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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 classic literature ?
Jane," says Pa Tuxton, "come with me, and leave this ruffian to himself.
Poor Pa," said Caddy, "only cried and said he hoped we might get on better than he and Ma had got on.
But her flash of happiness was only a flash, and went out again and left her spirit dark; for she said to herself, "He sole me down de river-- he can't feel for a body long; dis'll pass en go.
Quasimodo, motionless and attentive, beheld a throng of lively, dancing shadows pass athwart the many-colored painted panes.
With this address, which was delivered in her politest manner, Fanny left the room with an elegant and cheerful air--to tear up- stairs with a flushed face as soon as she was out of hearing, pounce in upon her sister, call her a little Dormouse, shake her for the better opening of her eyes, tell her what had passed below, and ask her what she thought of Pa now?
Frank here and I met in '84, in McQuire's camp, near the Rockies, where pa was working a claim.
I only came out to buy a few trifles, and brought but fifty dollars with me; and Pa insists on having no bills.