Before leaving the world of foreign “au-” phrases, I just had to mention three that aren’t French.
The first is the German “auf Wiedersehen,” which is the same type of farewell phrase as “au revoir.” It basically means “until we see each other again.”
And what would New Year’s celebrations be without “auld lang syne”? In Scottish, it’s literally “old long since.” We use it to convey “old times; the good old days (of one’s youth, etc.)” Happy new year?
Finally, a bit of unsavory history. “Auto-da-fe,” literally “act of the faith” in Portuguese, was “the public ceremony in which the Inquisition pronounced judgment and passed sentence on those tried as heretics.”
It also was the name given to “the execution by the secular power of the sentence thus passed; especially, the burning of a heretic.”
In this case, the “auto” portion was derived from the Latin “actus” — “a doing or moving.”
In most “auto” terms, the root is the Greek “autos,” or “self.” I’ll begin driving through the “autos” next time.