Saturday, January 26, 2019

Pine apple

In French, the word pomme means "apple," the sweet fruit we're all familiar with. But, combined with other words, it takes on other meanings. Perhaps the most well known of these is pomme de terre (earth apple) which means "potato." Less well known is the pomme (or sometimes pommeau) de douche (shower apple), what we call a "shower head."

A pine apple, or cone, still attached to a fallen branch.

Then there's the pomme de pin (pine apple), what English speakers now call a "pine cone." The word cône exists in French and is probably more scientifically correct (I'm guessing here), but I've always heard these called pommes de pin. What we call the tropical fruit "pineapple" is known as ananas in French. I read that the tropical "pineapple" was originally called that in English because it resembles, you guessed it, a pine apple.

6 comments:

  1. Now that you mention it, the use of the word pineapple makes sense.

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  2. I don't think I will order any pineapple when I am in France lest I get cones.

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  3. In colonial America, and perhaps in England as well, a pineapple was used as a symbol of welcome. Thus it shows up in door knockers, on fence posts, and so on. I think I recall reading that it was because it was fresh fruit (from the Caribbean?) at a time when such was hard to come by. Wonder if it has the same connotation in France?

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  4. mitch, are those tears of laughter?

    jean, it may even have made sense before I mentioned it... lol!

    michael, you may get a small chocolate cone.

    emm, interesting! I wonder...

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  5. I guess words run in cycles. Origin (or as far to an origin we attempt to go) -- foreign adaptation -- back to origin, with a twist --

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