||What is the origin of :Excuse my french (Note: I am french but it's OK, I can accept the truth....)|
Lewis Joplin II
"FRENCH - The prejudice that anything French is wicked, sexual, and decadent has let Frenchmen in for more than their fair share of abuse in English. Many such expressions date back to 1730-1820, the height of Anglo-French enmity, but some are current and others go back even further..." From "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson (Fact on File, New York, 1997).|
On the other hand:
"...After the Revolutionary War our young nation loved its French ally and the French Revolution, and hence French customs, words, and food (which Thomas Jefferson, U.S. Minister to France from 1785 to 1789, helped popularize.) Thus, from the time of Independence, fine American eating establishments have often had a French flavor and a French accent...The French word 'restaurant' ("restoring") was first used to mean an eating establishment in Paris in 1763, then recorded as being used in America in 1827, which was several years before it was used in England...fancy eating places made the word 'restaurant' a part of everyone's vocabulary between the late 1820s and 1855 and, during that same period, added such further French terms to America's restaurant vocabulary as 'filet,' 'bisque,' 'table d'bote,' 'maitre d',' and 'a la' this or that, though the words, then as now, were often more French than the food or service... 'Pie a la mode' had become a dessert and term since the 1880s but became widely known only after Delmonico's added it to its menu around 1918..." Delmonico's, established at 44th St. and 5th Ave. in New York in 1897, was the "best loved, most-talked-about restaurant in America." From "Listening to America" by Stuart Berg Flexner (Simon and Schuster, New York, 1982).
The term "pardon my French" is a sort of catch phrase that has little to do with the French language, and IMO, a little bit ridiculous. It usually prefaces some harmless little obscenity, implying heaven's knows what on the part of the speaker or listener.|
I'd guess that it was once legitimately used by the more linguistically sophisticated elements who were in the habit of dropping obscure French phrases into common spoken English - maybe even to call attention to their worldliness. Again, really uncalled for. A gentleman or lady wouldn't say it.
Merci beaucoup pour toutes ces reponses.|
Thank you so much for these answers