BL: loo
Posted: 12 March 2017 05:36 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I finally got around to this one

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Posted: 12 March 2017 12:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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an alteration of the French gare l’eau (beware of the water)

Shouldn’t that be garde l’eau?

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Posted: 12 March 2017 05:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Maybe just “D’eau” (smacks forehead)!

Seriously, as an Edinburgher, this is one of my earliest etymological memories; my primary head teacher used to give us some ‘local knowledge’. Like the area called Liberton was where the lepers were tolerated, a ‘tassie’ was a cup, and other French words that appeared as a result of the odd alliance that existed between Scotland and France at the time of the Jacobites, for example.

‘Gardez-vous’ (look out) was bastardised to gardyloo and the rest is up for debate, I guess!

Sorry I didn’t have more scientific data but there you go.

[ Edited: 12 March 2017 05:31 PM by BlackGrey ]
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Posted: 12 March 2017 10:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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BlackGrey, I think you meant old (or Auld) alliance, rather than odd!

Tassie certainly does come from French tasse. So does ashet, a large plate (from assiette) - Scottish butchers still sell ‘ashet pies’, ones made in a shallow pie dish. And then there’s the jigget of mutton or lamb, from gigot.

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Posted: 13 March 2017 04:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I’ve changed it to garde l’eau, but the OED has gare l’eau. My French isn’t good enough to figure out which is correct.

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Posted: 13 March 2017 04:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Change it back (I can’t believe you’re changing information taken from the OED on the basis of unsupported assertion!): the old phrase is “gare l’eau.” Here (Dictionnaire Des Proverbes François [1749], p. 112):
https://books.google.com/books/content?id=DmdCAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA112&img=1&zoom=3&hl=en&sig=ACfU3U2lbmb52qr6zKtdPMKRTE9Unco2Eg&ci=103,1167,398,99&edge=0

content?id=DmdCAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA112&img=1&zoom=3&hl=en&sig=ACfU3U2lbmb52qr6zKtdPMKRTE9Unco2Eg&ci=103,1167,398,99&edge=0

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Posted: 13 March 2017 07:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Changed back

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Posted: 13 March 2017 07:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Still more possibilities here:

http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/165733/what-french-phrase-is-the-origin-of-gardyloo

There may have been a French “de” lurking about while the chamber pots were emptied.

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Posted: 13 March 2017 11:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Hardly any of the helpful folks at stackexchange.com seem to be aware that modern-day French is utterly irrelevant (not to mention that some of them don’t actually know French—why, oh why, do people feel compelled to try to answer questions for which they lack the relevant knowledge?).

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Posted: 13 March 2017 01:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Google translate was of no help, translating gare as ‘station’ and garde as ‘keep’.  Babylon 10 rather more helpfully adds ‘be careful!, watch out!’ for gare.  One more thing to unsuccessfully attempt to purge from my JunkDrawerMemory®.

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