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The meaning and origin of the expression: Savoir faire

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Savoir faire

Meaning

The instinctive ability to know how to deal with any situation that arises.

Origin

The literal translation from the French is 'know how'. It is first seen in English in the writing of that incorrigible coiner of phrase - Sir Walter Scott, Guy Mannering, 1815:

"He had great confidence in his own savoir faire."

See also - phrases coined by Sir Walter Scott.