a faux pas

faux pas

An embarrassing blunder or breach of proper etiquette, often made in front of other people. Daria didn't realize she had made such a faux pas when she went to use her salad fork to eat the main course.
See also: faux, pas

(make/commit) a ˌfaux ˈpas

(from French) an action or a remark that causes embarrassment because it is not socially correct: I immediately made a faux pas when I forgot to take my shoes off before I went into the house.They were kind enough to overlook my faux pas and continued as if nothing had happened.
The meaning of the French expression is ‘wrong step’.
See also: faux, pas
References in periodicals archive ?
In other words, there is no such thing as a faux pas.
At least one of the two people involved in each session, one feels, must somehow have been c ommitting a faux pas just by being there, since the ethics of the artist-critic relationship predude not only having the body of the artist in view instead of the body of work but also any active participation by the critic in the artist's studio process (the disdain meted out in certain cirdes to the Color Field painters could be summed up in the charge that they let Clem tell them where to crop their paintings).
Carlos has built her theme on a foundation of national stereotypes and behavioral cliches, most of which more or less hold until she characterizes Australia as the "only true southern continent"--something of a faux pas in a colonized country anxious to get out from (down) under its peripheral relation to Europe and America.
Samples of Vice's priceless commentaries that skewer the fashion-challenged: The woman in the for is dubbed the "mind-blowingly hot" mistress of a dead Italian, while the young man is presumed a French Canadian whose "huge women's earrings" are a faux pas surpassed only by his mom's "biker shorts,"