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Posted by Victoria S Dennis on January 15, 2007

In Reply to: PIECE DE RESISTANCE posted by DavidFG on January 15, 2007

: : What is the meaning of this phrase? I remember a pub bore telling me it was French for Torture Chamber - "piece" meaning room, and "resistance" referring to the resistance of the person being interrogated, which presumably would be overcome through torture. Is there any truth to this?

: No. It is much simpler than that - it means a piece (or article) of (or with) staying power, longevity or the like.


Your pub bore had come across a hoary joke genre called "Fractured French", and either had failed to realise it was a joke, or was pulling your leg with it. "Fractured French" consists of (mildly) amusing skewed translations of stock French phrases, as in the following:
Coup de grace - lawnmower
Tant pis, tant mieux - Auntie spends a penny, Auntie feels better
J'y suis, j'y reste - I'm Swiss and I'm staying
Moi aussi - I'm Australian.
and so on and so forth. (VSD)