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#116131 - 11/18/03 02:29 AM "Excuse my French"?  
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 180
gift horse Offline
member
gift horse  Offline
member

Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 180
Austin, TX
(Uh oh, another French post by gift horse).

I went out with a friend yesterday and noticed that each time she cursed she said, "Excuse my French". Aside from being slightly annoyed, I started to wonder, where did this saying come from? Is it my imagination that it seems a derogatory statement -- however indirectly -- towards the French? I've heard it numerous times, but didn't know its history. The saying seemed particularly ironic since many of the words my friend was apologizing for don't seem to have French origins. I did a little search in google and found this:

http://answers.google.com/answers/main?cmd=threadview&id=232360

Do any of you know if these answers are accurate?


#116132 - 11/18/03 02:58 AM pardon my French  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,538
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel
tsuwm  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,538
this too shall pass
plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose..


#116133 - 11/18/03 04:22 AM Re: "Excuse my French"?  
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 1,289
Bobyoungbalt Offline
veteran
Bobyoungbalt  Offline
veteran

Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 1,289
My take on this is that the speaker is implying that [s]he is saying something in a language other than the usual English and makes a faux apology the same as one might do who dropped a Latin or Greek phrase into a casual conversation. Why French? I think it's an arbitrary choice because it's the most likely to be a second language for English speakers. I have never had the impression that there was any derogatory implication towards France, the French, their mores or their language. I could be wrong.


#116134 - 11/18/03 01:29 PM Re: "Excuse my French"?  
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 1,027
wsieber Offline
old hand
wsieber  Offline
old hand

Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 1,027
Switzerland
I have never had the impression that there was any derogatory implication towards France On the surface, there certainly was - but probably weighed up by that certain secret envy.


#116135 - 11/18/03 01:39 PM Re: "Excuse my French"?  
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wwh Offline
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#116136 - 11/18/03 02:33 PM Re: "Excuse my French"?  
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wow Offline
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wow  Offline
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New England, USA
More often I have heard the phrase "pardon the language" when one slips a naughty word into conversation. Haven't heard the French connection for yonks years.


#116137 - 11/18/03 02:38 PM Re: pardon my French  
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 180
gift horse Offline
member
gift horse  Offline
member

Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 180
Austin, TX
plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose..

Oui! Some people party like it's 1899.


#116138 - 11/18/03 03:00 PM Re: pardon my French  
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 1,692
dxb Offline
Pooh-Bah
dxb  Offline
Pooh-Bah

Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 1,692
UK
1899 - Ahhh! "La Belle Epoque", quand le plaisir régnait!


#116139 - 11/20/03 07:28 PM Re: "Excuse my French"?  
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 122
rav Offline
member
rav  Offline
member

Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 122
Poland, Cracow
In Poland, we say "Excuse my Latin"



#116140 - 11/20/03 07:48 PM Re: "Excuse my Latin"  
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AnnaStrophic Offline
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AnnaStrophic  Offline
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lower upstate New York
rav!


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