a French idiom or expression used in another language, as Je ne sais quoi when used in English.
Gallicism has three related meanings in English: The first one is “a French phrase or idiom used in another language,” as when in English one says Je ne sais quoi, meaning “an indefinable, elusive quality” (literally, “I don’t know what”); the second meaning is “a feature characteristic of or peculiar to the French language”; and the third, “a custom or trait considered to be characteristically French.” Gallicism comes via French gallicisme from the Latin adjective Gallicus “pertaining to Gaul (modern France, roughly) or the Gauls.” Gallicism entered English just after the middle of the 17th century.
With regard to mise-en-scene, Mr. William Archer … raises the difficulty that if you represent the Gallicism by an Americanism and speak of “staging,” you are still in the difficulty that you cannot substitute a cognate word for metteur-en-scene.
True, she has cultivated a public persona that borders on self-parody, puffing on Marlboro Lights as she speaks, her conversation spiked with thorny Gallicisms. “C’est pas possible!” she will say of the scores of bloggers preening at Lincoln Center during Fashion Week.
the spirit of the time; general trend of thought or feeling characteristic of a particular period of time.
Zeitgeist, “the spirit of the time; general trend of thought or feeling characteristic of a particular period,” comes straight from German Zeitgeist. In German, the noun dates from the late 18th century; it is a compound of Zeit “time, age, epoch” (related to English tide, which waits for no man) and Geist “spirit, mind, intellect” (related to English ghost). The English translation of Zeitgeist as “Time-Spirit” appears in English in Carlyle’s Sartor Resartus (1834). Time-spirit still occurs in English publications, but nowadays zeitgeist, spelled without a capital z in English, is becoming common (in German all nouns are capitalized, e.g., Zeit, Geist, Butter “butter,” Milch “milk,” and Eier “eggs”). Capitalizing important words (not only nouns) was also formerly the custom in English, as in the preamble to our Declaration of Independence: “When in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another….” Zeitgeist entered English toward the middle of the 19th century.
Khan represents the zeitgeist at a time when politicians on the left and right say tech giants have too much power and half of Americans say they should be more regulated.
Likewise, board games and stuffed animals are a product of the Industrial Age. These objects taught kids to see themselves in ways that aligned with the zeitgeist of a particular time and place.
a mere wish, unaccompanied by an effort to obtain it.
Just the mere sound of velleity makes one loath to leave one’s hammock. A velleity is a mere wish, unaccompanied by an effort to obtain it, too weak even to be a desire, a perfect word for a July afternoon. Velleity comes from Medieval Latin velleitās (inflectional stem velleitāt-), a noun made up of the Latin verb velle “to be willing, want to” (from the same Proto-Indo-European source as English will) and the abstract noun suffix –itās, which via Old French –ité becomes the naturalized English suffix –ity. The odd thing about velleity is that its earlier occurrences, from the first half of the 17th century through the mid-18th, are in theological controversies, gradually yielding to philosophical arguments during the early 18th. Velleity entered English in the first half of the 17th century.
Kim felt a desire to sail the little boat. It was one of those desires doomed to remain a velleity.
To want to in that way is to have a desire without attaching it to any foreseeable action—desire without hope, I guess it is. I believe the word for that sort of desire is velleity.
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