“Touché”: Meaning of the French term

Deepak Gupta January 9, 2022
Updated 2022/01/09 at 10:48 AM

Touché“: How should I interpret that? This word comes up in some conversations, but if you then type the term into the Google translator, it usually leads to even more confusion. In this article we will explain what is behind the word, what different meanings it has in which contexts and how you use it.

“Touché”: used in the French language

As already mentioned, the word “Touché” comes from the French language and is translated as “to touch”. The adjective “touchée”, which stands for “touched”, is derived from this. The word “touchés” for “affected” is also pronounced at the same time. So if you ever travel to France and need a word for “touch”, you can definitely use “Touché”.

Two examples:
“Le film m’a touché.” Means in German “The film touched me.”

As in the German language, physical contact can also be meant.
“Elle a touché ma main et a regardé profondément dans mes yeux.” Means in German “She touched my hand and looked deep into my eyes.”

Occurrence in international usage

Even if “Touché” is a conventional verb at first glance, it usually doesn’t make sense in the German context. This is because the actual meaning of the word expanded over the centuries. As reported by Netzwelt, “Touché” has been established in sport since the end of the 19th century. This made sense especially in fencing, as this is about touching the opponent.

Since then, the word has slowly been associated not only with touch, but also with a kind of “victory hit”. Over the years the word has therefore also been used when someone brings up a good argument in a debate and thus “wins”.

Using “Touché”: a few examples

Admittedly, a “touché” has a more intellectual effect in a discussion, which is why it can be used every now and then. We have two different examples ready so that nobody is unsure how to use it.

Judith: “A vegetarian diet should protect the climate, but the rainforest is being cut down because of all the soy products.”
Mohammed: “The rainforest is actually being cleared for soy plantations, but 98 percent of the yield is used as animal feed and only two percent is used as food for humans.”
Judith: “Touché.”

But the term can also stand for a good counterattack in a much more humorous way, as in the following example:

Mohammed: “I think that LED lights would look really good in the closet.”
Judith: “Maybe you should be able to step into your booth first.”
Mohammed: “Touché.”

If you are still confused by a few words and anglicisms, we have also explained “LMAO”, “sus”, “idk” and “afk”.

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