Have you ever had someone come back at you with a clever remark and not know how to respond? The French phrase touché is often used in English to acknowledge someone’s clever point. But what does touché mean? This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.
Touché is a French word that means “acknowledged” or “conceded.” It’s often used as a response to an opponent’s clever point in an argument. The word itself means ‘touched’ and originates from fencing, where if one hits their opponent, they would say touché.
The word is beautiful because it shows that people can have opposing viewpoints but still respect each other. All too often, arguments turn into shouting matches, but touché shows that it is possible to have a calm, constructive debate. In everyday conversation, people might say touché to mean ‘I hear what you’re saying or ‘you make a good point.’
- “Touché, you got me there.”
- “I didn’t think of it that way- touché.”
- “That was a low blow, but touché nonetheless.”
- “Touché,” he said with a smirk, “I see you’ve done your research.”
The exclamation touche is believed to have originated from the French word touché or la touche in 1902. Touché comes from the verb toucher, meaning “to hit.” The expression has since been used more broadly to acknowledge a clever or witty remark.
The term “touché” is derived from a fencing move called the riposte. A riposte is a quick thrust made by a fencer following a parry (defensive move) by their opponent. When one fencer uses the riposte to score a point against the other, they shout “touché” as an exclamation indicating that they have been successful.
Phrases Similar to TOUCHE
Many phrases in English have a similar meaning to touché. Here are some examples:
- “I see your point” means I understand what you are saying.
- “You got me there.” which means you have defeated me with your logic.
- “Well played.” which means that was a clever move.
- “Good one.” which means that was a witty remark.
Phrases Opposite to TOUCHE
- “I don’t see your point.” which means I don’t understand what you are saying.
- “I’m not convinced.” which means I still don’t agree with you.
- “You missed the point.” which means you didn’t understand what I was saying.
- “That’s not the point” which is irrelevant to the discussion.
What is The Correct Saying?
The correct phrase is “touché.” The right way to say touché is “tou-SHAY.” However, some people incorrectly say “tou-CHAY.”
Ways People May Incorrectly Say TOUCHE
It is essential to note some incorrect ways to phrase this question. For example, “Touchy” is a common misspelling of touché. Both have different meanings. Touchy means easily offended or feeling overly sensitive. It can be used as both an adjective and a noun. For example, “He’s very touchy about his weight” and “She’s such a touchy.”
- I knew we were thinking the same thing, touché my friend, touché.
- There is nothing better than always being on the same page mentally, touché to you.
- He is very touché when he meets new people, its rather creepy.
Acceptable Ways to Phrase TOUCHE
The phrase touché can be used in both formal and informal settings. However, because it is a bit of a foreign concept, you may want to avoid using it in casual conversations with friends or family. Stick to using touché in more formal situations, such as business meetings or academic discussions.
For example, “Touché, you got me” or “That was a low blow, touché.” The phrase can be used to agree with someone, concede defeat, or show that you appreciate someone’s clever point.
The phrase can be used sarcastically as well. For example, “Yeah, touché on that one” can be said in a sarcastic tone to show that you disagree with the person.