French Lessons

Topics

"Un Briefing" on English Loanwords in French

Just as English contains a large number of French loanwords, you’ll also find a good deal of anglicismes in French. In this lesson, we’ll focus on a specific group of English loanwords to French, all ending in -ing.

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

Like most loanwords, many of these -ing words have the same meaning in both languages, such as un meeting (a meeting), le marketing (marketing), un kidnapping (a kidnapping), le baby-sitting (babysitting), le shopping (shopping), and le jogging (jogging):

Elle fait son jogging sur la banquise.

She’s out jogging on the ice field.

Cap. 40, Les zooriginaux: Léa jacta est - Part 3 

There are quite a few -ing words related to sports or other physical activities, including le footing (jogging), le bowling (bowling or bowling alley), le stretching (stretching), le karting (go-karting), le body-building (body-building), and le camping (camping or campsite). In case you haven't noticed, these -ing loanwords are always masculine, so you won't have to worry about gender here!       

Sometimes, these words have slightly different meanings from their English counterparts. Le parking, for example, doesn’t mean "parking," but "parking lot," like the one that was formerly the site of a beautiful hotel near the castle of Fontainebleau:            

Aujourd’hui, derrière, malheureusement, il ne reste plus qu’un parking.

Today, behind it, unfortunately, all that’s left is a parking lot.

Cap. 23, Voyage en France: Fontainebleau 

(The parking lot probably takes away from the splendor of Fontainebleau, but who knows—maybe someone will find a king buried beneath it, as Richard III was found in England.)

A fair number of French -ing words deal with beauty and grooming, such as the two hair-related words le shampooing (shampoo) and un brushing (a blow-out). Note that while most -ing loanwords sound very similar to the English, shampooing sounds completely different (it rhymes with poing, "fist"). You can hear the difference in these captions:

Ici le shampooing, le savon de corps et le savon menthe.

Here the shampoo, the body soap, and the mint soap.

Cap. 28, Visiter un yacht: Visite du yacht

Les brushings des serveuses se répandent

The waitresses’ blow-outs spread

Cap. 31, Boulbar: Motor Hotel

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

On the more extreme side of cosmetic -ing words, there’s un relooking (a makeover) and un lifting (a facelift). Of course, for your relooking, if you don't want to go all the way with a lifting, you could just get un peeling (a facial peel). And for proper grooming before a black tie affair, it’s always good to make sure one’s smoking (tuxedo) is perfectly clean:  

Il y a du chewing-gum sur mon smoking, donc je dois l’apporter au pressing avant la fête.  

There’s gum on my tuxedo, so I have to bring it to the dry cleaner’s before the party.

And don't forget that if you ever get du chewing-gum in your hair, you can wash it out with du shampooing!  

Keep on the lookout for some other -ing anglicismes in your Yabla French studies and see how similar or different their meanings are to their English source words. You can use this helpful WordReference forum thread as a guide.  

Vocabulary

You May Also Like