false friend


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false friend

A phrase, word, or letter that sounds or looks similar to one in another language or dialect but has a significantly different meaning. I used the word "embarazada" to tell my Spanish friend I was embarrassed, not knowing that it was a false friend and actually means "pregnant"—now I'm even more embarrassed!
See also: false, friend
References in classic literature ?
You will tell him, my lord," resumed the queen, despairingly, "that I can do nothing; that I have suffered as much as himself -- more than he has -- obliged as I am to eat the bread of exile and to ask hospitality from false friends who smile at my tears; and as regards his royal person, he must sacrifice it generously and die like a king.
If the poor lad were living, and came to me and begged that I would candidly tell which were his true and which his false friends, why, perhaps, I should not hesitate.
Noureddin, much mortified, recognised too late that he had confided in false friends, who abandoned him in his hour of need.
3m and having no need of money, Bottomley became a false friend to fleece them of their money, which he used for holidays and his daughter's wedding.
The actress concerned, Mary Robinson, was also a noted poet and novelist, and it is her portrayal of a barely disguised Tarleton in The False Friend that summed up the man perfectly.
CALL MY AQUARIUS LINE TO HEAR MORE 0904 470 0731 A FALSE friend needs to be distanced from you before you become associated with them and their ways.
In the second half however, in which she bitchily insults a false friend and has a real humdinger of a row with the jealous Alceste, she reveals both power and poignancym," the BBC quoted Charles Spencer from the Daily Telegraph, as saying.
Hindsight, though, can be a false friend, and right now, with the lease more than half-way through, it is more important to look to the future of Liverpool's tourism information centres than pick over decisions that probably seemed right six or seven years ago.
I hope to show, with some precision, how that scene depicts Iago acting successfully as exactly the kind of false friend with whom Plutarch and so many others were so much concerned.
Only that--but it was enough to identify me as his false friend and, simultaneously, to make him feel the arrow of treachery pierce his side.
A false friend shows their true colours later tonight.
In the past it has been argued that Bess was a false friend who betrayed the Duchess.
But at times like that, one of the most difficult things with which to come to terms is to find that someone whom you have counted as a friend has proved to be a false friend and let you down badly.