Found in translation
In the interesting, and amusing, article ‘Baguette, silly’ [ FPN 317, July 2017], Joy Brodier comments on the origin of ‘loo’.
I have also been under the impression that the derivation was from ‘ Gare à l’eau/garde à l’eau!’, (‘Watch out for the water!’) when chamber pots were emptied into the street. This was anglicised as ‘Gardyloo’ and then abbreviated to ‘loo’.
Obviously there are many similarities between English and French from the time of the Norman invasion, but also influences of Huguenot refugees on weaving and glass industries.
In Hamlet, we have ‘...who would fardels bear...’ based on ‘ fardeau’ translated as burden.
When bottles were handmade, the glass blower would first blow the shape using a blow-pipe. Then the final shaping was of the neck and openings, done by attaching the base to a solid metal rod, a punty, from the French ‘ pontil’. There is a suggestion that the punt or tump in the bottom of a bottle also derives from this.
Most people would not have heard of a paillasse, a mattress of sorts made from sacking stuffed with straw, ‘ paille’ in French. An itchy and scratchy item that was not friendly to any part of the anatomy. Colin Rigg