Difference between revisions of "Talk:French words in English/Catalogs"

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http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/capriole [[User:Hayford Peirce|Hayford Peirce]] 17:26, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/capriole [[User:Hayford Peirce|Hayford Peirce]] 17:26, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
:Can't find it in contemporary French, no. [[User:Ro Thorpe|Ro Thorpe]] 02:23, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

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Oh, this is fine. Did you work it out for yourself, Hayford? Ro Thorpe 15:50, 2 May 2008 (CDT)

I wuz channelling Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Albert Einstein the whole time. With a couple of hints from Isaac Newton. Made it easy, hehe.... Hayford Peirce 16:14, 2 May 2008 (CDT)

I'm most impressed by you all. Ro Thorpe 17:16, 2 May 2008 (CDT)

It is nothing. I can see farther because I stand on the shoulders of giants. Or some such. Hehe.... Hayford Peirce 17:30, 2 May 2008 (CDT)


Neither of the "amuse" are in the MW but I see them all the time in the foodie articles of the NYT, Cook Illustrated, etc., so they're certain au courant.... Hayford Peirce 15:05, 7 May 2008 (CDT)

zest vs. zeste

I'm thinkin' here of the lemon/orange peel stuff, but evidently the "zest for life etc." originated with the peel word. But the spellings, at least in English, are confusing, to say the least.... Whaddaya think? Hayford Peirce 23:22, 7 May 2008 (CDT)

I confess I had never heard of 'zeste' & I suspect it's a specialist foodie word, being absent (except for the etymology) not only from my Oxford but also (wait for it..) from Merriam-Webster online! Ro Thorpe 10:59, 8 May 2008 (CDT)
Probably exclusively a foodie word, then. It won't make the cut, hehe.... ("Cela ne vaut pas un zeste" -- "It is not worth a straw" [Harrap's New Collegiate French and English Dictionary]) Hayford Peirce 11:20, 8 May 2008 (CDT)

don't get fresh with me, young man!

I'd say that it's probably just pure dumb 'Merkin luck. It *looks* sorta like "fresh", so why not say it that way? I gotta say, that 51 and a half years after taking my first French class, I still get confused about "frais", "fraiche", "frais de bois" and "lay frez eh lay from boize". Why is life (la vie francaise) so complique?

Well, I put the more purist français one in as well. My first French class was in 1961, I make that 47 years ago. We were taught by a northerner known as Bug. Toto ouvre la pot, he taught us to say, so for a few weeks I thought that doors were pots in French. Ro Thorpe 15:58, 10 May 2008 (CDT)

duvet, retroussee, par excellence... Ro Thorpe 11:14, 15 May 2008 (CDT), nougat, caramel... Ro Thorpe 16:06, 16 May 2008 (CDT) - oxford says rapporteur's from fr., but either way, i have no problem with it - Ro Thorpe 17:48, 16 May 2008 (CDT)

Okie, I'll stick it in, then.... Hayford Peirce 17:50, 16 May 2008 (CDT)

i see you've put the others in too, tres bien - Ro Thorpe 17:54, 16 May 2008 (CDT)

oxford says oenophile is direct from greek, no mention of french, but on the same page in italics is oeillade - Ro Thorpe 12:11, 17 May 2008 (CDT)

MW says "oenophile" is from F, which in turn was from G. It has "oeillade" but says it is from MF. Didn't Willie the Shake use it somewhere? I'll let you figger out what to do about the two words -- here in Tux'n it's only 10:16 in the morn, far too early for me to put my brain to work.... Hayford Peirce 12:17, 17 May 2008 (CDT)

you'd never find me up at such an arctic hour. yes, mw online has oe- joined together -nophile, which is emphatically le style français, so let them both passer partout. meanwhile i've asked conway to send his recently updated list in forwardable form - Ro Thorpe 13:34, 17 May 2008 (CDT)

Is that Conway Twitty? I thought he had died, poor guy.... Maybe from a surfeit of Loretta Lynn? Hayford Peirce 13:38, 17 May 2008 (CDT)

i imagined he was named after mr twitty, tho perhaps 'twas only make-believe -

well, I imagine that in any case he has excellent, tight-fitting genes.... Hayford Peirce 14:13, 17 May 2008 (CDT)

genes vincents, no doubt - Ro Thorpe 14:25, 17 May 2008 (CDT)

missing note

was the one on the french talk page - but you've seen that. thanks for yours. i've had a look at my contributions, + there's a little bit for every day. i've also been listening to the cricket + playing chess - i'm a very average player, but it means a lot of staring at the screen without moving... ah, i see i'm typing on the french page - i'll see if i can't alert you more successfully this time. Ro Thorpe 09:16, 20 May 2008 (CDT)

96 possible new words to consider

words in italics are to be considered but have not yet been entered
words in bold are clearly appropriate and have been entered
words in strike-through text have been considered but not entered
adieu attaché au revoir avenue avoirdupois badinage bagatelle baroque barque barrage beige beret bezique bourgeois buffet bureau burlesque cadet cagoules ? carousel cerise chalet chassis cheque chic cigarette clique college [?] colporteur [check] conduit cravat [?] crèche cretin [?] crevasse crevice dame denouement depot eau de nil encore euchre faux ami faux pas figurine ? grille grotesque guillemot hotel ? image ? j’adoube latrine layette lieu macabre madeleine malice mangetout margarine ? marmalade marionette massage mauve misère ouvert moquette mosaic ? moustache nuance panache papillon parapet parole patois pipette police précis promenade puce queue reservoir restaurant roux sage salon sardine savant serviette silhouette solitaire suede suite tambourine torque unique urine ? velocipede ? vignette village ? Hayford Peirce 17:49, 21 May 2008 (CDT)

we certainly don't need all of those, but there are plenty of good ones - Ro Thorpe 18:02, 21 May 2008 (CDT)

I suggest we apply our standard test -- is it in either MW or Concise Oxford? The tricky ones are "hotel", "village" etc., the ones that probably *do* come from the French but are so commonly in English use that they're really not exotic-sounding.... Hayford Peirce 18:25, 21 May 2008 (CDT)
I added attache and au revoir. The 3 other A's, adieu, avenue, and avoirdupois are all either ME from AF or MF. So I didn't put them in -- this is a can of worms. Add them if you like.... (By the way, I put in BOLD the 5 words on the list that I considered so that we know where we are in working our way through the list.) Hayford Peirce 11:46, 22 May 2008 (CDT)

yes, that's fine. + thanks for email, reply to follow - Ro Thorpe 13:03, 22 May 2008 (CDT)

You mean, "Aux quais!" not the banal OK, hehe.... Hayford Peirce 13:21, 22 May 2008 (CDT)


yes, mw online has a good discussion, but i don't recall hearing any other than the italian pron. ah, yes, ox. gives the silent e pron as american - Ro Thorpe 08:22, 23 May 2008 (CDT)

It's not a word that my low-class circle of friends use very frequently, hehe. I think, on the rare occasions that I have heard it, it's been either way, "fort" or "for-tay", probably "fort" being more frequent. Hayford Peirce 10:35, 23 May 2008 (CDT)

ok. it's also the name of a coffee house chain in britain, i think. pointillisme occurred to me but ox. has it anglicised, sans e. Ro Thorpe 11:16, 23 May 2008 (CDT)

middle French

I think I'm gonna have to change my mind on the exclusion of Middle French words that came over. For instance, "avoirdupoid" is clearly, obviously, 100% French in origin (if one knows any French), so it seems foolish to exclude it simply because it came into English a couple of hundred years before Modern French existed. I've just been checking out MW and "bourgeois" is also MF. It would be nuts to exclude "bourgeois" but to include "bourgeoisie" because the former is MF and the latter is F. What do you think? Hayford Peirce 11:33, 23 May 2008 (CDT)

'a strange or little-known pronunciation' i wrote in the intro, +, yes, i'm quite happy to be inclusive. i can imagine my 11-year-old self protesting 'but isn't ~n'importe quoi bien connu~ a french word~ ... Ro Thorpe 12:06, 23 May 2008 (CDT)

Okie, I'll try to put back in all the MF words that I've excluded up to now. Your son is getting a good education, learning all the important stuff. One of my daughters in Tahiti is always sending me junk videos that she and her faineante friends spend their time at work finding on the Internet. Most times I just reply: "N'importe quoi!" Hayford Peirce 12:41, 23 May 2008 (CDT)

that's fine. what about card games, like bezique, piquet~ Ro Thorpe 10:56, 24 May 2008 (CDT)

If they're in MW or your COD, and identified as French, den dey is in like Flynn. Some French words, almost on the same subject, for instance, come from names, such as silhouette.... Hayford Peirce 11:11, 24 May 2008 (CDT)

yes, they're both in oxford as french - Ro Thorpe 14:31, 24 May 2008 (CDT)

stay tuned at this same station -- I'm working my way down the list from the start, 5 or so per day -- I'll get to 'em.... Hayford Peirce 14:33, 24 May 2008 (CDT)

i say, commendably thorough, old chap - Ro Thorpe 17:38, 24 May 2008 (CDT)

Yus, I change into my evening clothes before doing them, doncha know?

no bullets, please

for each letter - that opens up a huge white space. commas will do fine - Ro Thorpe 17:43, 24 May 2008 (CDT)

To hear is to obey, Milord! Actually, I'm staggered that it is so easily done -- Noel had given me some formatting suggestions on my talk page and they were *vastly* more complicated. But why don't you take a look at them anyhow.... Hayford Peirce 18:00, 24 May 2008 (CDT) - i saw that, no comprenay nada...
Or a " - ". Dunno why I didn't think of something simple like that! J. Noel Chiappa 18:36, 24 May 2008 (CDT)
Sometimes we gotta stand on the shoulders of dwarfs, hehe, instead of giants.... Hayford Peirce 18:47, 24 May 2008 (CDT)

it looks very nice comme ça - Ro Thorpe 13:21, 25 May 2008 (CDT)

Learn to spell, myte! It's comma ça, hehe.... Hayford Peirce 13:44, 25 May 2008 (CDT)

vachement drole...have we got that one~ Ro Thorpe 15:55, 25 May 2008 (CDT)

their speeks thawrpe the speling xpert - Ro Thorpe 18:22, 25 May 2008 (CDT)

Just as long as you can order ghoti for dinner.... Hayford Peirce 18:57, 25 May 2008 (CDT)

chynese tonite, prorns, mmm... Ro Thorpe 11:17, 26 May 2008 (CDT)

Todye is Mammarial Day -- I'm gonna make a special burger plus finish off some Corn Off The Cob In Brown Butter that I made a couple of nights ago. A change from the standard boiled or roasted corn that is standard 'Merkin fare on summer holidays. (George Jones *always* sings "memory" as if it's "mammary" -- I wonder what his relationship was with his mamma, always a major topic in Country songs. I particularly like his take of the line, "If drinkin' don't get me, your mammary will....") Cheers! Hayford Peirce 12:11, 26 May 2008 (CDT)

hey hay, happy holiday, cheers to you, bom apetite - which rhymes with 'teat' - Ro Thorpe 12:18, 26 May 2008 (CDT)

Welsh rabbit.... Hayford Peirce 12:49, 26 May 2008 (CDT)

Exception case?

Can "French" be considered a French word in English?

No, I don't think "Le mot de Cambronne" is an ideal response.

Howard C. Berkowitz 16:31, 26 May 2008 (CDT)

Depends on the circumstances, I would say. I wonder if, in France, there are any people whose surnames are "Anglais" or "Francais"? Or even "Etats Unis de l'Amerique"? Hayford Peirce 16:35, 26 May 2008 (CDT)


i put it in, but am not surprised you didn't see it - Ro Thorpe 09:34, 30 May 2008 (CDT)

monsieur l'artiste, a character by one of my favorite cartoonists, the guardian's steve bell. now, m. éffourde - he talks like that - could you also format the lone soldier, please. i'm getting quite adept at this 1-armed business + may even tackle some prons soon... Ro Thorpe 16:26, 31 May 2008 (CDT)

sorry, didn't understand what you meant. Are you going to move to Vegas and become a one-armed bandit? Hayford Peirce 17:10, 31 May 2008 (CDT)

shay derve

I shay, ol' shap, do Brits *truly* pronounce the "F"? MW and most 'Merkins, I think, juss shay "shay", if as they had been guzzlin' a lot of my mai tais firsh.... Hayford Peirce 13:02, 7 June 2008 (CDT)

such a long time since i heard anyone say it at all. to judge from the yoof on beeb, sky, they probably would nowadays (trying to remember a particularly egregious french spelpron the other night), but of course i'll keep to tradition + alter it - Ro Thorpe 13:51, 7 June 2008 (CDT)

depths vs. deeps

I don't think any 'Merkin except perhaps the most terminally affected says "Depp-oh" instead of "Deep-oh". Trust me here.... Hayford Peirce 17:00, 11 June 2008 (CDT)

oh, i always trust you. that's a good one for the other place, then. Ro Thorpe 18:29, 11 June 2008 (CDT)

faute de mieux

It's either foe-tooey or foe-till, if I can decypher my MW correctly. Geez, it's hard enough to say correctly in French, who wants to say it in English?

indeed, same in online version - well, i'll go with the first, as i was thinking of 'foe toy' - Ro Thorpe 10:03, 21 June 2008 (CDT)

i was wondering if you could have a go at putting in the pronunciations. i still have to rest this left arm, and eva is going to take me to the doc to see if it can be fixed now that school is out (as they say in the usa). there's a huge backlog, and it's really hard with only one arm - of course i'll handle the accents, if you could just put in a few letters, it'd motivate me. merci, patron - Ro Thorpe 18:03, 23 June 2008 (CDT)

Sorry, myte, I would if I could, but what you're doing is purely Rooshian to me -- or mebbe worse, Chinese.... Don't have a clue as to what it all means! Sorry to hear that the arm isn't improving - why not get a bionic one and type 10,000 words per minute afterwards! I'm sure I've encountered it in the gazillion Brit novels I've read, but what is the equivalent of "school is out"? Go down for the summer term or some such? Hey -- GET WELL! I just made a big shaker of mai tais for drinking after my walk (in 103-degree heat yet!) later on and I will dedicate that shaker to your well-being! By the way, that reminds me: "rusticated".... Hayford Peirce 18:35, 23 June 2008 (CDT)

in my day we used to talk of 'breaking up for the holidays', although i don't know if that is still current. - okay, i'll keep doing those pronunciations - someone who understands them might come along eventually. thanks for the dedidation, enjoy your mai tais. chinese night tonight... Ro Thorpe 10:41, 24 June 2008 (CDT) - now it occurs to me that it'd help a lot if you could simply copy the word to the other column...

You mean enter the word twice, once in each column? I can sure do that. And go back and take any existing words and copy them into the next (blank) column? That I can also do.... Hayford Peirce 11:16, 24 June 2008 (CDT)

Great - oh, look, i typed a capital, am i improving? yes, that'll be fine, just let me know which ones need modifying, as i might otherwise miss... Ro Thorpe 12:37, 24 June 2008 (CDT)

hey, tambourine man!

"Tambourine" comes from MF "tambourin" -- but does not exist in that precise form in modern French, nor, apparently, in MF. So whadda we do? Hayford Peirce 12:58, 25 June 2008 (CDT)

we leave it out. you might - just might - want to start a section for this and similarly derived words, but i'd say we have an obligation only to include bona fide french words in our selection, n'est-ce pas? Ro Thorpe 14:45, 25 June 2008 (CDT) - and thanks for the duplicates - a great help.
No hoohah, cobber. I think that there at least a couple of other words like tambourine, which are *very* close to the original French but not 100% so. If I have the strength of character, I'll try to track them down. But I think starting another section for words like this would be a true lexicographical undertaking, with thousands and thousands of words involved. Too much fer me, myte! Hayford Peirce 16:53, 25 June 2008 (CDT)
quite. there was one word we removed in the early days, and since then we've been careful, but if you see any, then RUTHLESSLY ROOT THEM OUT!!!! Ah, a burst of caps, i feel better now... Ro Thorpe 17:42, 25 June 2008 (CDT)
The only real way to do this, I think, is to go word by word through my 2-vol. Larousse Universel and see if they're listed there. I've just done the A's, and they all passed muster. Tomorrow I'll do the B's.
Just finished looking through the B's -- they all seem to be all right now that "ballad" has been removed. I'll try to do the C's tomorrow. Hayford Peirce 13:13, 28 June 2008 (CDT)

Hayford Peirce 11:15, 26 June 2008 (CDT)

I just looked up "au fait" in the COD because it isn't in my MW and I noticed that there many more F words in COD than in MW, such as "auberge". I don't have the strength to go through 1500 pages, however, rooting them out.... Hayford Peirce 11:18, 26 June 2008 (CDT)

no. the list is already very impressive - Ro Thorpe 13:42, 26 June 2008 (CDT)

question marks

john, the schwa signs are turning into question marks - why i don't know - please fix that or your hard work will have to be reverted... Ro Thorpe 18:52, 9 July 2008 (CDT)

Well, the hard work is no problem. I did all of that with a command in notepad++. Right now I'm trying to figure out how to add a "symbol pack" or something, in order to fix it. If I can't figure it out, I could try another approach, or do it by hand. John Dvorak 18:57, 9 July 2008 (CDT)

the learned dr. rheaux's pathetic phallacy

i think yer wrong, myte; can't find it in either MW or COD.... (stitches out of fingertip yesterday but two tips ae still tender -- can't *quite* type normally yet.... Hayford Peirce 13:41, 19 July 2008 (CDT)

no, it's a proper name, so not in dictionary, hence capital. at least 3 musiques are called that. well, i'm taking the pills and there is a modicum of improvement... Ro Thorpe 14:33, 19 July 2008 (CDT)
je vois. but my MW *does* have Bouvier de Flandres. glad to hear of improvement! more anti-imflam.? Hayford Peirce 15:16, 19 July 2008 (CDT)
- yes. my COD doesn't have that but it does have Bovril! AND BOUTONNIÈRE - that's what i get for forgetting to switch off caps lock... - and we've already got it...as for 'pathétique', i think it's an interesting point in the pathetic footnote... Ro Thorpe 16:29, 19 July 2008 (CDT)

let's sit down at the all-you-can eat buffet

and gobble for a couple of hours like lotsa fat 'Merkins who are too frightful to contemplate.... in any case, i think you should note that for the pron. that there appear to be *two* distinct ways of saying it: the Brit way, and, to a degree, a 'Merkin way: boo-fay, and a mostly 'Merkin way: buff-fay. (there's also the Peirce Way: bewe-fay, but we'll ignore that one).... Hayford Peirce 18:48, 27 July 2008 (CDT)

is dat right? Wee, M'sieur! Hayford Peirce 19:23, 27 July 2008 (CDT)

and you say 'byoo-fay'? Ro Thorpe 18:33, 28 July 2008 (CDT)

like the old country singers useta sing, "yew kin do it" or such like. the closest most 'merkins kin git to pronouncing the french "u". i get so useta saying bew-fay, i jist cain't bring maself to say boo-fay or buff-fay.... Hayford Peirce 19:28, 28 July 2008 (CDT)

for a while, a few years back, there was a tendency for british broadcasters - all, i noted, women - to pronounce 'to' and 'too' just like french 'tu', a fashion that fortunately seems to have had its day... Ro Thorpe 15:57, 30 July 2008 (CDT)

tew tew utterly! Hayford Peirce 16:27, 30 July 2008 (CDT)

yu forgot tu sign! Ro Thorpe 16:18, 30 July 2008 (CDT)


But fun to eat.... (I also own a number of LeCreuset cocottes, yet another kettle of fish, so to speak.) Hayford Peirce 12:52, 15 August 2008 (CDT)

Antan? LeCreuset? You're leaving me behind here. Ro Thorpe 12:55, 15 August 2008 (CDT)
"Ou sont les neiges d'antan?" "Where are the snows of yesteryear?!" And as for LeCreuset, go here: http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&q=cocotte+lecreuset&btnG=Search+Images&gbv=2 They're widely sold in both the States and France -- tres cher ces jours-ci, but they literally last forever. My main casserole, while pretty discolored inside, is still used by me on a weekly basis and it must be 35 or 40 years old. See here: http://en.citizendium.org/wiki/Image:Bolognese_sauce_preparation_sm.jpg Bon appetit! Hayford Peirce 13:44, 15 August 2008 (CDT)
What our rival has to say about that French cocotte: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Creuset Hayford Peirce 13:50, 15 August 2008 (CDT)


You tellin' me dat's de name of a Conway Twitty song?! Hayford Peirce 19:20, 16 August 2008 (CDT)

like a house on fire

Ah, didn't understand your system -- it looked to me like you wuz sayin' bloose, not the house-rhymer. I've spent too much time with the French ou-oo-la-la pronunciation.... Hayford Peirce 10:20, 7 September 2008 (CDT)

Ya wín sòme & ya Toûloûse sòme - Ro Thorpe 16:08, 7 September 2008 (CDT)
You're incorrigible in any language! Hayford Peirce 16:27, 7 September 2008 (CDT)

Old-timers, *really* old

Whaddya think about "Cro-Magnon" -- I just ran across it in M-W, which says it comes from the name of a cave in France (I ate a sandwich outside it once, or at least nearby).... Hayford Peirce 11:43, 19 September 2008 (CDT)

Nice one! - Ro Thorpe 14:36, 20 September 2008 (CDT)
Danke, meine kleine troglydite! But my M-W says the first pron. is KRO-MAG-NON.... I've never heard the other one, but then it isn't a word that is commonly used. But M-W does give it as the second pron. Hayford Peirce 15:12, 20 September 2008 (CDT)
Eh bien, tous les deux, pourquoi pas, ça va très bien - Ro Thorpe 17:05, 20 September 2008 (CDT)

Citroen -- aux armes, les Citroens!

Why is Citroen included here, along with the TM thingee? I can understand Cointreau and a couple like that, that have, in a sense, become almost generic. But I don't think Citroen is generic for anything -- it's just the name of a line of cars. Then why not Peugeot, Simca, Renault, etc.? (Does Simca even exist anymore?) Hayford Peirce 18:53, 20 September 2008 (CDT)

Salut, ici le français/québécois

I found some spelling errors in the first column. What should I do? Please donnez-moi le feu vert before I begin. I'm not absolutely sure that I should fix these errors.

Pierre-Alain Gouanvic 00:05, 21 September 2008 (CDT)

fix 'em! You're the expert here, not us! Merci! Hayford Peirce 10:10, 21 September 2008 (CDT)
Oh, oh, I think you've misunderstood what Ro has been trying to do -- that is, to show both the *French* spelling AND alternative (and incorrect from the French point of view) *English* spellings. So even though absinthe is the correct French word, sometimes absinth is seen in English. Hence he is showing *both* of them. I guess that the header caption should be rewritten to explain this more clearly. Hayford Peirce 12:55, 21 September 2008 (CDT)
Okay, I think the three of us, and any others who are interested, ought to thrash out a new approach to this. One in which the original French words are shown, say in bold, like absinthe and alternative English spellings are shown either in italics, like absinth, or simply as absinth. Without the confusing (e) in parenthese. Just a suggestion -- there are obviously other approaches to this. But in any case (or de toute facon as a French friend of mine used to say in every other sentence) something should be done to prevent the very well-justified confusion of Pierre-Alain and of anyone else who looks at this list. Hayford Peirce 13:09, 21 September 2008 (CDT)
Surprised the () is confusing. Best, perhaps, to footnote the modified English-only spelling, leaving that column for pure French. Are there similar others? Ro Thorpe 18:07, 21 September 2008 (CDT) - There must be, as Pierre-Alain mentions 'errors'. - Yes, I don't think the bold/italic looks very good. The English variants are not very important, in my opinion, and there are people like Tom learning French, so I continue to favo(u)r (hehe) the footnote solution. Ro Thorpe 18:18, 21 September 2008 (CDT)
Well, use the History tab to compare Pierre-Alain's edit with the previous version -- you'll see 4 or 5 others that he edited and that I reverted. Funny, on my Firefox 3 screen the bold and italics look pretty good, but it may well look lousy on other systems or other screens. In any case, I'm generally for anything that simplifies things. I think that doing it my proposed way simplifies things and makes it hard to NOT understand what is going on. Just my own unbiased (hehe) opinion, of course.... Hayford Peirce 19:09, 21 September 2008 (CDT)
Sorry to be unhelpful, but I really don't agree. Italics are already used for suggesting meaning. All the correct French spellings in bold as a contrast with the pronunciations would be fine (perhaps with the variants in non-bold-non-italic) but that'd be a lot of hard work for someone, and my shoulders are still giving grief. I wonder what others think... Ro Thorpe 13:43, 22 September 2008 (CDT)
Okie, lemme think about it. My own proposal was just a suggestion to get things started.... Hayford Peirce 14:03, 22 September 2008 (CDT)

Glad you like the footnotes. Pierre-Alain's old edit shows the others that need doing, 'beaus', for example. Ro Thorpe 18:09, 25 September 2008 (CDT)

I like the footnotes. I HOPE I'm not acting clumsy again.
I started all over and stopped: question: why "beaucoup (slang)"? This word is not slang. I don't know how it is used in English...
Pierre-Alain Gouanvic, saying "au travail!"
Usage: "That guy has beaucoup bucks." "That girl has beaucoup bazooms" Hayford Peirce 10:15, 26 September 2008 (CDT)
Évidemment. I should have asked Mr. Google first. This robot is here to serve us, not to enslave us. Pierre-Alain Gouanvic 00:58, 27 September 2008 (CDT)


I debolded the headword for consistency, but if anyone (Hayford, John?) wants to bold all headwords, fine - just not a job for aged Ro Thorpe 15:50, 8 October 2008 (CDT)

I can't find this edit anywhere -- did you Save it? Or did the Internet screw up? Hayford Peirce 18:50, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

There is already a catalog of foreign phrases - perhaps the definitions would better go in there? - Ro Thorpe 18:11, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

No, I just checked that, and I don't think that's the place for them. I think they should be right beside the words in the list. As we've agreed, there's plenty of room for them.... Hayford Peirce 18:50, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Right. The debolding of 'abbatoir' was my last edit, though it's not immediately obvious in the summary. Ro Thorpe 21:26, 14 October 2008 (UTC)


it's in the MW-11th: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/luthier (*two* pronunciations!)

No surprise there, but MW doesn't make it clear whether the th sound is voiced or not - as in this or thick? Actually probably all 3 are used as it's so obscure. Now on to... Ro Thorpe 20:52, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
How about Martin Luthier or Martin Luthier King? Hayford Peirce 21:17, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

also, see this article from today's Arizona Daily Star, my local paper: http://www.azstarnet.com/allheadlines/262899.php

I dunno if the paper will let you read the story without registering. I also had them email it to you -- supposedly!

No problem. So that's where you got it from - nice article! (I reckon he uses the 'this' pron...) Ro Thorpe 20:57, 20 October 2008 (UTC)


I think you suggested there was no need for italics around the definitions. No italics on the end of my queue! - Ro Thorpe 17:29, 23 October 2008 (UTC) - They look all right, though...

Oh. Well, a foolish consistency is a hobgoblin of petty minds. Maybe I did say that at one point, but then I *think* that later on I started bolding the initial words and italicizing the definitions and mentioning in a subject line that I thought it looked better that way. Hayford Peirce 17:46, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Also, nice contrast with the regular style for pronunciation - Ro Thorpe 18:16, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

merely onions, carrots, and celery, chopped fine and cooked in butter, maybe with a little chopped ham

but no petits pois.... 00:39, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Central Ave

Noticing we already have 'avenue', which is about as common a word as 'centre', I had second thoughts about omitting such as the latter, or any word having the same spelling in English, even if only in BrE. After all, this list would help a lot of people learn some French: 'an instant guide to the words you already know how to spell'. And we could have some juicy footnotes for the AmE spellings. Whaddya think? Ro Thorpe 20:41, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

I think you're *probably* right, but I have a feeling that we discussed this once a long while ago and maybe came to the opposite conclusion. Or was that about words from Olde French or Mid-French or some such. Don't we already have boulevard? No, that would be "boulevarde". If we *do* put in things like avenue and centre, they absolutely have to be spelled exactly the same as the French, minus the accents, of course. Hayford Peirce 20:52, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Just looked it up -- "boulevard" is indeed spelled that way in French. And we already have both it and "avenue" in the catalog. Hayford Peirce 21:26, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I think I previously argued for a less inclusive list - and we can't have all the -tion and -sion words in here, that'd be absurd. But a suffix section, as in Br&AmE, would cover those, as well as the 'centre'/'center' words. Ro Thorpe 23:47, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

I wuz just beginning to wonder again about *all* the French words that are in English, including the very common ones like "avenue". Declaration, Independence, damnation (du Faust). and about 7 others I noticed in the NYT on the plane from Tucson to San Franciso a few hours ago. The list is practically endless -- I suppose we could do it. Or not. If not, however, what about the ones we've already put in? I guess it's better to be an inclusionist, but even so.... Is a puzzlement! Hayford Peirce 00:10, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Fear not, a suffix section will be suffixient! Or perhaps, since this is already a catalog, lump them in with the other words. I'll do one: see what you think. Ro Thorpe 01:04, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Goodnight, nurse! Goodbye, that's all she wrote!

I don't think I've ever heard "au revoir" used interjectionally. Or "goodbye", either. A baseball announcer might shout, as a ball is being hit for a home run, "You can say goodbye to that one!" And there's, "Goodbye, that's all she wrote." Plus other phrases, I think. But not "goodbye" as a one-off. And I doubt "au revoir", also.... Hayford Peirce 23:31, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

In vain I looked for 'interjectionally' in the article, but I did find it in MW. There, I think they mean some people, perhaps a little jocularly, use it as a farewell, that's all - the sort of thing I & my pseud friends would have done in our youth. Well, not just then. À bientôt! Ro Thorpe 23:47, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, I suppose so. Good grief! I've certainly used it, along with stuff like Ciao! Buona Sera! And stuff like that. But I'm actually saying Hello or Good night or whatnot. It's not (to me) an interjection like Merde! when I drop a bottle of wine on my toe.... I think MW is wrong about this.... Hayford Peirce 01:18, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
I agree, and if you check their definition of 'interjection' so would they. Ditto Oxford, but when you look up 'goodbye', it says 'int. & n.'. Seems there isn't a descriptive noun for jections which aren't inter... Ro Thorpe 04:19, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, on that note, I'll just say, "Goodnight, nurse, that's all she wrote!" (P.S. my Kutie made an old British boarding school specialty, apparently, "mince", upgraded a gazillion times by a top, top, top Brit chef, and articled in the NYT a couple of days ago. After about 50 ingredients and lots of cooking it was still the most bland (although very good) thing I've ever eaten. I had two helpings, even though it tasted of almost nothing, in spite of all the good things that went into it. Poor Brits! Hayford Peirce 04:55, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Don't know of a dish just called 'mince', though there is 'shepherd's pie' or 'cottage pie', mincemeat and mashed potato all swirled up together, which you may have come across in Angleterre..? I got Eva doing that once upon a time, (actually it's Portuguese, empadão) although haven't seen it recently. Very nice! But then I am a Brit... Ro Thorpe 05:09, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, when I lived in London in '68, "mince" was what the jolly butcher on the corner called raw ground beef or, to me, "hamburger". I'd never heard it in this sense either. Here's the NYT article, and here's the pertinent quote:
He was born in 1954, into a nation renowned as a gastronomic wasteland of overcooked vegetables, insipid sauces and baby-food textures. But Mr. Hopkinson is a sentimental cook, nostalgic even for much-reviled “school food.”

“The mince at my school wasn’t half bad, you know,” he said. Not to be confused with mincemeat, mince is a kind of English sloppy Joe without the bun. In Mr. Hopkinson’s hands, ground beef is cooked down with onions, carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes and spices into a savory, tangy, delicious slop.

The recipe is called "Savory Mince" and although it was nice it wasn't very savory. Probably my GF just underseasoned it all the way through.... Hayford Peirce 16:05, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, good article. Thoroughly sound chap, what? Fortunately dinner approaches... Ro Thorpe 17:54, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

the lord is my shepherd

I never had it in England (thank goodness, probably), but I've certainly *made* it many times myself, making it more like the French version of "hachi parmentier". I've seen a million recipes for both. I guess that at schools in either country it can be abominable, a recipient for all the leftovers, mucked about with powered mashed potato mix. Done well, nicely seasoned, maybe with ground lamb instead of the beef, it can be delightful. When I had a French wife, a family, lots of dinner parties, and hence lotsa leftovers, we made it a lot.... Hayford Peirce 16:10, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

I had some bad ones at school, certainly, but mostly it works, yes. Ro Thorpe 17:57, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

British cooking, chayote division

A while ago my GF made a tasty Filipino dish that included some chayote, a sort of squash that I had never heard of. I looked it up in the majesterial Food by Waverley Root, a marvelous American journalist who lived in Paris and wrote for the IHT, plus did food books for Time-Life. He wrote: "CHA stands for chalk... and for chayote, a tropical American gourd so indecisive in flavor that it is being eaten increasingly in the British Isles, where tastelessness is a virtue." Hehe, a nice turn of the phrase. And knife. The book was published in 1980, so I don't know how chayote has made out chez les Brits since then.... Hayford Peirce 19:22, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Must have been too tasty, as I have never heard of it. Ro Thorpe 23:44, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
also called, apparently, christophene or mirliton.... Hayford Peirce 01:04, 9 November 2008 (UTC)


Whaddya think about this? It's definitely a French word, meaning "barn", as I recall. See http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grange

It exists in English, I know, at least as some sort of farmers' association in the midwest. But the online MW says it's an Olde Englysh word from the Even Older French.... Hayford Peirce 01:58, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Common in English house and road names, and I remember the French version from school. Nice one! I don't think the Olde Frenche provenance is a problem. Now the dictionary reminds me of a friend and colleague who had le grand mal - and died of it in the year of his favorite book, 1984. - Ro Thorpe 14:49, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Going bésique!

I googled it & it appears to be an older, perhaps somewhat Haitian, variant spelling. Ro Thorpe 20:46, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

bureau de change

Heaux, Rheaux, you haven't addressed my concern about "bureau de change" -- not in either COD or MW-11. I don't doubt that there are signs saying this in London, but shouldn't we have a reference? Hayford Peirce

I don't remember exactly what you said about this, but I've seen it in non-anglophone contexts, and if you google it, there are plenty of examples, so if you want to put in a reference you're spoilt for choice - but I wouldn't have thought it necessary myself... Ro Thorpe 20:42, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
All I said (in a Subject line) was that it wasn't in MW or COD. I guess we can make occasional exceptions.... Hayford Peirce 21:14, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Nor in Oxford, which is strange, as it's certainly part of the language. Ro Thorpe 22:12, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Nor in the absolutely magisterial 1940 printing of the MW 2nd Edition International Unabridged, with its 650,000 words. Hayford Peirce 22:35, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
I suspect 1940 predates it actually. But it's international cuisine now. Ro Thorpe 00:28, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Just out of curiosity I looked it up in my Harrap's New Collegiate French and English Dictionary. Nothing under Bureau, but it was listed under Change as "foreign currency exchange". By the way, you gotta use one more colon per indent than the preceding message in order to make things indent neatly.... Hayford Peirce 00:37, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
If that's how you like the indenting, okay - but my tendency is to zigzag, so that they get arranged in columns, a new column for a new person - I think it's pretty well ad hoc depending on who's doing it. As for the wretched bureau, I almost said that no New World occurrence would not be surprising - but have a look next time you're crossing from Guyana to French Guiana... Ro Thorpe 01:05, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Ah, I hadn't realized that there was de la methode in your folie! As for the New World, I wouldn't want to bet that it wouldn't be seen at, oh, San Francisco International Airport, at Rockefeller Center in NYC, up and down Fifth Avenue, and such-like.... Hayford Peirce 01:16, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Wouldn't surprise me... - Ro Thorpe 01:22, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

nous sommes tous des deranges, ca c'est sur et certain!

But I think you've forgotten what is written at the top of the lefthand column: All French accents are included here; they are frequently omitted in English usage, and always in cases like 'deception', where the pronunciation has become completely anglicised. So that's why I put the accent onto dérange, as in "il me dérange, le salaud!" Or am I wrong here? Life is so complicated! Hayford Peirce 01:16, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

No, you're absolutely right, especially about it being complicated. And my very confusion suggests there's a problem: we can't have people writng 'dérange' in English, any more than 'derânge' - so see if you like my fix. Ro Thorpe 01:34, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Exactly. But this is a can of worms that we opened months ago. I think that in the original stuff at the top we have said that the accent doesn't always show up in English. So that maybe here in this specific example the explication du texte isn't really needed. (Explication du sexe as my French wife and I were always saying, hehe....) Hayford Peirce 03:38, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Hmm, well, I think I'll leave it in for the moment, as the double said to the entendre... Ro Thorpe 08:22, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Demitasse and other French words that aren't French words

Yes, I suppose it qualifies, even if it was invented by on ne sais quoi, if the French use it... Ro Thorpe 22:52, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Well, I did a google check in the French google, and the damn word simply isn't really used in France at all. Years ago, when I wrote my first novel, Napoleon Disentimed, I had an infuriated Napoleon, who had been yanked out of time and brought to a Scottish castle in the year 1990 or some such, suffer a fatal seizure brought on by rage. But before he dropped dead, he unleashed a long string of old-fashioned French curses, all of which I stole from John Barth's great novel The Sotweed Factor. There were about 50 of them. Just to amuse myself, I invented one of my own that I inserted amidst the others. It was, I think, gratte-genou. Suppose my wretched book had become wildly popular and people all over the U.S.of A. had started calling each other gratte-genous? Would that make it a French word? A philosophical question that we may have to take to Larry to decide.... Hayford Peirce 17:41, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Gratte-genou is a fine coinage, world's full of 'em. Can't imagine it catching on though even if your book had become widely popular, any more than the slang in, say, A Clockword Orange. Too forrin. Now is that demitasse half full or half empty? Ro Thorpe 22:14, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

filleting filets

We 'Merkins also use the word "filet" to refer to things such as a "filet of fish", always pronounced fee-lay....

Aha, no surprise there! Ro Thorpe 00:17, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Chablis and champagne

Oxford capitalises Chablis: that's because there is no pseudo-Chablis to merit decapitalisation, I guess. Ro Thorpe 00:56, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

ah. what about the truly brit "claret", unknown to us 'Merkins? Hayford Peirce 00:58, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
on the other hand, there's a *ton* of American "Chablis", or at least there used to be, mostly sold in gallon jugs, before vintners realized that they could call it Chardonnay and get more money for it. Hayford Peirce 01:00, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

Well, claret it seems is Middle English from Old French from Latin clarus clear, and is a general term for red, esp. Bordeaux - ie another rather dodgy word. Ro Thorpe 01:06, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

Yup. All I know is that Brits are always drinkin' claret and us 'Merkins is drinkin' Bordeaux. Hayford Peirce 01:09, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

You could almost put it in 'British and American' - almost. Yes, great film, High High High Anxi... Ro Thorpe 01:14, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

we already have "claret/Bordeaux" there, clever us!Hayford Peirce 18:34, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

overlooked works of opera

Heaux, Rhôt! I stuck in a couple of operatic woids a couple of days ago that you seem to have overlooked.... Too busy singing Arias, I suppose, to welcome in the New Year! Hayford Peirce 18:08, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

Indeed...will attend pronteaux - Ro Thorpe 18:18, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

Let's carefully consider the scope of this catalog one more time

High, Myte, and any others who may be looking in.

I was struck yesterday, once again, by something that I'm pretty sure we've discussed before but that I think we really ought to hash out once and for all before we go any further, trying to bring in some other people for their thoughts on the matter if at all possible.

So far we've *mostly* listed words that are obviously of French origin but that are clearly used in the English language and that have made their appearances in various English-language dictionaries. Words such as béarnaise, bourgeoisie, charcuterie, etc. Even being in common usage, they still have, I would say, a somewhat exotic appearance to the average person's eye, like, oh schadenfreude probably does. Other familiar English words such as garage and chauffeur probably don't seem so exotic, simply because they have much greater common usage. But they are, undeniably, of French origin. So no problem about including them in our catalog, along with hundreds of others that we have stuck in from time to time over the last year.

The slippery slope that I am now writing about concerns words that are, I think, of clear French origin, although certain with a Latin basis, but that are *so* common in the English usage that I wonder if it is really worth our while to include them here. For instance, in the Sunday New York Times, on page 3 of the Opinion section, there are five columns of text, neatly divided into two articles, one spanning the top half of the page, the other the bottom half of the page. The fifth column of the bottom story, The Positivity of Power Thinking (don't ask), therefore occupies one-tenth of the page and probably has, oh, 300 words in it. I spent 30 seconds reading it a second time and underlining all the words that appear to me to have an exact equivalent in French:

destruction capitalism proletariat financier revolution authoritarianism inevitable civilization different administration mission simplication desire evidence danger irresistible change control invention

Some, I guess, are actually excluded from our list because of a single change in the spelling, civilisation instead of civilization, but I think that my point is still clear.

What do we do? Do we try to include what promises to be thousands and thousands of words? Or not? And if we pick and choose, in what way do we do so? Hayford Peirce 18:04, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

No, we don't want any of those, and we should prune the list to remove all those which have distinctly anglicised pronunciations, like 'auburn', for example. The next one I was going to suggest we omit was 'avalanche', but it seems we'll have to keep it because the Brits retain the -sh pronunciation (not me). Next comes 'avenue', not much different from the French original, 'tis true, but I think anglicised enough to remove. And we already have a note about 'centre/center' in the introduction. 'Garage' and 'chauffeur' therefore stay (even though I heard 'garridge' poshly on the BBC the other day, aaagh!) I think that's a sound principle - do you agree ? Ro Thorpe 07:29, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
Okie, tell you what: I'll keep adding the 3-a-day definitions and YOU start up at the top of the list and work your way down at your own speed, deleting any words that you think should go -- I won't argue with you about any of them -- I just want to see some sort of limits to this project and your proposals are as good as any. Any new words that I think of for inclusion I'll bring up with you first.... Hayford Peirce 16:33, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

leaping in the air and clickin' me heels

take a look at this -- is it French or not?

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/capriole Hayford Peirce 17:26, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Can't find it in contemporary French, no. Ro Thorpe 02:23, 14 January 2009 (UTC)