I’m finally reading Norman Davies’s Vanished Kingdoms (see this post), and I’m in the middle of the (necessarily long) chapter “Burgundia: Five, Six, or Seven Kingdoms (c. 411-1795).” I’m fascinated by the extraordinarily complicated history of the various entities that have been known as Burgundy over the centuries (in fact, I have an entire book on it, Phoenix Frustrated: Lost Kingdom of Burgundy by Christopher Cope, which is fun but amateurish), and Davies has plenty of maps and references and I’m enjoying it a lot.
And I’ve just discovered a new language name! When he discusses Franco-Provençal (which was to the medieval Kingdom of Burgundy more or less as Belarusian was to the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth—the original Burgundians, who may have come from Bornholm, spoke an East Germanic language closely related to Gothic), Davies refers to it as “Arpitan,” which threw me for a loop. Google sent me to Wikipedia, which explains that “Arpitania and Arpitan Language are … neologisms from the 20th century… initially used for the Alpine regions where Arpitan was spoken. The name was popularised by Mouvement Harpitanya, a left-wing political grouping in Aosta Valley in 1970s.” In fact, he reproduces the “Map of Arpitania” shown on that Wikipedia page; it’s fun to see forms like “Lons” for Lyons and “Grenoblo” for Grenoble. Too bad the language, under whatever name, is dying out.


  1. marie-lucie says:

    Last time I looked up the list of languages on Wikipedia (since I often try to read more than one article on a topic, and see more pictures), I encountered “Arpitan” which was totally new to me, but did not go to the page. A couple of years ago I heard a lecture on the Val d’Aoste and the linguistic situation there, but I don’t think that there was a name for the old language. It seems that there are serious efforts being made for keeping it alive though.

  2. It’s astonishing how tiny these European linguistic subdivisions can be. I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard a single one of these dialect names in my life before:

  3. Trond Engen says:

    I had seen “Arpitan”, but I remember assuming it was derived from a rhoticized “Alp”.

  4. Athel Cornish-Bowden says:

    I think “Lons” is Lons-le-Saunier; Lyon is “Liyon”.

  5. dearieme says:

    We once did a guided walk in Brussels; the guide said without a trace of self-consciousness “In our golden age under the Dukes of Burgundy …”

  6. the extraordinarily complicated history of the various entities that have been known as Burgundy over the centuries
    In the Ealing Studios’ 1950s film Passport To Pimlico the people of London name their newly independent state ‘Burgundy’.
    I think Primo Levi wrote about those dialects, but I can’t find it.

  7. marie-lucie says:

    I think “Lons” is Lons-le-Saunier; Lyon is “Liyon”.
    Athel is right. Lyons is the English version, like Marseilles. These names do not have a final written s in French.
    Northern French people pronounce Lyon like lion, in one syllable. Southern French people (whose speech is influenced by Occitan) say both as li-on or even liyon.

  8. dearieme says:

    “Northern French people pronounce Lyon like lion, in one syllable.” Apparently that was how it was pronounced in English too until recently. (I once came across an article about how British pronunciation of French names had become frenchified in the last century or so. So King Lewis became King Looie, and so on.)

  9. ..wait what? How is lion one syllable?

  10. marie-lucie says:

    AG, lion is one syllable in Standard French. The i coming between a consonant and a vowel is not the vowel but the semi-vowel otherwise written y.
    But perhaps you mean English lion? perhaps dearieme means that it used to be pronounced like line? And, dearieme, French Louis is (at least currently) pronounced in one syllable, [lwi].

  11. I think “Lons” is Lons-le-Saunier; Lyon is “Liyon”.
    My bad; thanks for the correction.

  12. @ marie-lucie -
    thanks for the clarification, but… am I insane in thinking that “lion” and “Louis” (in either language) are clearly 2-syllable words? I don’t care how French you are, “lion” is obviously 2 syllables. Right?

  13. Girl seems like one syllable, but…
    “gir ul” might be two syllables.

  14. I don’t care how French you are, “lion” is obviously 2 syllables. Right?
    Nope, it’s one syllable. Think of it as “yon” (pronounced the French way, obviously) with an l- stuck on in front.

  15. I’m sure I came across “Arpitan” when vacationing in Savoy (in Chamonix in Haute Savoie). But where exactly? I don’t remember. Perhaps I was reading Wikipedia on the road too much.
    The golden age of Burgundy was – I guess – the 100 years before the death of Charles the Bold? I’ve just started Huizinga’s “Erasmus and the Age of Reformation,” which begins:
    “When Erasmus was born Holland had for about twenty years formed part of the territory which the dukes of Burgundy had succeeded in uniting under their dominion – that compleхity of lands, half French in population, like Burgundy, Artois, Hainault, Namur; half Dutch like Flanders, Brabant, Zealand, Holland.”
    (MT wouldn’t let me include the word “compleхity” in the post: I got “You don’t have permission to access /mt/mt-comments.cgi on this server.” I had to use the Russian х to get the comment accepted.)

  16. marie-lucie says:

    AG: lion is obviously 2 syllables
    If you are from Southern France, maybe. From Northern France, like from Paris (and many other places), or from Canada, no.

  17. marie-lucie says:

    lion (suite)
    However, it must have been two syllables in older versions of French, as shown by the syllable count in some older poetry (French poetry being syllable-based, not “foot” and stress-based as in English).

  18. Etienne says:

    As a native speaker of French from Canada I can confirm that “lion” is monosyllabic to me.
    There is an interesting minimal pair which highlights this in the speech of many francophones (myself included: I don’t know about Marie-Lucie): “lion(s)”, singular or plural, is monosyllabic. On the other hand “lions”, the imperative first person plural form of the verb “lier”, meaning “to tie/attach”, is bisyllabic: whereas the noun “lion(s)” has /j/ as its second segment, the verb form “lions” has an /i/ as its second segment.

  19. dearieme says:

    “French Louis is (at least currently) pronounced in one syllable”: I said that English pronunciation has (apparently) been frenchified – I didn’t say that it had been frenchified accurately or completely. Consider Ypres – in the First World War the British troops pronounced it Wipers. Nowadays people would have a go at Eepr, even if they didn’t hit it spot on.

  20. J.W. Brewer says:

    Grand Fenwick must be somewhere within the boundaries of that maximalist/irredentist Arpitania shown on wikipedia, but I can’t figure out what the Arpitan name on the map for it is.

  21. The golden age of Burgundy was – I guess – the 100 years before the death of Charles the Bold?
    Yes, with the proviso that that’s the least Burgundian of the various entities that have gone by that name; it didn’t include the historic heartland around Geneva, and its economic center was Flanders (in fact, what people meant when they talked about “Burgundy” and “Burgundian” in the fifteenth century was largely Flanders and Flemish). Also, Charles the Bold would be more justly known as Charles the Asshole; as Cope writes, “It was under these remarkable princes [the Valois count-dukes, from Philip the Bold to Charles] that the best opportunity arose that was ever offered to the Burgundian Phoenix. Philip created it, Charles cast it away.” He had no qualms about massacring the entire population of a rebellious city, and he thought he could make enemies of every surrounding monarch at the same time with impunity. Turns out he couldn’t.

  22. marie-lucie says:

    Is Charles the Bold the man known in French as Charles le Téméraire?

  23. marie-lucie says:

    Philip the Bold must be Philippe le Hardi. Hardi and téméraire both imply boldness, daring, but téméraire also implies stubborn, foolish boldness that takes unnecessary risks.

  24. Indeed it is. He was also called Charles le Hardi or (in Dutch) Karel de Stoute, roughly ‘Charles the Tough’, and Wikipedia says he was also known as Charles le Terrible “to his enemies”.

  25. Here’s an interesting passage from the Davies book about what happened after Charles the Asshole died:

    The late duke-count’s nineteen-year-old daughter, Mary of Burgundy…, was now wooed by more suitors than the years of her life. Since her duchy had been seized by the French, she fell back on her subjects in the Low Countries. Yet they, too, were simmering with resentment. They stopped her from choosing a husband until she granted them a ‘Great Privilege’ abolishing all her father’s recent impositions. Mary was then free to make her choice, which fell on Maximilian von Habsburg, son of the Holy Roman Emperor. The marriage was consecrated at Ghent on 19 August in the year that had started with the Battle of Nancy. It was one of the great matrimonial milestones of European history. Within five years, Mary was dead, killed by a fall from her horse, yet in the brief interval, she had given birth to three children who would ensure the political legacy of her marriage. Her widowed husband succeeded to the Empire; her son Philip IV was to marry the queen of Aragon and Castile, and her grandson, Charles of Ghent, Kezer Karel, better known as the Emperor Charles V, was to scoop the largest portfolio of titles and dominions ever bequeathed to a European monarch.

  26. I kind of like Charles the Unnecessary Risk Taker.

  27. Charles the fool-hardi?
    Actually, what is the “hardy” in “foolhardy”?

  28. My new favorite real legendary placename, up there with Macaronesia.

  29. Thanks for the responses… for some reason my brain was briefly unable to process one-syllable “lion”, but I think I get it now.
    The Japanese name “Ryo” is a similar puzzle for me. It’s clearly one syllable, and easy for Japanese people to say, but for me it’s a near-impossible tongue twister

  30. Hardy in this sense means ‘bold, courageous, daring’ (OED), so foolhardy means ‘hardy to the point of folly’, or as the OED says ‘daring without judgement, foolishly adventurous or bold, rashly venturesome’.

  31. English lost /rj/ (as in rude) so long ago that no variety retains it, so it’s not surprising that anglophones find it hard to say. In the accents where there is a contrast between threw and through, the contrast is that threw continues to have /ɪu/ rather than simple /u/.

  32. marie-lucie says:

    AG: The Japanese name “Ryo” … for me it’s a near-impossible tongue twister
    Yet you can easily say “Are you?” Practice saying this: first the whole thing, then keeping the “A” silent. Of course you wont really sound Japanese, but you will get used to the “ry” sound sequence.
    JC: French hardi must have preserved the Old English meaning (more likely the Germanic meaning). Foolhardy seems to be the right equivalent for téméraire, so it should be Charles the Foolhardy, not Charles the Bold which is a positive nickname.

  33. What happens in Passport to Pimlico is that a a royal charter of Edward IV turns up as result of wartime bombing, conveying the title to the land now occupied by Pimlico to the Duke of Burgundy. The inhabitants have been having a dustup with the government of London, so they assert their independence. The city tries to starve them out, but they receive a great deal of support from the outside, and much publicity. Then the actual Duke of Burgundy (an otherwise ordinary Frenchman) shows up to lead his people. An excellent and very entertaining movie.
    I have that Christopher Cope book, but mine has a different cover and is called The Lost Kingdom of Burgundy, with “Phoenix Frustrated” appearing only as a subtitle and only on the inside title page. 1986 edition.

  34. Thanks, maid. I was hazy about the details. It must have been about 40 years since I watched it. Pimlico is a very good name, though. It seems a shame to change it.

  35. Lyons is the English version, like Marseilles. These names do not have a final written s in French.
    - Does anyone know why the Ss were added in English? It seems a bit of a waste if they’re not even going to be pronounced.

  36. Of course you wont really sound Japanese, but you will get used to the “ry” sound sequence.
    The main problem is that the Japanese ‘r’ sound is not really like the English sound at all. I think /rj/ in English might actually be easier to pronounce.

  37. We once did a guided walk in Brussels; the guide said without a trace of self-consciousness “In our golden age under the Dukes of Burgundy …”
    Brussels is reputed to have the best Burgundy wines because the old connection never died away.

  38. marie-lucie says:

    Ryo: Bathrobe, of course Japanese ‘r’ is not any kind of English ‘r’, but the result might be easier for a Japanese person to process than whatever the speaker used to say. There is quite a diversity of sounds that are considered to be ‘r’ in different languages, without really impeding communication between people from different linguistic backgrounds. This can even be true in a single language: English spoken in different countries (eg England, Scotland, Canada, New Zealand, India, etc) has quite a variety of ‘r’s.

  39. Pimlico is a very good name, though.
    So it is, and I started wondering where it came from; according to Wikipedia, nobody knows for sure:

    At some point in the late seventeenth or early eighteenth century, the area ceased to be known as Ebury or “The Five Fields” and gained the name by which it is now known. While its origins are disputed, it is “clearly of foreign derivation…. Gifford, in a note in his edition of Ben Jonson, tells us that ‘Pimlico is sometimes spoken of as a person, and may not improbably have been the master of a house once famous for ale of a particular description.” Supporting this etymology, Rev. Brewer describes the area as “a district of public gardens much frequented on holidays. According to tradition, it received its name from Ben Pimlico, famous for his nut-brown ale. His tea-gardens, however, were near Hoxton, and the road to them was termed Pimlico Path, so that what is now called Pimlico was so named from the popularity of the Hoxton resort”.

  40. marie-lucie says:

    Some years ago I read an article in a linguistics journal (I don’t remember which one but it is well-known), where this question was addressed. The conclusion was that the name “Pimlico” had first appeared in a work dealing with America in the 17c or 18c, at a time when there was much curiosity about the continent. It is not uncommon for tourist or at least public attractions to be called by exotic names (like “Shangri-la”, for instance), and if the owner of the alehouse and the tea gardens had had a very commonplace name shared with many others, he could have become better known by the name of his ‘resort’. From “Pimlico Path” (leading to the “Pimlico” resort) to “Pimlico district” where the owner lived is not a huge step.

  41. His tea-gardens, however, were near Hoxton, and the road to them was termed Pimlico Path, so that what is now called Pimlico was so named from the popularity of the Hoxton resort”.
    Interesting. I don’t buy the “so that”, though. Hoxton is waay on totally the other side of London. It’s 6 or 7 miles from Pimlico. It’s a hell of a long way to go for a nut-brown ale, let alone a cup of tea.
    Ebury Street, -Mews etc. is on the edge of Pimlico, and I didn’t know it used to be the name of the district. I had thought the streets were named for Lord Ebury, whereas he must have been named for them.

  42. J.W. Brewer says:

    Is there independent documentary evidence for the historical existence of Ben Pimlico (including say, a parish register noting his baptism and indicating that Pimlico was in fact his parents’ surname – as marie-lucie noted, it could have been a “stage name”)? Browsing what seems to be a quite extensive database of surnames found in 19th century UK census records gives nothing in between Pimley and Pimlott, and it doesn’t match my gut intuition at least of the typical range of phonological/orthographic patterns found in British surnames.
    Obviously even many centuries ago London attacted immigrants from various sources and it’s entirely possible a foreign-origin surname could have been anglicized in an odd one-off version but then died out.

  43. Whatever the exact source of hardi, Frankish or what not, it is certainly from a Germanic cognate of English hard. In the U.K., tough guys are called hard men, which is as irresistibly funny (to North American anglophones) as the North American Randall who goes Over There and introduces himself as Randy.

  44. As for Pimlico, it is a Native American name. The work was done by Richard Coates, and memorably told by Larry Trask (pbuh) in Why Do Languages Change? (2010, posthumously published):

    Pimlico is today the name of a well-known district in southwest London, located within the borough of Westminster, most famous, perhaps, as the setting for the post-war Ealing Comedy Passport to Pimlico. The name is also found elsewhere in Britain and in Ireland, but these other occurrences are all first recorded considerably later than that of the Westminster Pimlico, and are presumably derived from it. The name Pimlico is first recorded for the place in Westminster in 1626, but this is not the earliest occurrence of the name.
    Quite a few years earlier, we find the name Pimlico attached to a small district in a northern part of London called Hoxton. In particular, it was given to a celebrated and exceedingly popular ale-house located there. This ale-house was located close to a couple of theatres, and it is mentioned in a number of literary and theatrical works composed between 1609 and about 1658, including Ben Jonson’s famous play The Alchemist, written in 1610.
    As long ago as 1849, an earlier investigator established that the earliest recorded reference to the name occurs in a tract published in 1598, called Newes from Hogsdon (i.e. Hoxton), which contains the line “Have at thee, then, my merrie boies, and hey for old Ben Pimlico’s nut browne.” This allows scholars to conclude that Ben Pimlico was the name of the publican who owned the ale-house, and that his surname was transferred in turn to his ale, his establishment, and to his house and a neighbouring alley. So far, so good, but now we run into a blank wall: no such surname as Pimlico is recorded anywhere else at all, and its formation is utterly opaque. There the matter rested for a century and a half, until Coates took up the chase.
    Coates began by noting that the name is sometimes given in early sources as Pemlico, a fact which will be important. Then, finding no joy in Britain, he directed his inquiries to North America. His attention was immediately drawn to North Carolina, where the stretch of water lying between the Outer Banks and the coast proper is called Pamlico Sound. This sound takes its name from the river flowing into it, today called the Tar-Pamlico, but formerly, the records confirm, named simply the Pamlico. [Note: Wikipedia thinks the Pamlico is the estuary of the Tar.] And the river in turn takes its name from that of a now vanished Native American people who once lived along its banks; their Algonquian name would more typically have been Pamticough, but either the local pronunciation was different or English-speaking settlers altered this to Pamlico. This Pamlico is very similar to the early variant Pemlico of the name we are interested in.
    Did Coates immediately conclude that he had found the origin of the name Pimlico? Certainly not, because that would be deeply unprofessional. For all anyone knows, there might be dozens of names resembling Pimlico in locations ranging from Montevideo through Mozambique to Mongolia. It is a constant error of linguistic amateurs and cranks to assume that, because they have uncovered a resemblance, they have identified the origin of the name they are playing with. The crucial part is to provide a pathway: to show, in our case, how the name could reasonably have travelled from North Carolina to London by 1598, especially since this was a time when no permanent English-speaking settlement had yet been founded in North America. (That first permanent settlement was Jamestown, in Virginia, founded in 1607.)
    However, Pamlico Sound is by no means a totally insignificant locale in the English settlement of North America, for at its northern end there lies the island of Roanoke, the site of Sir Walter Raleigh’s abortive first attempts at establishing an American colony, in 1585 and 1587. This is just early enough to pre-date that reference to Ben Pimlico in 1598, and so Coates turned his attention to the Roanoke settlers, noting first that a 1747 map of London records a street called Virginia Row not far from Pimlico’s ale-house, which perhaps reinforces the suspicion that some of the returned Roanoke colonists might have settled in Hoxton.
    Some of those colonists did indeed return from [the first settlement of] Roanoke to England; when Sir Francis Drake brought them back on his returning ship in 1586. The names of some of the returning colonists are recorded; and, fascinatingly, two of them were named Bennet Chappell and Bennet Harrye. Coates therefore wondered whether one of these men, as a result of some unrecorded incident while he was living at Roanoke, might have acquired the nickname ‘Pemlico’ or ‘Pimlico’, and whether he might have brought this nickname back to England with him and used it as a surname (until quite recently, what surname you used was fluid), perhaps out of pride (the incident reflected well on him) or out of whimsy (the incident was funny, and he had a sense of humour.)
    Coates notes further that one of the reasons for the great popularity of Pimlico’s ale-house seems to have been the availability there of a novel pleasure, that most famous product of Virginia and North Carolina, tobacco. Possibly Ben Pimlico, having become acquainted with the weed while at Roanoke, had taken steps to obtain a supply for his establishment.
    That would seem to be that, but things are rarely so simple in this line of work. Just about to submit his account for publication, Coates stumbled across two more instances of Pimlico, instances which appeared to cast doubt on his conclusion. First, there is a Pimlico Island near Bermuda, a name for which we have no information at all about its earliest use. Second, there are several early references to a bird called the pemblico, found all along the Atlantic coast and, according to the 1624 account of Captain John Smith, leader of the Jamestown settlement, so called because that’s what the bird’s cry sounds like. (This bird is now known as Audubon’s shearwater [Puffinus lherminieri].) Could it be, then, that Coates’s account is a hopeless fabrication, and that all the Pimlicos take their names from nothing more than the imitative name given to this noisy bird?
    Nothing for it, then, but to go back to the documents. This time Coates found an account of the history of the Bermudas, of uncertain authorship but dating from around 1630. And this account contains the following illuminating passage: “Another small Bird ther is, the which, by some Ale-banters of London sent ouer hether, hath been termed pimplicoe, for so they Imagine (and a little resemblance putts them in mind of a place so dearly beloued) her note articulates.” In other words, the name was given to the bird by a group of Londoners arriving in the Bahamas merely because its cry reminded them of the name of their favourite ale-house, the celebrated and fashionable Ben Pimlico’s of Hoxton.
    Coates therefore concludes that Pimlico is probably the first American name to be carried to Britain, and certainly the first name derived from a native American language to take root in Britain. The origin of the Algonquian name Pamticough is unknown, though it may be a derivative of an earlier name of the river.

    This tale fails to account for the transference of Pimlico from Hoxton to Westminster, but seems otherwise very convincing to me. Certainly it would be a stretch to assume two independent origins of a name so peculiar for two different places in London. The Pamticough mentioned would probably have been pronounced /pamticux/ and written down by early modern Englishmen as they heard it.

  45. On the thing of the English word “lion”: RP was traditionally considered to have triphthongal phonemes /aɪǝ/ and /ɑʊǝ/, which in practice meant smoothing the relevant sequences into [aǝ] and [ɑǝ], so that’s how English can have a monosyllabic “lion”. As for the city, I’ve read that in older English, Lyon was spelled “Lyons” and pronounced /ˈlaɪǝnz/ (reminiscent of like how Milan used to be /ˈmaɪlǝn/).

  46. Oh, and about “ryo” – I do agree that coronal rhotics are the hardest thing to follow up with a [j]-like sound. When I dabble in Russian, for example, soft “r” is the one thing that totally eludes me – I’m torn between pronouncing the sequence “ре” as [ɾe] or as [ɾie].

  47. J.W. Brewer says:

    A thread over at Language Log has just induced me to praise “Brothel in Pimlico” by Roy Brooks, which . . . if you are only going to read one anthology of atypically well-written real estate ads in your lifetime is definitely the one to pick.

  48. As for Pimlico, it is a Native American name. The work was done by Richard Coates, and memorably told by Larry Trask (pbuh) in Why Do Languages Change? (2010, posthumously published)
    Thanks very much for reproducing that passage, which is both entertaining and convincing. The discovery that the sailors named the bird after the bar is almost too good to be true.

  49. Yes, it is entertaining and convincing. A thousand thanks, John. How very interesting enlightening and I must say, surprising. M-l was right, and it must have been a piece by Trask that she read. That extract should at the very least be on the Wikipedia page for ‘Pimlico’.
    JW, I haven’t read the Log piece but Roy Brooks’ property ads in the Observer & Sunday Times newspapers were a feature of my childhood. And it’s not often that children are entertained by property advertising.

  50. I found a citation for the Coates article: Coates, Richard, “The First American Placename in England: Pimlico”, Names: A Journal of Onomastics, 43:3 (September 1995), pp. 213-227(15). Alas, I can’t fork over the $15 to download it.

  51. dearieme says:

    “How very …surprising. M-l was right …”: how ungentlemanlike, Crown.

  52. marie-lucie says:

    dearieme, shame on you, you are twisting Crown’s words through selective elimination. AJP, your comment was perfectly OK.

  53. Thank you, m-l. That boy is such a troublemaker.

  54. “m-l… is such a troublemaker”: He’s at it again!

  55. Athel Cornish-Bowden says:

    marie-lucie: AG: lion is obviously 2 syllables
    If you are from Southern France, maybe. From Northern France, like from Paris (and many other places), or from Canada, no.
    I think it’s always one syllable in Marseilles, as is Lyon. I first became conscious of that when my daughter, at the age of 4, came back from school and recited a verse about a snail on its way from Dijon to Lyon. Before that I always did what Engllish speakers do, and put the stress on a syllable that isn’t there.

  56. Athel Cornish-Bowden says:

    dearieme (quoting an earlier post that I can’t find): ”French Louis is (at least currently) pronounced in one syllable”
    Yes. I’m not sure how my wife pronounces Louis, as it isn’t a name that comes up much in our conversation, but a related point arises with pluie, which she pronounces as if spelt ploue, something I’ve always found rather odd, as she (as a Chilean) doesn’t have the slightest difficulty with Spanish words with the same sound, like Luis.

  57. Athel Cornish-Bowden says:

    AJP: Lyons is the English version, like Marseilles. These names do not have a final written s in French.
    - Does anyone know why the Ss were added in English? It seems a bit of a waste if they’re not even going to be pronounced.

    I think we’ve had that conversation before, or maybe I’m thinking of another group. If I’m right, then some knowledgeable person like marie-lucie pointed out that they originally had s in French and were adopted before they lost it. In English, Lyon has largely lost its s, but Marseilles still has it (some of the time, anyway). I don’t know why.
    What I find interesting is how many placenames have no s in their original language but acquire one when translated — not just those two, but Brussels (Brussel in Dutch, but Bruxelles in French), Algiers, Naples, Athens, Tangiers, once upon a time Portingals, not to mention (in French) Gênes, Londres, Douvres and Cornouailles Those last three account for 75% of all the English placenames that I know of that are different in French (the exception being Cantorbéry.) Of course, Athens and Naples are plural in their original languages (but s-less).

  58. Defanged spam, with the slogan removed:

    This breadmaker any dull bailey button in the software my partner and i have a passion for people! They could be and so nice and graceful! That I give they college to be able to the shop. The one fraudulent relating to the bailey button in the software would be that the flap always reduces above and also you won’t gaze at icon. :(

  59. I’ve always hated the bailey button in the software.

  60. marie-lucie says:

    Athel: two comments:
    pluie, which she pronounces as if spelt ploue, something I’ve always found rather odd, as she (as a Chilean) doesn’t have the slightest difficulty with Spanish words with the same sound, like Luis.
    I have no idea why a Chilean would pronounce pluie as “ploue” ([plu]), because in French it is pronounced like lui, which is not the same as in Luis or Louis. The semi-vowel at the beginning of ui is related to (French) u (= German ü), that of oui is related to (French) ou (= German u) and equivalent to English w.
    French city names with final -s: All your citations are correct, except for “Cornouailles” which is not a city or town. La Cornouaille is the name of two regions, one in Southwest England (also called by the plural les Cornouailles) and the other in Brittany.

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