New answers tagged french
When you say that "by tradition the English tend to use gravy with their vegetables" you are not putting it in a historical perspective. Butter was widely used in Britain in the Middle Ages as in the whole of Northern Europe. The use of butter in southern France is only very recent. The English seems to have been known for their habit of putting a lot of ...
According to this article, the term is less about the parsnips and more about the butter. An alternate variant is "fine words butter no fish". I think the expression is contrasting the conversational effects of flattery, empty promises, etc. (cf. "to butter up") with their lack of practical utility.
The association of parsnips with butter is of long standing. Fletcher alluded to it in his play ‘Womans Prize’ in 1625. The OED’s earliest citation for the acttual proverb is this from 1639: ‘Faire words butter noe parsnips, verba non alunt familiam.’
Original guilds producing charcuterie were known as charcutiers.
Like some others here, I'd use coup de main in English. I'll point out that my French is pretty bad, I know the term coup de main as an English-speaker, not as someone who is thinking in French. I would also say, corps, sortie, rendezvous, coup d'état, aide-de-camp, esprit de corps, matériel along with other words and terms about military matters used in ...
If your audience is historians or laymen modestly read in history, it need not be translated; the French phrase itself is in wide use in the literature, and is sufficiently Anglicized that it need not be italicized. Wikipedia suggests sucker punch, which is apt but emphatically colloquial—it will be read with quotes around it, whether or not you ...
The British military term is undoubtedly coup de main, usually though not universally italicised as a formerly foreign term. The Wikipedia article on the Battle of Arnhem (chosen pretty much at random from dozens of examples) has "a troop of Reconnaissance jeeps from the 1st Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron, under Major Frederick Gough on Leopard who would ...
In everyday parlance donner un coup de main à quelq'un, means 'to give someone a helping hand'. But as regards the military term coup de main there really is no equivalent English expression. The fact that the term is used so frequently in English testifies to the absence of an equivalent, a bit like it's near namesake coup d'etat At the start of the D-Day ...
Hit and run may suit what you describe. It's generally used of drivers who have an accident and leave the scene quickly before they can be held accountable: hit-and-run denoting a person who causes accidental or wilful damage and escapes before being discovered, or damage caused in this way: he was struck by a hit-and-run driver [ODO] As ODO ...
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