French


French
French (adj.) O.E. frencisc "of the Franks," from Franca (see FRANK (Cf. Frank)). The noun is from O.E. Frencisc. As the name of a language, from late 13c. Euphemistic meaning "bad language" (pardon my French) is from 1895. Used in many combination-words, often dealing with food or sex. French dressing recorded by 1860; French toast is from 1630s. French letter "condom" (c.1856), French (v.) "perform oral sex on" (c.1917) and French kiss (1923) all probably stem from the Anglo-Saxon equation of Gallic culture and sexual sophistication, a sense first recorded 1749 in French novel. To take French leave, "depart without telling the host," is 1771, from a social custom then prevalent. However, in France this is said to be called filer à l'anglaise, lit. "to take English leave."

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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