I recently used the word re-rendezvous in conversation with several people, meaning for two entities to come together again after having initially met and gone their separate ways. (This was a software engineering discussion, in which everything is conceptual and we frequently use metaphors.) Someone said "'Re-rendezvous' - wouldn't that be redundant?", implying that the re of rendezvous meant "again." I've looked at several definitions and etymologies, and all I can see is that rendez vous means "present yourselves" in Middle French. I don't get any "again-ness."

I'll admit it was a clunky invention, made up on the spot in a casual conversation, but I don't think it was "redundant." And it occurs to me: doesn't the re prefix always occupy a syllable of its own when it means "again"? As, say, "redundant" derives from re + undare, according to Online Etymology Dictionary?


I think your analysis is correct. As you mentioned, rendezvous simply means to meet or assemble and does not imply that this is happening again. You use the word rendezvous to refer to an event that has only occurred once.

So re-rendezvous is not redundant; it just sounds odd (as any re-re- word does as in re-remedy or re-resent). It definitely sounds more natural to say rendezvous again.


Chambers (http://www.chambersharrap.co.uk/) defines rendezvous, inter alia, as "to meet at an appointed place or time" and specifies:
"ETYMOLOGY: 16c: French, meaning 'present yourselves', from se rendre to present oneself."

I agree that the "re" in rendezvous does not mean "again", any more than does the "re" in "remain", "respect" and other words that 'happen' to begin with "re". It follows that the "re-" in re-rendezvous is not redundant.

But, yes, it is 'clunky', and, unless you were actually agreeing "an appointed place or time", it would seem that rendezvous was an inappropriate choice of word.

What's wrong with meet again?

  • I was using "rendezvous" in the computer science sense (en.wikipedia.org/w/…), so the best I could have done is probably "rendezvous again."
    – Chap
    May 11 '13 at 20:37

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