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What is the origin of the phrase 'pardon my French'?



 
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Test incompl/inter-285, Question 7 | What does it mean: "all ears"
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What is the origin of the phrase 'pardon my French'? #1 (permalink) Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:50 am   What is the origin of the phrase 'pardon my French'?
 

English Language Tests, Intermediate level

ESL/EFL Test #285 "English Slang Idioms (7)", question 4

"You'll have to pardon my .........," the lady said, "but I hate this damn city!"

(a) ignorance
(b) atrocity
(c) English
(d) French

English Language Tests, Intermediate level

ESL/EFL Test #285 "English Slang Idioms (7)", answer 4

"You'll have to pardon my French," the lady said, "but I hate this damn city!"

Correct answer: (d) French

Your answer was: incorrect
"You'll have to pardon my atrocity," the lady said, "but I hate this damn city!"
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why is it french?

Bubbis
Bubbis
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What is the origin of the phrase 'pardon my French'? #2 (permalink) Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:57 am   What is the origin of the phrase 'pardon my French'?
 

What is the origin of the phrase 'pardon my French'?

This phrase, in which French refers to "bad language", is employed
when the speaker feels compelled to use an obscenity despite having
listeners who might be offended. It's a late 19th century euphemism
which first appeared in Harper's Magazine in 1895.

It is thought that the term French is employed in this sense as it
already had a history of association with things considered vulgar.
As far back as the early 16th century, French pox and the French
disease were synonyms for genital herpes, and French-sick was another
term for syphillis. The OED [Oxford English Dictionary] also equates
the adjective French with "spiciness", as in French letter for
"condom", French kiss (1923) and French (i. e. "sexually explicit")
novels (from 1749).

http://www.takeourword.com/Issue058.html
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to MM #3 (permalink) Tue Sep 28, 2010 16:52 pm   to MM
 

Hello Mr. Micawbers'

It's a very interesting and detailed explanation. It was good to read.

In brief :Excuse me use of swear words or taboo words.

Regards:
Kati Svaby
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