Picnic: Killing Slaves?
Pafra & Scott Catledge
scplc at GS.VERIO.NET
Wed Jun 9 23:45:13 UTC 1999
The 1694 Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise says pique-nique from piquer
in the sense of picoter and nique = chose sans valeur from the German nik.
So the 1694 French reference is older than the 1748 German reference, and
the Dictionnaire credits only the nik part as being from the German.
----- Original Message -----
From: Victoria Neufeldt <vneufeldt at m-w.com>
To: <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, June 09, 1999 8:36 AM
Subject: Re: Picnic: Killing Slaves?
> > -----Original Message-----
> The etymology of the word 'picnic' is known: it is from French. The only
> question about the history of this word as far as English is concerned is
> whether it came into English via German, or directly from French. You
> have to be an etymologist to find this out. Any standard English-language
> "college"-size dictionary will have this info. And some dictionaries will
> also tell you that 'picnic' came into English before the middle of the
> century. There is no connection with killing slaves.
> Victoria Neufeldt
> Merriam-Webster, Inc.
> 47 Federal Street
> P.O. Box 281
> Springfield, MA 01102
> Tel. (413) 734-3134 ext 124
> Fax (413) 827-7262
> > From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU]On Behalf
> > Of mailform at AMERICANDIALECT.ORG
> > Sent: Wednesday, June 09, 1999 7:47 AM
> > To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> > Subject: Picnic: Killing Slaves?
> > This came into the ADS web site. Please send responses to the
> > original sender, not to me, although you may want to cc: the list.
> > fromaddress = osprey at visi.net
> > ere is one for you etymologists. The Babcock Foundation reported
> > in a recent E-mail, that the orgin of the term picnic, orginates
> > from the act of taking a male slave and killing him during a
> > family/community celebration. I did not make this up. . . If
> > any of you out there could find the true orgin I would like to
> > know! The best I found is that it is German (Picknick) or French
> > (Pique-Nique) and dates to 1748. Let Me Know! osprey at visi.net.
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