A La Mode: What Is the Meaning of this Interesting Phrase?

A term you might hear very often in conversation or in writing might be “a la mode”. You have probably heard this phrase and maybe have wondered what exactly it means, or perhaps where it came from. Let’s take a look at the meaning behind the term and why we use it.

A La Mode

A La Mode Meaning

“A la mode” is a term used to describe something which is on trend or in style. However, it is also a term used in the United States to refer to something served with ice cream. These two meanings might seem to be totally opposite so it is important we learn the proper use of each meaning.

Origin of this idiom

“A la mode” is a term which comes from the French language. Looking back through history we can see that the phrase was one of the earliest French phrases to be incorporated into the English language way back in the 1600s. The use of the term to mean “served with ice cream” was introduced in the early 1900s.

“A La Mode” Examples

You would likely use this term in its first meaning to describe a person who is very stylish, or you may use it to talk about an item of clothing that is very fashionable. In its second meaning, you would use it to order a dessert with which you would like ice cream.

Example Sentences

  • Let me see…I’ll have an apple pie a la mode.
  • I got the nice apple pie with the ice cream top, a la mode.
  • Here is your pie a la mode, sir.
  • If I have one more pie a la mode…I’m going to need my own zip code.
  • We’ll get Papa to buy you something a little more a la mode.

Conversation Examples

The ways in which you would use the term a la mode might sound a little like the following conversations.

Conversation 1:

  • Person 1: Did you see what Alison was wearing to the party?
  • Person 2: Yes, that dress was beautiful.
  • Person 1: She looked very a la mode.

Conversation 2:

  • Waitress: Can I get you some dessert?
  • Customer: Yes I’d like some apple pie a la mode, please.

Other Ways to Say the Phrase

Other ways in which you might say “a la mode” could be:

  • On trend (for the meaning of fashionable)
  • With a scoop (for the meaning of served with ice cream)
  • Beautiful
  • Slick-fashioned

A La Mode Meaning | Image

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