I've noticed many of my friends peppering their daily conversations with French words and phrases, sometimes unknowingly. I'm sure I do it too. C'est la vie.*
Though often mocked and intentionally mispronounced, the French phrase hors d'oeuvre is commonly used by Americans. Translated, hors d'oeuvres means small portions of food served as an appetizer or offered at a cocktail party. If an invitation says 'heavy hors d'oeuvres' you know the party will have plenty to eat but you won't get a sit-down meal.
Before leaving on a long trip you may hear the words bon voyage. Literally translated into the English language, this French phrase means 'good journey.' Bon voyage has been borrowed from the French and is often used by Americans to mean 'have a good trip'.
Déjà vu is the feeling of reliving a prior experience. It's a peculiar feeling of familiarity, though you are likely experiencing the event or circumstance for the first time. Déjà vu has become such a common term in the English language that it's hard to describe what it means without using the phrase déjà vu itself. Can you do it? Give it a try in the comments section.
Americans often use the French word merci or the French phrase merci beaucoup as a substitute for thank you. Merci translates to English as 'thank you' and the translation for merci beaucou' is 'thank you very much.'
The French phrase bon appétit is often said to one another before a meal. Bon appétit literally translates to 'good appetite' or 'hearty appetite'. Americans say bon appétit before eating as a way of saying 'enjoy your meal' or 'have a nice meal.'
*The literal translation for C'est la vie is 'it is life.' Many Americans use c'est la vie to mean 'that's life' or—if you want to use the Urban Dictionary as a reference—'oh well, $hit happens'.
Me: I can't believe I gained 3 pounds!
You: C'est la vie. Get over it.
Speaking of food (weren't we?!), I like my pie a la mode, s'il vous plait.