June 17, 2024


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French, but custard, English key, English condom…

French, but custard, English key, English condom…

The latest Bonbon sur la langue in DIY words caused a reaction, and it delighted Valérie from Gif-sur-Yvette in Essonne, who says he was surprised to find what we call the “English key” in Argentina. (Just because it was a Briton who discovered it in the early 19th century), it bears the name “lau franca” or “French key”. “I just saw on the Internet,” says a fan of Latin American instruments, that there is a “lav inglesa” (wrench). There is a subtle difference between the two that is beyond my ability!”, she admits.

Mine too! But, there are so many things like saying English… Hey, since it’s Sunday, let’s start with the delicious stuff: get the custard. She is said to be simply English as she was born across the channel. We can also think of beautiful English women – in the plural but without the capital letters; British women with a capital letter English women…

So which British? Well, a fashion that came from England in the 18th century, as Petit Robert defined them, has “long hair rolled into twirls.” But those in English are elegant letters in a beautiful old-fashioned script slanted to the right. Then, anything boiled or steamed is English to the French: English-style potatoes, for example, boiled potatoes. Later, I discovered that Anglaise is a tart cherry variety.

Going the English way… or the French way?

There is also the expression “filer à l’anglaise”, naturally: “to leave discreetly without taking leave”, which was coined in the 19th century. Surprisingly, the British say “to take French leave”, which means… “filer à la française”, imagine that! Well, I’m afraid we have to admit that this unpleasant behavior is ours, because in German, Portuguese, Spanish and even Greek we say “filer à la française”. Come on, it seems that in Italian, we say “filed the English way”. The competition is close… Friends of words, if you know other languages ​​where we say “filer à l’anglaise” or “filer à la française”, tell us and we’ll count the points to find out which side. Channel One is behaving very badly.

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Ah, well, the colloquial language also took the English adjective, with the famous English hood… We don’t know where or when condoms were actually invented, the English they say is that they came from us: they call them “French letters”. No doubt a tribute to our literature… In the meantime, I’ll go the English route, until next week!

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