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Re: (Linguistics and) George Filhe

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  • Patrice Champarou
    ... From: Bob Smith Sent: Sunday, March 04, 2012 2:58 PM To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com Subject: Re: [RedHotJazz] Re: George Filhe (was Oscar Bernie Young)
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 4, 2012
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      -----Message d'origine-----
      From: Bob Smith
      Sent: Sunday, March 04, 2012 2:58 PM
      To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [RedHotJazz] Re: George Filhe (was Oscar 'Bernie' Young)

      > I wonder if the French name 'Filhe' has been anglicized to 'filly' meaning
      > (colloquially) 'a lively young girl'?

      Hi Bob,

      Could have been, but I think not. I did not know the old-fashioned and
      familiar use, only "filly" as the female a colt.

      And although the spelling "Filhé" has a good chance to be a corruption of
      the singular nominative (subject) ending of "Filhes" in "Langue d'Oc" (the
      language used by the troubadours in the Southern part of France, which had
      Latin roots and gave birth to several local vernaculars), it seems that the
      early (ca. 1400) use of "filly" derives from the old Norvegian word "fylja",
      itself the feminine form of "foli" already meaning "foal", while the sense
      of "young girl" is from the 1610's, if I can trust
      http://www.etymonline.com/.

      A seriously off-topic digression I know, but I am thinking of Henriette
      Walter's "Hon(n)ni soit qui mal y pense", a fascinating book about the early
      relationships between French and English, which reveals that both languages
      did not only borrow a lot from each other over the centuries, but nearly
      "grew up together" from the start. Which also means that even in the case of
      obvious Latin origins (like "filiation"), the word may just as well have
      bypassed French while permeating what was not quite English yet.

      Patrice
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