Rosbif

Mar 8th, 2007, 06:03 AM
  #1  
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Rosbif

Why do the French call the English Rosbif (roast beef).

I always thought that it was because we eat it, but other opinions are that it is the colour we have in the sun.
waring is offline  
Mar 8th, 2007, 06:05 AM
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For the same reason you call those guards at the Tower of London Beefeaters?
NeoPatrick is offline  
Mar 8th, 2007, 06:34 AM
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I read it is in reference to the red colour of British 18th-century uniforms.

Hello to our British friends on the forum!
Trudaine is offline  
Mar 8th, 2007, 06:45 AM
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There's never one simple answer to this, but:

- if uniforms, why "rosbifs". Redcoats' coats looked a lot more like raw beef than roast. And given how little meat there was in the French 18th c diet, why choose beef anyway? Cherries, hollyberries or just blood would be things your average downtrodden pre-revolutionary peasant would see a lot more of.

- if ruddy complexion, again why rosbif? We actually look more like raw pork after too much sun.

I think it was the English (earlier flanners thought themselves lucky if they got enough potatoes so I can't say we) boasted - see Hogarth's Roast Beef of Old England - that they ate meet and the downtyrodden grenouilles didn't.

"Rosbif" isn't a compliment to the English diet: it's a dig at English boastfulness, as South Africans are supposed to be called Wenwees in Western Australia (as in "when we were back home we had six servants just to squeeze our toothpaste")
flanneruk is offline  
Mar 8th, 2007, 06:47 AM
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"- if uniforms, why "rosbifs". Redcoats' coats looked a lot more like raw beef than roast."

Ah, but not the way the French would roast it -- still bloody red!!!
NeoPatrick is offline  
Mar 8th, 2007, 06:55 AM
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I thought it was because pre-industrial revolution we ate a lot of meat in comparison the the weedy French.

As Flanneur says - the Rost Beef of Old england was a cliche even in Hogarth's day (BTW the reason that particular picture is so anti-french is that Hogarth was arrested as a spy while he was paintig the Calais gate - so he got his own back in the picture).

Now - why do we call them the frogs? I think the old explanation of the frogs on their shields is a myth (as is the origin of the V sign). Anyone know better?
audere_est_facere is offline  
Mar 8th, 2007, 07:12 AM
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Frog eaters, I suppose. It's also used in German.
Hans is offline  
Mar 8th, 2007, 07:20 AM
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I believe that the English use of the term "frog" for the French goes back to the first Queen Elizabeth who affectionally called the French contender for her hand in marriage her "little frog".
Maria_H is offline  
Mar 8th, 2007, 07:30 AM
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The OED reckons that the use of "frog" as a nickname for French people derives "partly from alliteration with French and partly from the reputation of the French for eating frogs’ legs."
hanl is offline  
Mar 8th, 2007, 07:34 AM
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Some alternative explanations:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/2913151.stm
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