Very appropriate to a particular situation. “The book’s reference to power politics is apropos for the current situation.”
A style of decorative art, architecture, and design prominent in western Europe and the USA from about 1890 until the First World War (1914) and characterised by intricate linear designs and flowing curves based on natural forms.
To have a good or detailed knowledge of something. “Jameela was fully au fait with English literature.”
Literally: “white card” but means to be given the complete freedom to act as one wishes. “The architect given carte blanche to design the house.”
A phrase or opinion that is overused (and therefore shows a lack of original thought).
A feeling of having already experienced the present situation.
Required or expected, especially in terms of following fashion.
The easing of diplomatic tension. The reduction of problems/hostility, especially between countries. “The UK’s policy of detente acted to improve relations with Russia.”
The front view of an object (from the Italian facciata, or face). It can also mean a fake persona, as in “putting on a façade” (the ç is pronounced like an s).
Literally: “accomplished fact.” Something that has already happened and is thus unlikely to be reversed; ‘a done deal.’
“False step”: A breaking of accepted (but unwritten) social rules.
(To) “Let do.” This term is often used within the context of economic policy or political philosophy, meaning: leaving something alone, or to not interference with something.
A work of art, commonly a painting or sculpture; also a utilitarian object displayed for its aesthetic qualities.
Verve; flamboyance. To do something with panache, is to do that something with style.
“By excellence”: quintessential. The finest example of something.
A derivative work; an imitation; a cheap copy and paste job.
By or in itself or themselves; intrinsically. “It is not these facts per se that are important.”
The establishment of cordial relations, often used in diplomacy.
The most important reason or purpose for someone or something’s existence.
A quick retort in speech or action, or in fencing, a quick thrust after parrying a lunge.
“Head to head.” An intimate get-together or private conversation between two people.
Acknowledgment of an effective counterpoint; literally ‘touched’ or ‘hit!’
“Face to face [with].” In comparison with or in relation to; opposed to.
A complete reversal of opinion or position, about face.
More cultural and less academic:
Rear; buttocks; literally, one’s “behind.”
Dieu et mon droit
“God and my right.” Motto of the British Monarchy; appears on a scroll beneath the shield of the coat of arms of Great Britain.
A “terrible child.” A person who behaves in an unconventional or controversial way.
“Deadly woman”: an attractive woman who seduces and takes advantage of men for her personal goals, after which she discards or abandons them.
A genre of dark-themed movies from the 1940s onward that focus on stories of crime and immorality.
Ménage à trois
“Household for three”: a sexual arrangement between three people; a “threesome.”
Rebirth, a cultural movement in the 14-17th centuries.
Literally, “someone who sees.” Somebody who looks at someone without them knowing; a.k.a., a “peeping Tom.”