French Things That Aren’t French


It almost seems as if the French invented everything. From food to fashion to lifestyle, every important aspect of life seems to have at least a few things that are labeled as “French”. But here’s a few French-labeled things that aren’t French at all.



French Kissing
Let’s start you off with the biggest shock: French kissing was first written in the Kama Sutra, which was before the country of France even existed. The name happened because Americans first got kisses like that in France, and being the cultured masterminds that they are, they decided to call them French kisses.



French Toast
Yet another thing that was invented before France. French toast is actually an original recipe from ancient Roman culture, and it was – again – called French toast by the Americans because the modern variant was invented by a New York innkeeper named Joseph French.

French Manicure
I’ll keep this short: it was invented by Americans and called “French” for no good reason other than they did nails like that before sending their models on the runway in Paris.



French Horn
While this one isn’t to blame on the Americans, it’s to blame on the British a good 300 years ago. While the French horn was designed by Germans, the British found the design so complex they decided to call it French. Yup. That’s how quickly that went wrong.

French Braid
Guess what? This one is about as old as hair itself, dating back to the Sung dynasty in China, ancient Greece and even ancient Africa. But yes, an American magazine decided to call it a French braid one day.



The Beret
Surely this is French, right? Well, no. It was actually invented by none other than Noah, who saved creation from extinction by saving two of each species. Anyone will tell you that two is plenty to repopulate. The French did make the beret very popular, though.

French Fries
Surely by now everyone knows fries were invented by the Belgian people who also gave us good stuff like waffles, chocolate and the best beer you’ll ever drink. And guess who caused this confusion: Americans traveling to Belgium in World War I. They ate fries and Belgians spoke French, so they were French fries ever since.

French Dressing
While it’s true origins are unknown, we do know one thing. Like most other items on this list, French dressing isn’t French and was called “French” by Americans. French dressing is probably very hard to find in France.



French Twist
Well what do you know? The French twist has been around since ancient Greece, and it was called French by either the British or the Americans. At least they’re consistent.

The Croissant
The croissant, while extremely popular in France, is actually an Austrian invention. It was primarily sold by expensive Viennese bakeries in Paris, which is why the pastry is often associated with France instead of its actual country of origin.