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The Great Wooded South lexicographer piqued by: Portiers

During research, path leads Frenchward, to 'portiere' - though truth in commentary requires Disclaimer: Researcher is a known to be Huguenotic - might even ascribe French Fries to France, which really ticks off those of the great Belgian-Americans among us. - CM
Comments re photo 76325 JIM Christmas Wish List 13 Dec 1899

By Billy Joe Fudge

Well, after seeing the word "Portiers" in the list of goods, I must admit that it was a new one for me.

With some embarrassment, being the purveyor of the Great Wooded South Lexicon and all, I embarked upon an internet dictionary search. I promised myself that once I discovered the definition, I would fess up, so to speak, by announcing to the world that I was somewhat ignorant of this word and its usage.


I was somewhat surprised to find that it is not in common usage today during my internet search and somewhat obscure. I did find the following word associations that might give us an idea of the true product advertised a hundred and eighteen years ago.

"Right off the bat", remind me to induct this phrase into the GWSL on the next round of inductions but I digress again; as I was saying right off the bat my search was altered to the French word, "portiere".

Portiere it seems was, according to my search either a "car door" or a "hanging, such as a heavy curtain, placed over a door or doorway; a door curtain".

I also discovered that "Portier" which is also French is a "gatekeeper" or a "doorman" and that "Portiers" is the plural form.

I think we can rule out car doors and doormen being for sale at this establishment in 1899, so we are left with a Great Wooded South refining, if you will, of the French word "portiere".

Whew! For my part the mystery is solved and I am thrilled to now be able to, with a single word, linguistically differentiate a window curtain from a doorway curtain!


This story was posted on 2017-12-13 09:01:56
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