Lots of excitement on the news alert grape vine – the French have officially now got a French word for “French Kiss”!
I’m not really sure why everyone is getting so excited about it but newspapers around the world are transmitting this news with much relish and enthusiasm.
There has never been an official French word for what English speakers call a “French Kiss” – but now there is and that word is “galocher” – to kiss with tongues…
Of course the French language has many expressions which cover the act of a French Kiss, for instance: baiser amoureux – “lover’s kiss” or baiser avec la langue – (“kiss with the tongue”.
The word “galocher” has been in use as a slang term for a while mind you but now it has been included in “Le Petit Robert” – the official French Dictionary – 2014 version which hit the shops the last week of May 2013.
Actually a “galoche” is an ice-skating boot – so I guess the connotation is of sliding on ice?
I suppose it is big news because we all associate France with romance, l’amour – “The Kiss in front of the Hotel de Ville” – the iconic photograph by Robert Doisneau and Paris where kissing in public seems to be the law!
I read somewhere that soldiers who served in France in the First World War coined the phrase and it passed into use on their return to English speaking countries.
In fact in olden days the French called a French Kiss a “baiser Florentine” – a Florentine Kiss – perhaps French soldiers came up with it after visiting Florence and meeting passionate Italians!
There are several other new words to appear in Le Petit Robert this year:
Bombasse – which means “Hottie” or sexy lady
Keke – someone who is evil and boasts about it
Choupinet – someone who is cute
I have a feeling that these new words will not be entering into the vocabulary of my neighbours in rural France and I’m not sure what sort of conversation I’ll be having that will introduce them but at least I’m still learning some new words!!