Wednesday, September 22, 2010

French word of the day: soutien

Def: support

Of course we all know the word for “bra” in French is “soutien-gorge”. How did the French, lover of linguistics, and especially the sound of its own tongue, come up with such an ugly name for something so lovely and evocative?

But anyway, I digress. This is a lovely little word because there’s more in life than breasts that need support.

There is emotional support and financial support. Wood beams and steel offer a lot of support, and let’s not forget flying buttresses.

There are supporting roles and supporting characters, in real life and in fiction.

Sometimes we need support for the arches of our feet or our wrists, thanks to carpel tunnel syndrome.

It’s important to support those who are less fortunate than us; support for the arts is a good thing, too.

It’s nice to have support at work—from both your boss and underlings (if you’re so lucky to have them).

Sometimes you have dependents whom you have to support. My mom and dad gave me tons of support. They still do (Thank you! I love you!).

There is supporting friends—and even total strangers—through crises, and supporting friends through difficult choices.

Where in the world would we be without soutien??


  1. We would be bereft and soutien-less and probably a bit floppy :)

  2. With we are soutien-gorge-ous! A little support goes a long way.

  3. thank YOU for all of YOUR support, AT. Especially that recent support during our yummy dinner in NYC ;)

  4. Bien sur, mer mer! That's what friends are for.

    Candice, I only wish I would be a bit floppy. For better or worse, I can go soutien-gorge-less! (But, c'est vrai, Cali, a little (extra) support goes a long way!) ;0