Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Interesting English-French pairs (4)

spouse n. / époux m. [é-pou], épouse f. [é-pou-ze]
one's huband or wife - Old French spous m. and spouse f. (engaged) - from Latin spondere v. (to pledge solemnly)  

spoil v. / spolier v. [spo-lyé]  to despoil   (same form and origin, but different meaning)
to dammage - from Old French espoillier - from Latin spoliare (to despoil)
Spoil can be translated  by abîmer [a-bi-mé], gâcher [ga-ché], perdre [pèr-dre]
Verb to despoil itself comes from Old French despoillier (Modern French dépouiller [dé(pou-yé]) 

stew n. / étuve f. [é-tu-ve] (steamroom, incubator)
slow boiled dish - from Old French  estuve f. -from Latin extupa (steam room)
à l'étuvée steamed
Modern French translation for stew is ragoût [ra-gou] or civet[si-vé] (for rabbit meat)  

study n. / étude f.  [é-tu-de]
the pursuit of knowledge - from Old French estudie - from Latin studium n. (application, zeal) - the plural form studia was mistaken for a feminine singular form (étude is thus feminine in French)
study v. / étudier v.
student n. / étudiant m. étudiante f.

stun v. / étonner v.  [é-to-né] (same form and origin, but slightly different meaning)
to render unconscious, shock, astonish v. - from Old French estoner v. - from Latin extonare (struck by lightning)
Modern French translation for "stun" is  étourdir [é-tour-dir] , abasourdir [a-ba-sour-dir]
French étonner v. has a lighter meaning than stun :  to surprise, amaze, astonish
astonish v. is related to Old French estoner as well, probably from a dialectal form astoner

state n. / état m.  [é-ta] (same form, origin and meaning)
condition; government - shortening of estate - from Old French estate ( condition) - from Latin status m. - may have been influenced by Italian stato (form of government)

strange adj. / étrange adj. [é-tran-je]  (same form, origin and meaning)
unusual, odd - from Old French estrange - from Latin extraneus (from outside)
stranger n. / étranger n. [é-tran-jé
outsider, foreigner - from Middle French estrangier
the word "foreign"  comes from Old French forein, forain which originally meant "outsider" but was replace by étranger - forain was then assimilated to foire (fair) and refers nowadays to fairground, funfair and other itinerant activities

strangle v. / étrangler v. [é-tran-glé]  (same form, origin and meaning)
to kill by squeezing the throat -  from Old French estrangler - from Latin strangulare (same meaning)

story n.  / histoire f. [is-twa-re]
fictitious tale - from Old French istorie (same meaning) from Latin historia f.  
history n. (non-fictitious tale of the past) is from Latin historia f.
French uses the same word histoire f. for (fictitious) story and (non-fictitious) history!

stallion n. / étalon m. [é-ta-lon]
male horse - from Old French estalon - from Frankish stallo (same meaning) - from stall (stable): stallions were usually kept indoor

More to come in next post...