Frenglish

The English language is filled with surprisingly fun facts and beginnings – many of them originating with translations from French to English. Here are a few of them with explanations of how they came about:

Caddie (golf term)
When Mary Queen of Scots went to France as a young girl, Louis, King of France, learned that she loved the Scots game ‘golf.’ He had the first course outside of Scotland built for her enjoyment. To make sure she was properly chaperoned (and guarded) while she played, Louis hired cadets from a military school to accompany her.  Mary liked this a lot and upon her return to Scotland (not a very good idea in the long run), she took the practice with her. In French, the word cadet is pronounced ‘ca-day’ and the Scots changed it into ‘caddie.’

Love (tennis term)

The zero scores in tennis are referred to as love. In France, where tennis became popular, the round zero on the scoreboard looked like an egg and was called l’oeuf, which is French for ‘egg.’ When tennis was introduced in the U.S., Americans pronounced it as ‘love.’

Mayday

This word comes from the French m’aidez, which means help me. The pronunciation is mayday.

 

Whether factual or not, it is thought that at least 30 percent of English words are of French origin. Of course, according to Michael Constantine, father of the bride in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, it’s all from Greek!

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