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#171780 - 12/01/07 08:51 AM on the qui vive
BranShea Offline
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Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 5284
Loc: Netherlands, the Hague
Quote:
Inuit qiviuq, down, underhair] /KEE vee ut/
the soft wool of the undercoat of the musk ox
When I read this on wwftd I wondered if the word/expression
'qui vive' (not related) existed in English. I found it in 18 dictionaries but I never met it in a book or text otherwise.

My question is: Is it used in spoken language? (like we do) Is it out of date? Is it only used in this form: 'on the qui vive' or also in a personalized way: "If you go there be on your qui vive". When I talk to him I have to be on my qui vive.
When we step in ice we have to be on our qui vive, etc.
Although my life does not depend on it, this is a serious question.



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#171781 - 12/01/07 08:55 AM Re: on the qui vive [Re: BranShea]
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
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It theoretically exists in English but I don't know that I've ever spotted it in the wild.

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#171789 - 12/01/07 11:16 AM Re: on the qui vive [Re: Faldage]
tsuwm Offline
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Loc: this too shall pass
I see it occasionally in the news.

I just now read this: in French, qui vive is used as a challenge, "who goes there?"; as English idiom, "on the qui vive" means on the alert.

I don't recall seeing it 'outside' the idiom (in English).

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#171797 - 12/01/07 01:35 PM Re: on the qui vive [Re: BranShea]
of troy Offline
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Registered: 10/17/00
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Loc: rego park
the yarn is usually (today in most knitting magazines and ads) spelled quiveit. with a final t (to match how it said)

is one of the most expensive yarns i know of.. (and it is said to be one of the warmest animal fibers around)

---------------------------------------------------
on the real question of the OP, i know the expression qui vive, but i don't think i have ever used my self! (not in writting or speaking!)
_________________________
my other obsession

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#171803 - 12/01/07 04:19 PM Re: on the qui vive [Re: of troy]
BranShea Offline
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Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 5284
Loc: Netherlands, the Hague
If 'quiveit 'is as fine as eider down, I can imagine the yarn must be expensive and also very warm. I tried to find an image but no wiki nor google.

On the real question; so it is not alive in spoken language; in Am.English anyway.
I learn more about my language here than I do in Holland.
Never knew where it came from till now. And we use it.

online etymology:
1726, from Fr. qui voulez-vous qui vive? sentinel's challenge, "whom do you wish to live," lit. "live who?" In other words, "whose side are you on?"

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#171804 - 12/01/07 07:33 PM Re: on the qui vive [Re: BranShea]
themilum Offline
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Registered: 05/25/02
Posts: 1529
Loc: Aladamnbama the most watered s...
I wonder...the English phrase "keep it on the Q.T." sounds suspiciously like the French phrase "keep it on the qui vive". I wonder if there is a French or English bastardized mistransfiguration?

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#171805 - 12/01/07 07:41 PM Re: on the qui vive [Re: themilum]
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
Originally Posted By: themilum
I wonder...the English phrase "keep it on the Q.T." sounds suspiciously like the French phrase "keep it on the qui vive". I wonder if there is a French or English bastardized mistransfiguration?


I suppose, if they meant anything like each other.

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#171806 - 12/01/07 08:27 PM Re: on the qui vive [Re: Faldage]
themilum Offline
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Registered: 05/25/02
Posts: 1529
Loc: Aladamnbama the most watered s...
Originally Posted By: BranShea in part
...'on the qui vive' or also in a personalized way: "If you go there be on your qui vive". When I talk to him I have to be on my qui vive.
When we step in ice we have to be on our qui vive, etc.


Originally Posted By: Faldage
I suppose, if they meant anything like each other.


Really?

"On the Q.T." is but a short step to "be careful".

(Considering translanguaging.)

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#171807 - 12/01/07 08:51 PM Re: on the [Re: themilum]
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803

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#171808 - 12/01/07 09:41 PM Re: on the [Re: Faldage]
themilum Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/25/02
Posts: 1529
Loc: Aladamnbama the most watered s...
Quote:
Wordorigins.org,
Dave Wilton, February 27, 2007
On the q.t. is slang for quietly. q.t., is an abbreviation for quiet. (Source: Oxford English Dictionary)


Has it come to this Faldage? Are you now quoting Dave Wilton and the Oxford Dictionary rather than giving the subject at hand some thought?

Ah, I remember well when your finger thought less than your brain.


Edited by themilum (12/01/07 09:41 PM)

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