5 French Things That Are Not Actually From France After All

Flickr and Wikimedia Commons

There are certain words that begin with the word “French” that aren’t actually from France at all. You might have heard that french fries aren’t really from France, but there are a few other words that don’t quite match up to their origin. Here are some other “French” things that aren’t actually French.

How many of these “French” things did you think originated in France? Which of these were a huge surprise to you?


1. French kissing

french kissing
Wikimedia Commons

Paris is often known as the city of love, but they did not coin this term that describes passionate kissing. It was first called a “Florentine Kiss.” After World War I, British and American soldiers witnessed the passionate ways of the French and would greet their wives or girlfriends in the same way when they returned home. So, at least the French did inspire this one and that is why they call it French kissing.

2. French bulldog

french bulldog

These adorable little dogs go back to early England. Lace makers loved the small dogs and would let them sit on their laps to warm themselves up. When the lace industry moved from England to France, the dogs came with them and they came up with their name.


3. French manicure

french manicure
Wikimedia Commons

The French manicure, a classy look for your nails, was actually invented in America. American makeup artist Jeff Pink came up with the look of using light pink or nude on the entire nail and white polish on the tips of the nails. Apparently, people from Paris fell in love with this nail style so he decided to name it a French manicure.

4. French toast

french toast

You might love this bread and egg concoction, but it wasn’t actually started in France. It goes back all the way to the Roman Empire in the early 5th century AD. Then it was called Pan Dulcis. The French often call it “pain perdu,” which means “lost bread,” but Americans have coined it French toast.

5. French dressing

french dressing

Another food item that was not started in France. If you were to order French dressing in France, you’d likely get “la vinaigrette”, made up of vinegar, oil, and mustard. The French dressing you are used to that is red was made in America in the 1950s. They added paprika and tomatoes, giving it that red or orange hue.

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