13 French terms for writers

Boost your writing game with a few ‘bon mots.’ Let these terms, founded from France’s language, inspire you.

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We use words such as art, establish, genre, liberty and perfect every day without realizing they derive from French.

Below are some French expressions related to writing and literature. How many of these can you work into your content? (Definitions from Wordnik and Oxford Dictionaries.)

1. Avant-garde— radically innovative or cutting-edge movements in art, music, or literature; a person or group of people who invent or promote new techniques, especially in the arts.

JRR Tolkien was an avant-garde figure in the genre of fantasy.

2. Belles-lettres —literary works that are valued for their aesthetic qualities, rather than their informative or educational content; light, stylish writings; literature regarded as a form of fine art; literally “fine letters.”

I’ve savored the belles-lettres of Patrick O’Brian five times.

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