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Re: "Excuse my French"

Posted by Bruce Kahl on February 23, 2002

In Reply to: "Excuse my French" posted by Michael Kirk-Smith on February 23, 2002

: For "Excuse my French", Phrase Finder gives the definition as the origin. Has anyone an idea of the actual origin?

: Meaning
: Please forgive my swearing.
:
: Origin

: A coy phrase where someone who has used a swearword attempts to pass it off as french.

: Thanks

: m.

I think this goes back to an age-old rivalry between France and the UK.
In the UK, anything considered a bit risque or off-color was considered to be of French origin.
For instance: "French kiss" "French tickler" etc.
So if someone used a swear word then they would attribute that word to the French as in "Excuse my French, but what the f**k happened to that report I was supposed to have this morning??".
Can anybody east of NY confirm this?