6 Foreign Expressions You Should Know
1. De Facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means “actual” (if used as an adjective) or “in practice” (if used as an adverb). In legal terms, de facto is commonly used in contrast to de jure, which means “by law.” Something, therefore, can emerge either de facto (by practice) or de jure (by law).
The literal meaning of this French expression is “face to face” (used as an adverb). It is used more widely as a preposition though, meaning “compared with” or “in relation to.”
3. Status quo
This famous Latin expression means “the current or existing state of affairs.” If something changes the status quo, it is changing the way things presently are.
This expression was originated in England by French-speaking aristocrats. Literally it means “bottom of a sack,” but generally it refers to a dead-end street. Cul-de-sac can also be used metaphorically to express an action that leads to nowhere or an impasse.
5. Per se
Per se is a Latin expression that means “by itself” or “intrinsically.”
6. Ad hoc
Ad hoc, borrowed from the Latin, can be used both as an adjective, where it means “formed or created with a specific purpose,” and as an adverb, where it means “for the specific purpose or situation.”
by Daniel Scocco