Monday, August 19, 2013

History in Language

Every now and then I become fascinated with a twist in language that contains within it poetic and intellectual dimensions. Recently I have been fascinated with French words for Mr. and Mrs. The words MonsieurandMadamecontain within them links to their Medieval history. Broken down, these words literally mean 'my lord' (mon sieur) and 'my lady' (ma dame). What is even more wonderful (at least in my nerdy mind!) is the fact that the plural versions,Messieursand Mesdames, aren't just simple plurals with an S added to the end, but have preserved the plurals of their pronouns from their older 'ancestors' (mes sieurs and mes dames). Neat, non?

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