Je serai un vrai tombeau.

Je serai un vrai tombeau.

zhuh sray uh vray taw-BOH. Click below to hear this!

My lips are sealed.

Or, more literally, I will be a real tomb. Only please don’t take the literal meaning literally. A little interpretation is in order here! For instance, I will be as silent as the tomb, another well-known English-language expression. We all know that “dead men tell no tales!”

The expression can also be applied to a room, house, or other location that is deeply silent.

Le tombeau comes from la tombe, both meaning tomb in English. These two words, in turn, come from the Greek tumbos via the church Latin tumba. One might well suppose that tomber, to fall, has the same origin. It would seem to make logical sense.

That’s not what the etymologists think, however. They think tomber came from the Middle French tumber, which came from the Old French tumer (meaning to dance, gambol, turn somersaults–to tumble, in other words). And that, in turn, comes from a hypothetical Frankish word tûmon.

Who knew?


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