Discover unused French words removed from the dictionary and lost in time
We deal so often in this chronicle with new words that infiltrate the French language – for better or for worse – that we tend to ignore those poor and unloved vocabulary gems of yesteryear that have fallen out of favor.
Indeed, some words are so old-fashioned that the French Academy officially lists them as obsolete and they disappear forever from dictionaries.
Some are unsurprisingly set aside because they belong to another era, but are nonetheless full of charm: we give you “monsignorize– the verb used to honor someone with the title of Monsignor; and then there is “screed-fall– a great opportunity for one person following the misadventure of another. A surprising withdrawal because it still seems relevant in some way – the world is nonetheless “the dog eats the dog”.
Another word that is out of fashion, though not officially banned as far as we can tell, is delicious”Croque-notesa satisfying word used to describe a musician’s lack of talent. the Treasure of the French language gives a rather scathing definition of it: “poor musician without talent”, “a musician who plays easily, but without expression and without taste”.
Speaking of ear problems, the French for “deaf as a pot” is “sourdough like a pot‘ – which, depending on which etymological source you believe, may either be from a truncated version of English – a pole (post) here reduced to a pot or, more delightfully, “leaven like a pot with handles”. Coves are the handles of a pot such as a garden urn or planter, which look like ears. to be made of terracotta (terracotta), they are unable to hear.
Impaired simply translates into French as “hard of hearing‘.
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