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Sans Marie and sans Colette

Posted by Stephen on August 03, 2009 at 07:40

When my grandfather (who was not French) would be disappointed in some venture or other he would often say, somewhat ruefully, "sans Marie and sans Colette". This would seem to refer to a lover who was interested in two women, but because of that ended up getting neither. I've always assumed that this was some sort of music hall reference. What is the origin of the phrase?