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Les goddams: Wikis


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During the Hundred Years' War and many other conflicts between England and France in the Middle Ages, the French came to call the English (and especially its infantry) les goddamns or les goddams after their frequent expletives. Sir Richard Burton also points out the equivalent adoption of Godames in Brazil and Gotama in Somalia[1]. The term godons was used by Joan of Arc with the same purpose[2], and the forms goddam, goddem and godden also derive from that expression.

This expression has also been used by Acadians in Quebec [3] and Louisiana, and Zachary Richard has included it in the lyrics of a song in French[4].

In the Russian language, the word Sharomyzhnik (шаромыжник), which denotes a beggar, appeared after the Great Napoleonic War in 1812. Parts of the French army, which were left in Russia after their defeat, used to ask locals for food starting with the words "Cher ami" (dear friend), giving birth to a new idiom in the Russian language.


  1. ^ Burton, Richard F. (2006) [1885]. "Tale of Taj al-Muluk and the Princess Dunya (The Lover and the Loved)". The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night: A Plain and Literal Translation of the Arabian Nights Entertainments (volume 2, part 23 ed.). Adelaide: eBooks@Adelaide. Retrieved 2007-05-26.  
  2. ^ France, Anatole. "Childhood". The Life of Joan of Arc. volume 1. Winifred Stephens (translator). Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 2007-05-26.  
  3. ^ Brierley, Jane. "Long-dead Authors Make Amiable Companions: Translating Philippe-Joseph Aubert de Gaspé". Retrieved 2007-05-26.  
  4. ^ Richard, Zachary. "Réveille". Retrieved 2007-05-26.  

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