- skip - Brewer’s

French Leave

.

To take French leave. To take without asking leave or giving any equivalent. The allusion is to the French soldiers, who in their invasions take what they require, and never wait to ask permission of the owners or pay any price for what they take.

The French retort this courtesy by calling a creditor an Englishman (un Anglais), a term in vogue in the sixteenth century, and used by Clement Marot. Even to the present hour, when a man excuses himself from entering a café or theatre, because he is in debt, he says: “Non, non! je suis Anglé” (“I am cleared out”).

“Et aujourdʹhuy je faictz soliciter

Tous me angloys.”


Guillaume Creton (1520).

French leave. Leaving a party, house, or neighbourhood without bidding good-bye to anyone; to slip away unnoticed.

previous entry · index · next entry

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

previous entry · index · next entry

Freeman of Bucks
Freeman’s Quay
Freemasons
Freeport (Sir Andrew)
Freestone
Freethinker
Freezing-point
Freischütz (pronounce fry-shoots)
Freki and Geri
French Cream
French Leave
French of Stratford atte Bowe
Frenchman
Fresco-painting
Freshman
Freston
Frey
Freyja
Friar
Friar
Friar Bungay

Linking here:

Cleared out