Feb 24, 2009

French and Food and Fun---Oh my!

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!

1 comment:

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

"Nique" of course means something altogether different these days in hip hop circles, as in the expression NTM, or "nique ta mère". It comes from the Arabic meaning .... er, well, you get the idea.