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Ventre-saint-Gris!

The usual oath of Henri IV. About equal toCorpus Christi.” A similar juron is “Par le ventre de Dieu” (Ventre-dieu! or Ventrebleu!). Cris for Christ is familiarised by our common phrase “the criss-cross or cris-cross row”; and if saint refers to Christ we have a similar phrase in St. Saviour’s. Rabelais has “Par sainet Gris”; and William Price, “the Arch-Druid,” who died in 1893, describes himself in the Medical Directory as “Decipherer of the Pedigree of Jessu Grist.” Chaucer writes the word “Crist.”

⁂ Mr. F. Adams has sent me two quotations from the Romance of Huon de Bordeau, from a MS. dated 1250—

“Abes, dist Karles, tort avés, par saint Crist.”


(Line 1,473.)


“Sire, dist Hues, tort aves, par saint Crist.”


(Line 2,218.)

But a correspondent of Notes and Queries sends this quotation—


“Ce prince [Henri IV.] avoit pris lʹhabitude dʹemployer cette expression. ‘Ventre-saint-Gris,ʹ comme une espece de jurement, lorsquʹil etoit encore infant, ses gouverneurs craignant quʹil ne sʹhabituâl à jurer … lui avoient permis de dire ‘Ventre-saint-Gris,ʹ qui étoit un terme derision quʹils appliquoent aux Franciscans … de la couleur de leur habillements.”—Feb. 10th, 1894, p. 113.

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ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

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

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Veni, Creator Spiritus
Veni, Sanote Spiritus
Veni, Vidi, Vici
Venial Sin
Venice Glass
Venice of the West
Venison
Venom
Venomous Preacher (The)
Ventilate a Subject (To)
Ventre-saint-Gris!
Ventriloquism
Venus
Venus Anadyomene
Venus Genetrix
Venus Victrix
Venus de Medicis
Venus of Cnidus
Venus of Milo or Melos
Venusberg
Vera Causa