Saturday, March 16, 2019

Pardon my French

A Walmart flyer just flew onto my screen and filled it up. That's brand new -  a whole flyer filling the entire screen!

The expression of interest today is "Excuse my French". 
This is a coy phrase used when someone who has used a swear-word attempts to pass it off as French.  The coyness is that both speaker and listener are aware the swear-word is English.  And it originates in England.

In the 19th century, when English people used French expressions in conversation they often apologised for it - presumably because many of their listeners (then as now) wouldn't be familiar with the language. An example of this was given in The Lady's Magazine, 1830: 
Bless me, how fat you are grown! - absolutely as round as a ball: - you will soon be as enbon-point (excuse my French) as your poor dear father, the major.
'En bon point' is French for 'plump; well-nourished'. It might seem odd to us now that the speaker, having been rather rude about her compatriot's appearance, felt obliged to apologise for doing so in French, but not for the rudeness itself.

The side bar comment is "Every country has neighbours they like to look down on.  For the English it's the 

I found this abstract of the ceiling at the Performance Art Centre in St.Catharines.  The fuchsia colour is their choice.  

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