‘Temptation’ in the Lord’s Prayer

‘Temptation’ in the Lord’s Prayer

  Notre Dame du Port – Clermont Ferrand (France)         To this day I suckle at the Lord’s Prayer like a child, and as an old man ...

The resistible rise of Marine Le Pen

The resistible rise of Marine Le Pen

     The new, reassuring face of old extremism       Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Gospel ...

La langue française est-elle sexiste ?

La langue française est-elle sexiste ?

    You can read the article in English here Vous pouvez lire l’article en anglais ici       Considérons les termes français suivants, avec leurs équivalents anglais :   ...

Highlights

point-blank – de but en blanc

point-blank – de but en blanc

  Gunner’s quadrant Quadrant consisting of two arms of unequal length joined ...
to buttonhole

to buttonhole

            The verb buttonhole not only means ...
a fine kettle of fish

a fine kettle of fish

            The word kettle is from Old ...

Latest News

The ‘step’ in ‘stepson’

The ‘step’ in ‘stepson’

  Hugh Latimer (1487?-1555) Bishop of Worcester before the Reformation, and later Church of England chaplain to King Edward VI. In 1555, under Queen Mary, he was burned at the stake, becoming one of the three Oxford Martyrs of Anglicanism.     The prefix step- belongs to a common Germanic group of combining elements. For […]

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flabbergast

flabbergast

  Eden Phillpotts (1862-1960) was the author of many novels, plays and poems about Dartmoor, in Devon. One of his novels, Widecombe Fair, inspired by an annual fair at the village of Widecombe-in-the-Moor, provided the scenario for his comic play The Farmer’s Wife, which became a silent movie of the same name, directed by Alfred […]

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La folle complainte

La folle complainte

  Charles Trenet, by Jean Cocteau     Charles Trenet (1913-2001) was an influential French poet, singer and songwriter. La folle complainte (The mad lament – 1951), which Trenet described as hermetic, is his most intriguing song.   click on the arrow for music   The French lyrics are followed by a translation.     Les […]

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gigolo (texte français)

gigolo (texte français)

  You can read this article in English here Vous pouvez lire cet article en anglais ici   Louis Prima (1910-78)   Just a Gigolo-I ain’t got nobody (1956) cliquez sur la flèche     De nos jours, le mot gigolo désigne un jeune homme qui est l’amant d’une femme, généralement plus âgée que lui, et […]

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gigolo (English text)

gigolo (English text)

  Vous pouvez lire cet article en français ici You can read this article in French here   Louis Prima (1910-78)   Just a Gigolo-I ain’t got nobody (1956) click on the arrow for music     A gigolo is a young man paid or financially supported by a woman, typically an older woman, to […]

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butter

butter

      The word butter is from Old English butere, of West Germanic origin, and related to Dutch boter and German Butter. These words are based on Latin butyrum, which is also the origin of French beurre, itself the origin of Italian burro.   The Latin word is from Greek boutyron, which has been […]

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let the cobbler stick to his last

let the cobbler stick to his last

  a shoe last     The proverb let the cobbler stick to his last means that one should do the work one is expert at, and not try to interfere in, or do, that of others.     A last is a shoemaker’s model for shaping or repairing a shoe or boot. The word […]

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The ‘cheap’ in Cheapside

The ‘cheap’ in Cheapside

  Cheapside, circa 1890-1900     Cheapside is the former site of one of the principal markets in London – one of the meanings of cheap was market. The names of several streets located on or near Cheapside originate from the goods that were sold there: Poultry, Milk Street, Wood Street, Honey Lane and Bread […]

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coals to Newcastle

coals to Newcastle

  A trainload of coal on the High Level Bridge in Newcastle photograph: Stephen Craven     The phrase to carry coals to Newcastle means to take something where it is already plentiful, hence to do what is absurdly superfluous. (Coals is an obsolete plural.) Since the 13th century, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in Northumberland, had been an important […]

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clue – clew

clue – clew

      The noun clue appeared as a variant spelling of clew, of same pronunciation. Not frequent until the 17th century, the form clue has become the prevailing form of the word in the sense of a fact or idea that serves to reveal something or solve a problem. The word is from Old English cliwen, cleowen, meaning a […]

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