Found in trans­la­tion

French Property News - - Have Your Say... -

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

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