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Etiquette - 'Excuse my French'

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brendan
146069.  Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:04 pm Reply with quote

Excuse me if this one's been done - but lot's of nice qi's on this one

The word etiquette stems from the old French word estiquet meaning label!

Excuse my French, in which French refers to "bad language", is employed
when the speaker feels compelled to use an obscenity despite having
listeners who might be offended. It's a late 19th century euphemism
which first appeared in Harper's Magazine in 1895.

It is thought that the term French is employed in this sense as it
already had a history of association with things considered vulgar.
As far back as the early 16th century, French pox and the French
disease were synonyms for genital herpes, and French-sick was another
term for syphillis. The OED [Oxford English Dictionary] also equates
the adjective French with "spiciness", as in French letter for
"condom", French kiss (1923) and French (i. e. "sexually explicit")
novels (from 1749).

Other origins of etiquette anyone?

Modern etiquette for men maybe.....

Never talk to a man in a bathroom unless you are on equal footing: i.e., both urinating, both waiting In line, etc. For all other situations, an almost imperceptible nod is all the conversation you need.

Under no circumstances may two men share an umbrella.

 
djgordy
146072.  Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:10 pm Reply with quote

brendan wrote:

Under no circumstances may two men share an umbrella.


I share an umbrella with another man. I have the umbrella when it is raining and he has it when it is dry.

 
Flash
146074.  Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:11 pm Reply with quote

I'd like to know what the etiquette is for taking wine to other people's dinner parties. It seems to me that it's a custom that originated with impoverished students who wouldn't be able to afford to buy wine for everybody, but amongst adults it ought to be regarded as an insult in that it says:

1) I don't think you can afford to pay for the wine at your own dinner and/or
2) the wine you serve here is always filthy, so I've brought my own.

Lots of people I know do it, though.

 
brendan
146080.  Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:16 pm Reply with quote

I have a firend who is a wine merchant and he always advises that one should take white wine to a dinner party - the host will usually serve Red with a meal (I did say usually), and this should have been chosen to complement the dish.

Also make sure the wine is cold so that it can be quaffed immediately!

He also says that this is the only way you can be sure of getting a glass of the wine you brought. Since he by definition takes wine which is of a high quality, and most people know he's a wine merchant, people tended to stash his wine for other special occasions.

 
brendan
146081.  Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:17 pm Reply with quote

or take a pudding wine or port!

 
96aelw
146094.  Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:51 pm Reply with quote

brendan wrote:
Never talk to a man in a bathroom unless you are on equal footing: i.e., both urinating, both waiting In line, etc.


In which universe is it allowable to talk to someone while you are both urinating? Staring fixedly ahead at the wall is the only acceptable way to pass the time while passing water. Which is why the devious swines have taken to putting adverts on that bit of wall in pub bogs, curse them.

 
The Luggage
146098.  Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:02 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
The word etiquette stems from the old French word estiquet meaning label!


The word "etiquette" still is the french word for label ;)

I tend to agree with 96aelw on this one. Never should you speak to another person whilst urinating, unless of course the pther person happens to be a friend of yours (and even then, you don't look at them).

 
WizardofAus
146102.  Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:15 pm Reply with quote

[quote="96aelw"]
brendan wrote:
Staring fixedly ahead at the wall is the only acceptable way to pass the time while passing water.


A friend of mine claims that he always says "dont step on that thing" when at the trough.

He is strange though

 
ikkan
146103.  Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:30 pm Reply with quote

Another for the male toilet- leave as many urinals as possible between yourself and anyone else already urinating. Often resulting in every second urinal being used and awkward people contemplating if they should use a remaining one or wait for a larger space to become available.

For anyone who's been to a club or bar that has a guy in the loos trying to get you to use an aftershave or such; how do you usually deal with him? I always want to avoid him and attempt to make an exit when he's spraying someone else...

 
Bunter
146106.  Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:34 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
I'd like to know what the etiquette is for taking wine to other people's dinner parties. It seems to me that it's a custom that originated with impoverished students who wouldn't be able to afford to buy wine for everybody, but amongst adults it ought to be regarded as an insult in that it says:

1) I don't think you can afford to pay for the wine at your own dinner and/or
2) the wine you serve here is always filthy, so I've brought my own.


Does bringing flowers say that your hosts can't afford fresh flowers? Or does bringing chocolate infer that your host's puddings will be insufficient? Of course not. The same should be said of wine.

 
suze
146122.  Mon Feb 12, 2007 2:24 pm Reply with quote

As noted above, English is keen on using the word "French" to denote all manner of unpleasant things.

One not mentioned above is "to take French leave" i.e. to depart without so much as a by-your-leave. The Spanish (desperdirse a la francesa) and the Germans (sich auf franz÷sich empfehlen) use a similar phrase, perhaps borrowed from English. The French of course call this filer Ó l'anglaise.

The Dutch don't seem quite so sure what they think about the French. A person with loose morals/elastic is said to have Parijse opvattingen (Parisian ideas), but they also refer to good food with the phrase Leven als God in Frankrijk (to live like God in France).

The Danes are right up with the British in their distaste for les franšais though. Should a Dane ever ask you about frankske artikler (French articles), he doesn't mean le and la so much as condoms (which are traditionally called "English raincoats" in French).

(Shamelessly borrowed from Professor Joseph Garreau at the University of Massachusetts Lowell: http://faculty.uml.edu/jgarreau/50.315/Europ1.htm. He's Belgian.)

Oh, and the French don't get all the English words to denote things seen as in some way unsavoury. The Dutch have their share as well - post 57002.

Just finally since there was a mention above of French (ie blue) movies. Is it true that the Welsh call these "red movies"?

 
Flash
146144.  Mon Feb 12, 2007 3:02 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
Does bringing flowers say that your hosts can't afford fresh flowers? Or does bringing chocolate infer that your host's puddings will be insufficient? Of course not. The same should be said of wine.


The difference is that flowers & chocs are peripheral extras, whereas the wine is a central component of the dinner - and also that bringing wine has this very particular origin as a custom. Was it ever done before about 1970? I'm guessing not. And was it invented by students as an explicit acknowledgement of each other's poverty? Surely yes. So chocs say "here are some lovely chocs" but wine says "I'm richer than you, and I have better taste".

 
samivel
146148.  Mon Feb 12, 2007 3:10 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Just finally since there was a mention above of French (ie blue) movies. Is it true that the Welsh call these "red movies"?



Do you mean to say that the Welsh have no word for 'blue'?

;)

 
Quaintly Ignorant
146205.  Mon Feb 12, 2007 5:58 pm Reply with quote

A good thing to say while urinating next to a man is:
"O my God... Does yours do that?"

And stare expectantly for an answer. Be prepared to defend yourself.

 
gerontius grumpus
146215.  Mon Feb 12, 2007 6:25 pm Reply with quote

Flash wrote:
I'd like to know what the etiquette is for taking wine to other people's dinner parties. It seems to me that it's a custom that originated with impoverished students who wouldn't be able to afford to buy wine for everybody, but amongst adults it ought to be regarded as an insult in that it says:

1) I don't think you can afford to pay for the wine at your own dinner and/or
2) the wine you serve here is always filthy, so I've brought my own.

Lots of people I know do it, though.


The trouble with taking wine along is that the hosts always put it away somewhere and serve you something not as good.

Why is it that at organised meals such as wedding receptions, the waiter always keeps the label of the wine bottle hidden?

 

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