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Where did French's silent ending consonants come from?

This is a huge question. If someone has the time to give a more thorough overview, I invite them to, but here's a quick set of points to consider. Most of these end consonants are no mystery: they ...
Luke Sawczak's user avatar
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27 votes
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Ça vs. ca in French

ca is not a word in French. It can only be used as an abbreviation: - of centiare - of circa and these two abbreviations are rarely used. Only ça exists as a word in French. What you might have ...
None's user avatar
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21 votes
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Why are the words poison and poisson so similar?

I would say this is accidental. The word 'poisson' comes from the Latin piscem, meaning fish, while 'poison' comes from 'potion' which itself originates from potio, also Latin but meaning beverage.
Nico Mezeret's user avatar
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20 votes

Where did French's silent ending consonants come from?

In addition to Luke's answer, here are some comments about each of your examples: Temps was often written tems, tens or even tans in Old French. When French spelling was standardized, the variant ...
jlliagre's user avatar
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16 votes
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Why is Sunday not Soleildi?

That is more a Latin language question as the change predates the French language emergence but nevertheless in Latin "Sunday" used to be named dies solis (day of the Sun), just like it is in English ...
jlliagre's user avatar
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15 votes
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Orthographie et orthographe

En 1539, l'ordonnance de Villers-Cotterêts impose le français1 dans tous les documents officiels, en remplacement du latin que le peuple ne comprenait plus depuis longtemps. Nombreux sont les lettrés ...
jlliagre's user avatar
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13 votes
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Why is "ayant" the participle of "avoir", instead of "avant"?

I think ayant was built on the subjunctive stem (found in ayons, ayez). The present participle of the Latin verb habeo had the stem habent-, which wouldn't be expected to develop to French ayant. (...
sumelic's user avatar
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12 votes

Why does "si" sometimes mean "if" and other times "so"?

Si "if" is from Latin sī "if". Straightforward enough. Si "so", "so much", and even "yes" is from Latin sīc "in that way". A vestige of that ...
Luke Sawczak's user avatar
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11 votes
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D'où proviennent les participes passés terminant « -u » comme « lu, su, pu, vu, connu » etc. ?

Il y a un très petit nombre de verbes en latin classique qui formaient leur parfait en -u- et leur supin en -ūtum. Par exemple: Uoluere - uoluō - uoluī - uolūtum (rouler) Tribuere - tribuō - tribuī - ...
Eau qui dort's user avatar
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11 votes
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I am a little bit confused due to the difference between dictionaries on the verb "ficher". Can native speakers take a look?

Ficher can have several meanings but it is not a verb we would use very much except for the colloquial use. 1- The oldest and primary meaning of ficher is faire entrer par la pointe, it comes from ...
None's user avatar
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11 votes
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Roumadjade in southern France

No need to look for an Arabic origin. This fougasse was likely including cheese, in Occitan: formatge/fromatge, but in the Gascon variant spoken in the Sud-Ouest, cheese is hromatge. With the regular -...
jlliagre's user avatar
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11 votes
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Is there any etymological connection between the two dominant meanings of "or"?

The word "or" meaning "gold" comes from the Latin word "aurum", while the word "or" meaning "yet/but" comes from the Latin word "hora" (&...
Bruno's user avatar
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10 votes
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D'où provient le "é" dans le mot "école" ?

À un certain moment dans l'évolution du latin vulgaire aux langues romanes occidentales (domaines gallo-roman et ibéro-roman), la combinaison de lettres s+consonne en début de mot est devenu "illégale"...
Circeus's user avatar
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10 votes
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When was the word "ambigu" first used with the sense of "meal with all items served at the same time"?

I never heard "ambigu" used for a meal before. In France I think we only use it for the meaning "Qui est à plusieurs sens, et par conséquent d'un sens incertain". But for the meal ...
Baptiste Gavalda's user avatar
9 votes

How did masculine Latin modus turn into feminine French mode?

Le mode and la mode indeed share the same root but they are specialized so you cannot use one for another. Despite modus being masculine in Latin, the gender of mode was initially essentially ...
jlliagre's user avatar
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9 votes
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Le mot Hagiographie et la lettre H

Le mot agios commence en fait par une aspiration: il n'y avait pas de lettre "h" en alphabet grec classique, mais cette aspiration est indiquée par un "esprit rude"(un espèce d'accent) sur l'alpha ...
Greg's user avatar
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9 votes
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Why is "générique" the word for "theme song"?

Générique relates to genre and specially engendrer and lists all the people who generated (gave birth to) a movie, its géniteurs or générateurs. The word is attested in the early fifties and started ...
jlliagre's user avatar
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9 votes
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Prononciation du mot "haricot"

Tous les dictionnaires disent en effet que le H du mot "haricot" est aspiré. La théorie indique qu'un H hérité du latin n'est pas aspiré et qu'un H provenant d'une autre langue l'est, avec ...
jlliagre's user avatar
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8 votes

Étymologie de « rez-de-chaussée » ?

Rez-de-chaussée est formé avec rez, de et chaussée. Sur rez-de-chaussée on a formé rez-de-jardin, rez-de-métro, rez-de-terrasse, mais c'est la seule survivance du mot rez en français contemporain et ...
None's user avatar
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8 votes

Multum in modern or an earlier French

Yes: moult (Trésor de la langue française, Dictionaire de l'Académie française (latest editions, previous editions didn't list this word), Littré). This word disappeared from common usage in the 16th ...
Gilles 'SO nous est hostile''s user avatar
8 votes
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Est-ce que la signification du mot "homophobe" est aujourd'hui altérée?

Le suffixe -phobe a plusieurs sens différents, et ce n'est pas nouveau. Il y a un sens plus proche de la racine grecque qui est la crainte, la terreur. C'est le sens que l'on trouve dans des termes ...
Gilles 'SO nous est hostile''s user avatar
8 votes

Pourquoi des lieux nommés "la crotte"

...et d'autres variantes trop vulgaires pour un site comme ceci. Aucune variante n'est trop vulgaire pour FSE tant qu'il s'agit de faire référence à du vocabulaire et pas à s'invectiver. Qui plus est,...
jlliagre's user avatar
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8 votes
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Étymologie de «Javetz», nom d'origine de «Javel» (comme «Eau de Javel»)

Un javel est un monceau, un îlot formé de sable et de limon. L'histoire de Paris1 nous apprend que : Au XVe siècle encore, [la Seine] non endigué[e] était plus large qu'aujourd'hui et ses rives ...
None's user avatar
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7 votes

Le terme « confusant » est-il correct ?

Le bon terme serait « confondant » selon moi. Ce que tu dis est confondant. Je suis francophone et je n'ai jamais entendu « confusant ». Par contre, j'ai souvent entendu le terme « confondant ». ...
AXMIM's user avatar
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7 votes
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Is the French word “parfait” compound?

Short answer: Technically, no, but your reasoning is not really false. Two ways to see it: 1. Parfait can be considered the past participle of the verb "parfaire", which is neither a compound word ...
Yves's user avatar
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7 votes
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Pourquoi dit-on « draconique » et pas « dragonique » ?

Le nom dragon nous vient du latin draco, qui désigne un dragon, et par extension l’étandard des cohortes romaines, sur lequel figurait un dragon. Pourquoi construire l’adjectif utilisant la forme ...
Pas un clue's user avatar
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7 votes
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Graphie du mot otage

Extrait: Système complexe, que le circonflexe des réformateurs a unifié, mais en oubliant certains termes au passage : aile, chaque, bouchon,cette, Etat, flacon, otage ..... Ainsi, il n'est ...
BENARD Patrick's user avatar
7 votes
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What's the origin of the term croustille for potato chips

In Quebec, there is an organization responsible to translate and make the promotion of French terms instead of using english words, especially with neologisms, that is l'Office québécois de la langue ...
Brac's user avatar
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