How is the word `faux pas’ pronounced?

The `au’ in the first word is pronounced like the `oa’ in `coat’, `boat’, and `goat’; the following `x’ is silent. The `a’ in `pa’ is like `a’ in `cart’, `part’, and `dart’; the `s’ is silent. The main stress is on `pas’.

Faux pas comes from French, and it literally means `false step’. When you commit a faux pas you commit a social blunder. You violate certain accepted, though unwritten, social rule and in the process you end up doing something that is socially embarrassing. These unwritten rules vary from culture to culture.

For example, in India, it would be considered a faux pas to walk into someone’s kitchen or puja room with one’s shoes on. *The speaker apologised to the audience for his faux pas.

The word `faux’, which means false, is used quite frequently in the world of fashion and interior design. For example, people talk about `faux fur’ and `faux leather’ to mean `false fur’ and `false leather’. When someone says that he’s bought a `fauxlex’, what he means is that he has bought a `fake Rolex’!

Source: ‘Know Your English’ (The Hindu) – September 04, 2006.



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