‘Où est le dictionnaire?’


A chara, – Merci beaucoup to Lara Marlowe for her vocabulary lesson (“Protests pit France’s ‘petits blancs’ against Macron’s urban elite”, Paris Letter, November 20th). And it was not just French (gilets jaunes, petits blancs, grandes écoles, tricoteuse , but a smattering of Algerian Arabic (hogra), American slang (diss), European slang (bobos), some Latin (terra incognita), and even a reference to Roman mythology: “Jupiterian”.

In the interest of linguistic economy, may I respectfully suggest that the French combine gilets jaunes with petits blancs and simply refer to les déplorables?

The phrase les déplorables has the advantage of immediate recognition to English speakers and may unite North America’s disenfranchised with their ideological counterparts in France in a form of linguistic solidarity. – Is mise,



Dublin 14.