I recently stumbled over this wiktionary page: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/parc#English


parc (plural parcs)

Alternative form of park (partially enclosed basin in which oysters are grown)

I found another source (based on Oxford dictionary) that has this to say:


The total number of vehicles considered collectively; the vehicle population.

When I search for the word "parc" in Merriam-Webster, I don't find anything. Yet it seems that this term is sometimes used.

For example, Parc Cynog is a wind farm operated by Nuon Renewables in Wales (source)

So now I'm really curious what the difference is between those two spellings.

  • 3
    Parc is Welsh for Park. So that wind farm's name is not English. – Matt E. Эллен Nov 12 '19 at 10:52
  • @MattE.Эллен Thank you. That explains a lot. Still wondering why that wiktionary page lists that alternative spelling. I also found another source, based on the Oxford dictionary (will link it above) – TrashyMcTrash Nov 12 '19 at 12:48
  • 1
    "Parc" is only seen in the US when someone is being cute. – Hot Licks Nov 12 '19 at 12:55
  • That second definition (from Lexico) is news to me! But I have found one hit in google books. Other searches might find others. Seems really niche. – Matt E. Эллен Nov 12 '19 at 13:48
  • Wiktionary is problematic. – Mitch Nov 12 '19 at 14:16

English got the word park from French parc and in Middle English it was spelled as both park and parc. Then English spelling standardized to only use park.

After spelling was standardized, oyster park/oyster parc, was imported from the French parc à huîtres/parc aux huîtres. So sometimes this very specific use of the word is spelled with a c.

The OED marks stand-alone park/parc in the oyster sense as obsolete.

The Guardian has an example of the c spelling:

We put-putted out to a buoy marking his underwater oyster parc, a fenced-off section of the bay bottom, and we sat . . . and sat . . . and sat, in the roaring August sun, waiting for the tide to go out.

In essence, except for oyster parc, park is always spelled with a k in English.

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