Definition of Gallicism in English:



  • A French idiom, especially one adopted by speakers of another language.

    • ‘All you have to do is concentrate on the subject, make sure that you don't skip a line, don't change a number (watch out for those subscripts!) and don't use too many Gallicisms, Germanism, Czechisms, Nipponisms, or whatever ism is applicable to your language.’
    • ‘The term ‘finance’ originated with the Old French finer (to end or settle, applied to indebtedness) and crept into other Romance languages as a Gallicism and into English via the Middle English ‘finance.’’
    • ‘I suppose it is a bit redundant since that is the nature of a Gallicism, but I suppose there are worse sins to commit when writing.’
    • ‘The putting the adjective after the noun is an inexcusable Gallicism, but the putting the preposition after the noun is not only not a Gallicism, but is alien to all languages, and in opposition to all the principles of language.’
    • ‘‘Terroir’ it is not an affected Gallicism, but a word that well comprises the whole body of meanings related to waters.’
    • ‘One of the reasons given by Sprache in ‘der Politik’ for replacing Anglo-Americanisms with Gallicisms is that German already has lots of French words that could be used more often.’
    • ‘This work is full of things better left unsaid: hackneyed phrases, idioms battered into senselessness, infuriating Gallicisms, once-familiar quotations and tags from the ancient classics.’
    • ‘Even if ‘a gas’ should be avoided as Gallicism, it's the best option for the reader in order to avoid confusion.’
    • ‘To the left we notice the traditional stool, called in Valezan ‘tabuart’ (a curious Gallicism) which differs by the actual only because it has three legs instead of four.’
    • ‘Her schooling is unknown but, adept at written English, she sometimes wrote in an educated, copperplate hand and her works were sprinkled with Gallicisms and Latin tags.’
    • ‘Join us to delight in identifying the je ne sais quoi that brands texts as translations, examine regularly occurring Gallicisms that lurk in many translated texts, and learn the joy of conquering over-proliferation of the dreaded ‘of’ and ‘the.’’
    • ‘Well may he be said to follow the French Translator blindly; and less is the wonder that he adopts his Gallicisms where he happens to understand him.’


Mid 17th century: from French gallicisme, from Latin Gallicus (see Gallic).