French Vocabulary: Jewelry and Accessories

The Easiest Language Lessons Are Ones You Can Practice Everyday

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A great beginner's lesson in French, the words used for jewelry and accessories are easy to master. You can even practice every time you put on a necklace or see a piece of jewelry on the people around you.

This French vocabulary lesson is very simple and if you practice the words daily, you should have no trouble committing them to memory. By the end of this lesson, you will learn the basic French words for common pieces of jewelry (bijoux) and accessories (accessoires) for both men and women.

You can also take comfort in the fact that many pieces of jewelry are almost identical in French and English. This is due to France's influence over the fashion industry and the fact that English likes to 'borrow' many French words and phrases. This means that you already know a few of these words and all you need to do is add a French accent.

Note: Many of the words below are linked to .wav files. Simply click on the link to listen to the pronunciation.

Types of Rings

Rings are a popular piece of jewelry and the French words are very easy. Once you learn that une bague means ring, you will often just add a modifier to further define it. The exception is the wedding ring (une alliance), but that's easy enough to remember. Just think of marriage as an 'alliance' (which it is).

  • Ring - une bague
  • Engagement ring - une bague de fiançailles
  • Friendship ring - une bague d'amitié
  • Diamond ring - une bague de diamant

Earrings and Necklaces

You will often wear a pair of earrings so it is useful to know the French for both the singular and the plural. They are very similar and a perfect example of how that transition is often made.

    The French word for a pendant is very similar to English and necklace is easy if you associate it with a collar.

    Wrist Jewelry

    Bracelet is one of the French words that migrated to the English language, so cross that one off your list right now! To describe a charm bracelet, the word for charm (breloques) is added to the end.

    A watch (une montre) is another piece of jewelry that you will want to know. By adding a descriptive word to the end, you can speak about specific types of watches.

    • Pocket watch - une montre de poche
    • Diver watch -  une montre de plongée
    • Military watch - une montre de miltaire
    • Lady's watch - une montre dame

    Men's Jewelry and Accessories

    Men enjoy a few specific accessories and these should be easy to memorize. 

    Clothing Accessories and Jewelry

    Even our clothes need a piece of jewelry or an accessory and these three words are easy additions to your French vocabulary.

    Hair and Head Accessories

    The English and French words for barrette are the same and ribbon is similar as well, so all you really have to memorize in these accessories is the French word for hat.

    Eyeglasses

    When you are speaking of glasses (des lunettes), you can add a descriptive word to the end to further define a style of glasses.

    Cold Weather Accessories

    When the temperature drops, we get an entirely new set of accessories. Within this entire lesson, this list of words may be the most difficult to memorize, but keep trying and you'll get it.

    Bags and Totes

    The common factor in these totes is the word sac (bag). The descriptive words, à main (by hand) and à dos  (a form of teenager) make perfect sense when the phrase comes together.

    You may have already learned the porte means door, but the porte found in these nouns refers to the verb porter (to carry).