Bad words

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Jul 9 18:33:40 UTC 2002

At 2:05 PM -0400 7/9/02, James A. Landau wrote:
>  >  >  "Piss" is also from  French---compare the
>>   > name of the famous statue "Le Manequin-Pis".
>MWCD10 says no, but I wonder if the English euphemism "pee" comes from the
>"Pis" above, which I think is pronounced /pee/ rather than /pis/.
Actually, as I remarked earlier, "Manikin-Pis" is the spelling, and
it's Belgian.  The statue is in the middle of Brussels, which is a
mostly Flemish-speaking city.   I don't know if the written name
counts as Walloon (francophone Belgain) or as a Flemish (=Dutch)
transliteration (note also the largely un-French "k"), but the "pis"
is definitely [pis] phonetically, as the standard French "pisse"
would be pronounced.  No relation to the French word "pis" meaning
'worse'.  Tant pis.  (which is *not* a comment on a surfeit of the
bodily effluvium or references thereto)


More information about the Ads-l mailing list