French Word of the Day: Rouge

Cheek colour, Red Stick, Red Mill, you know all of these names using the word "rouge" which is the French word for red.
In French, rouge is pronounced: rooj the rolling of the "R" is the only major difference. 

Rouge- the makeup - can be any range of colour
Pink in French is rose and beige is, well,
beige because that's already French. 


Baton Rouge literally means "red stick". Baton Rouge spoken in American English you know well and in French it sounds almost the same only French-ier. You'll find the pronunciation for both here on the same page.

Why is Baton Rouge named for a red stick?

Wiki mentions the etymology of the name is derived from a French translation of the local Native American name: Istrouma meaning, red stick, thankfully keeping things simple. The stick in question was "a reddish cypress pole festooned with bloody animals that marked the boundary between the Houma and Bayou Goula tribal hunting grounds. They called the pole and its location le bâton rouge, or the red stick."

You want to talk about place names with interesting French words? Saint-Loius-du-Ha-Ha!, complete with exclamation point and located in the province of Quebec, has to be my favourite.

Moulin Rouge by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Thanks to the 2001 movie, Moulin Rouge, the famous European cabaret show has joined our mainstream consciousness but have you wondered what the name meant? 

Moulin Rouge literally means red mill. The meaning of mill can be a windmill, a pepper mill or even a coffee grinder. In this case, the Moulin Rouge is named for the red windmill on the roof of the building.

The Moulin Rouge has been around since 1889. 

Moulin Rouge is best known as the spiritual birthplace of the modern form of the can-can dance. Originally introduced as a seductive dance by the courtesans who operated from the site, the can-can dance revue evolved into a form of entertainment of its own and led to the introduction of cabarets across Europe. Today, Moulin Rouge is a tourist attraction, offering musical dance entertainment for visitors from around the world. The club's decor still contains much of the romance of fin de siècle France. [wiki]

English is a hodge podge of words from other languages but it's always interesting to find out that a lot of words we have been saying, without even noticing, originate in a different language. It's also interesting to learn what that language is and what the words actually mean. You're more cultured than you thought.



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