Poisson d’avril!

Poisson d’avril!

pwah-SAW dah-VREEL! Click below to hear this phrase pronounced:  

April Fool!

Only it has nothing to do with fools…it’s April Fish! The custom in France is to surreptitiously pin a paper fish on your back. And then everyone laughs at you. Kind of like a “Kick me” sign, without the implied violence.

A little etymology (word history) here: the English word fool comes from the French word fou, which nowadays means crazy. As in, Ils sont fous, ces Romains! In Old French, from about the 10th century to about the 13th century, the usual form of the word fou was fol. Can you see where fool came from? Except that the meaning has also changed: in modern English, a fool is someone who is not too bright–that is, easily fooled.

But such a person may also act eccentric, giving others the idea that he/she is crazy. Hence, from fol, to fool, to fou.

Etymology (not to be confused with entomology, which is very buggy) is fascinating!


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