Wondrous Words Wednesday is hosted by Bermudaonion’s Weblog. Kathy says: “Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading.”
Today’s word is French. A French word seems appropriate on the day before Bastille Day and it’s a word that I sang hundreds of times as a child but don’t recall that I ever knew its meaning.
The quote, with the definition of alouettes, is from My Life in France by Julia Child, page 113:
Game birds are especially popular in autumn. You see gaggles of pheasants and grouse, woodcocks with their long thin bills, partridges, and wild duck in the marketplace of every village, hamlet, and town. It seems the French will eat almost any feathered flying creature, from thrushes to swallows to blackbirds and larks (called alouettes, as in the song “Alouette, Gentille Alouette”); on several occasions we ate a tiny but delicious avian called un vanneau, or lapwing.
Wikipedia translates the Alouette song into English. It’s all about plucking the bird, presumably for eating. Apparently, it is used as a children’s action song to teach the words for the body parts similar to “Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes.” In the U.S., I suspect we’re too squeamish to use food animals for that purpose.
See today’s Wondrous Words Wednesday post for more new words.