It's always great when you spend a day practicing your French and at the same time, learn something about your own language! This happens a lot actually. It's even better, in my opinion, when this type of revelation involves food!
During a recent 'carpet picnic" as I call them, when the weather prevents us from going outside but we still have the urge to lay down a blanket and nibble on various amuses-bouches, the spread turned into a real learning feast when I discovered the orgin of the word picnic.
Turns out...Voila Voila, that it's French! The word we use to describe outdoor eating comes from the French word pique-nique, (pronounced peek neek) based on the verb piquer “to pick at, to peck”. The rhyming ending, nique, has several meanings (of course I know the slang word but this is a family run blog so I won't repeat it) but in this case, it means a trifle, or something of little value.
It may have had little monetary value, but my carpet pique-nique sure did render a dreary winter afternoon, and French lesson, priceless!