- (RP) IPA: /ˌfɒls ˈfrɛnd/, /ˌfɔːls ˈfrɛnd/
- (US) IPA: /ˌfɑːls ˈfrɛnd, /ˌfɔːls ˈfrɛnd/
Audio (US) (file)
- (linguistics, idiomatic) A word in a foreign language that bears a deceptive resemblance to a word in one's own language, but has a different meaning.
- The French nous demandons means "we ask", but sounds like "we demand", which can turn negotiation into confrontation.
- The Spanish word embarazada means "pregnant", not "embarrassed" — "Estoy embarazada" means "I am pregnant", not "I am embarrassed".
- The German word will (want) is not a future tense marker — "Ich will gehen" means "I want to go", not "I will go".
- Same for Dutch and Afrikaans, "Ik wil gaan" and "Ek wil gaan" mean "I want to go".
- The Italian word triviale (vulgar) is written almost like trivial, but the two words share only a common Latin root (trivium in Latin means crossroad) and no longer any meaning; "Questo è triviale" means "This is in bad taste", not "This is obvious".
- The Danish word gift does not mean gift as in present, but can mean a verb form of to marry; Han er gift means He is married. The word for gift is gave, which is close to the past tense of the verb giver. If du gav en gave, you gave a gift. Likewise, if du gav en gift, you actually gave poison.
a word in one language that looks like a word in another language but has a different meaning