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It is a four letter word that is seen everywhere and considered a normal part of any party or celebration process. RSVP by this date. So we can know who is coming. RSVP...Hmmm ok. I will RSVP for your party. Yes or no you need to tell your friend you can make it to their amazing beach party or wedding. Without even researching the meaning of RSVP I worked out that it probably means to give notification about whether you can make it :) But those four letters became the be all and end all. What four letters are more recognised in the world. Without being rude, I can't think of any other four letter word or acronyms or backronyms (you know what these are?) off the top of my head.
French words have made an indelible impact in the English language. Laissez-faire, Ménage à trois (Ooh la la!), Chauffeur, Déjà vu, Bon appétit, Omelette, Fiancé, and Bouquet to name a few. Répondez s’il vous plaît is also one of these and this will be more familiar to you as RSVP. This is meaning of RSVP and the French want you to respond when they say this and English speakers will avoid the French altogether and go will that four string of letters RSVP.
RSVP was first sighted in the English language in the early 19th century and an example was seen in this book by Mrs William Parkes (Frances Byerley Parkes) written in 1825, which was a guide for newly married women on running a household and other duties.
If you were always too embarrassed to ask for the RSVP meaning then don't feel too bad because back in 1816 a French writer was analysing the use of RSVP in Britain, the elites (Knights, Lords and Ladies) as a custom would put these four letters at the bottom of their invitations. Some of these elites would ignore the word RSVP because they had no idea what it meant! This French writer noted a Knight's wife who asked what these annoying capitals were. She asked her husband what it meant and he had no idea, the husband asked his son who was college educated and he didn't know. There was luckily a lady in the circle of the family who managed to explain that this was in fact the initials of four French words 'Répondez s’il vous plaît'.
People guessing the meaning of RSVP has been far too common over the years and it will continue. With the help of Google we don't have to guess anymore....but where is the fun in that?