poudre powder (cognate). Doublet with poussière (“dust”). English pulverize (“to crush into powder”) is from a French word related to poudre. See also poussière.
guérir to cure, to heal. Cognate with garrison. Originally guérir meant “to defend”. Curing a disease is likened to a garrison defending against enemy. Not to be confused with guère (“hardly”), guerre (“war”). This word is an -ir ending verb, while the other two do not have a verb ending.
péché sin. Cognate with the root of impeccable (“not having flaws or fault”), i.e. -pecca, with rare English words peccadillo, peccancy. Alternatively use a mnemonic such as “The sinful people have perished.” Not to be confused with pêche (“peach”; “fishing”). If you won’t be confused, you actually can use it as a mnemonic by imagining that the apple Adam and Eve ate was not an apple, but a peach.
piège trap (n.). piéger to trap. Cognate with pedestrian, pedal. The cognation is due to their common Latin source meaning “foot”, from which Spanish pie (“foot”) is also a descendant. A trap or snare catches one’s foot. Note the pronunciation of è is slightly more open than é.
paroi inner wall, partition. Cognate with parietal (“about wall”). As a mnemonic, consider English parapet (“low wall”), which is not a cognate.
boucle loop; buckle (fastening clasp) (cognate); ringlet. boucler to buckle (cognate). To remember the sense of “loop” or “ring”, think of how the belt is used; when you buckle it up, the belt partially forms a ring around your waist.
envoler to fly away. From en- + voler (“to fly”). The prefix en- may be related to Latin inde meaning “from there”. Alternatively, it could simply be an intensifier. Not to be confused with English involve (which would be concerner, nécessiter, or impliquer in French). See also voler.
effrayer to scare. effroi fright, terror. Cognate with afraid, with an outdated English word affray (“to scare”; “disturbance of peace”).
bougie candle; spark plug (bougie d'allumage, literally “candle of ignition”). From the name of the city Bougie (now Béjaïa) in Algeria, known for making candles. Use a mnemonic such as “The scary bogey was holding a candle when he came out of hell.” A bogey is a ghost or goblin.
minuit midnight. Prefix mi- is cognate with mid- but French final d (just like medial d) easily dropped. Nuit and night are cognates if traced to Proto-Indo-European. Not to be confused with minute, which as a unit of time is still spelled minute in French.
chauffer to warm, to heat. The first element is related to chaud (“hot”) and the second to faire (“to do”, “to make”). Not to be confused with the etymologically connected chauffeur (“driver”), which originally referred to a stoker or operator of a steam engine.
mousse foam, froth. Cognate with moss. Foam looks like the moss grass. This word has entered English vocabulary as a food especially chocolate mousse (mousse au chocolat in French). Not to be confused with English mouse (souris in French).
connerie bullshit; stupidity, stupid thing to do. Possibly cognate with con as in con-artist.
laid ugly. Cognate with loathsome (“repulsive”, “disgusting”), loath (“unwilling”, but originally “loathsome”) if traced to Proto-Germanic. But this etymology hardly helps. As a mnemonic, think of either a lad or a lady that is not so pretty.
beurre butter (cognate). From Latin butyrum, contracted to but’rum, and tr changed rr for easier pronunciation (just like that in Latin putrere “putrid” > French pourrir “to rot”). Alternatively, use a mnemonic such as “I like to eat Mexican burrito with butter.” or “You’ll burp a lot if you eat too much butter.” Not to be confused with bourrer (“to cram”).
encre ink (cognate). If you prefer a mnemonic instead, try “There’s encrypted text in this ink spot.”
entrevoir to catch a glimpse of, to see briefly or imperfectly. Imagine you see (voir) something only through a small gap between (entre-) two things.
canard duck; fake news, hoax. A duck’s quack sounds like this word. This word in its second sense has entered English vocabulary. This sense is said to be from vendre un canard à moitié (“to half-sell ducks”); the story goes, a guy sells duck at an unreasonably low price, but only for half of other sellers’ amount, which he indicates only in small text at the bottom of his sign. If the first sense is remembered, the second is easy since English quack can also mean both “duck’s sound” and “charlatan”.
cabane cabin (cognate).
tempe temple (anatomical part) (cognate). Note that temple as “building for worship” is still temple in French. Not to be confused with temporary (temporaire in French).
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