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Re: Dutch surnames (scatological warning!)

From:Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets <>
Date:Tuesday, April 7, 2009, 13:59
2009/4/7 Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...>

> >> My husband always says that when completely translated >> into French, his full name sounds quite noble (as long as >> you don't know French :) ). Of course, in French he makes >> it Jean Henry Marie Pied de la Vache-Grandsire (mine would be Christophe >> Alain Grandsire-Pied de la Vache). I >> personally prefer to keep to the original version :) . >> > > This reminds me of the old French fashion > of using the naming format > > _<first name> <father's surname> de <mother's surname>_. > > I guess this was a quasi-legitimate way of making a > bourgeois name sound 'noble' by getting a _de_ into > it. It is of course also reminicent of the Hispano- > phone formats >
The other way was to simply buy a title (quite common after the Restoration, given how many noble families had lost their heads ;) ). One of the former French presidents, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, was well known for having such a bought-out noble name (his grandfather bought the name "d'Estaing", along with the nobility title).
> > What I wonder is how common this format was in France, > and how long it was in use. I'm quite sure the _terminus > ante quem_ was 1789, but when did it begin? >
No idea.
> > FWIW _kofot_ is only 'crowbar' in Swedish. The hoof > of a cow is _klöv_, which is an ablaut derivation of > _clave[^1]_. Christophe's surname sounds like the > nickname of the patriarch of a fairy-tale robber band!
Doesn't sound half bad! <mischievious grin>
> > (And of course St. Christopher was originally a robber!! :-) >
Was he? I don't know much about my patron saint, although if he is indeed a kind of christianisation of the Greco-Roman god of traveling Hermes/Mercurius, as I've often pondered, it doesn't surprise me that the protector of travelers would have been a robber as well :) .
> > BTW how would you translate _arrêter_ in my sig? > > /BP 8^)> > -- > Benct Philip Jonsson -- melroch atte melroch dotte se > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ > "C'est en vain que nos Josués littéraires crient > à la langue de s'arrêter; les langues ni le soleil > ne s'arrêtent plus. Le jour où elles se *fixent*, > c'est qu'elles meurent." (Victor Hugo) >
"s'arrêter" (the verb is pronominal) usually means "to stop (moving)". It presupposes a kind of process, usually a movement (although it can also be a transformation or evolution) that the subject of it stops doing. Unlike "arrêter", which is a general "to stop", and like the English verb can be transitive or intransitive, "s'arrêter" is intransitive (actually pronominal) and restricted to the idea of stopping a movement or transformation. -- Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets.