étiquette

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See also: etiquette

French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Middle French estiquette (ticket, memorandum), from Old French estiquette, from estechier, estichier, estequier, estiquer "to attach, stick", (compare Picard estiquier "to stick, pierce"), from Frankish *stikkan, stikjan (to stick, pierce, sting), from Proto-Germanic *stikaną, *stikōną, *staikijaną (to be sharp, pierce, prick), from Proto-Indo-European *st(e)ig-, *(s)teig- (to be sharp, to stab, to goad, to puncture). Akin to Old High German stehhan "to stick, attach, nail" (German stechen "to stick"), Old English stician "to pierce, stab, be fastened".

The French Court of Louis XIV at Versailles used étiquettes, "little cards", to remind courtiers to keep off of the grass and similar rules, hence the sense of “rule”. More at stick (verb), stitch.

Noun[edit]

étiquette f (plural étiquettes)

  1. tag, label
    • 1883, Auguste de Villiers de L’Isle-Adam, Contes cruels, la machine à gloire
      Selon nous, il n’y a pas, sur le globe terraqué, plus d’un cent d’individus par siècle (et encore !) capables de lire quoi que ce soit, voire des étiquettes de pots à moutarde.
      In our opinion, on the whole terraqueous globe, there are not more than a hundred individuals in every century (if that) capable of reading anything at all, even labels on mustard-pots.
  2. etiquette, prescribed behavior
    • 1842, Honoré de Balzac, La femme de trente ans
      La tante ne pleura pas, car la Révolution a laissé aux femmes de l’ancienne monarchie peu de larmes dans les yeux. Autrefois l’amour et plus tard la Terreur les ont familiarisées avec les plus poignantes péripéties, en sorte qu’elles conservent au milieu des dangers de la vie une dignité froide, une affection sincère, mais sans expansion qui leur permet d’être toujours fidèles à l’étiquette et à une noblesse de maintien que les mœurs nouvelles ont eu le grand tort de répudier.
      The aunt shed no tears. The Revolution had left old ladies of the Monarchy but few tears to shed. Love, in bygone days, and the Terror at a later time, had familiarized them with extremes of joy and anguish in such a sort that, amid the perils of life, they preserved their dignity and coolness, a capacity for sincere but undemonstrative affection which never disturbed their well-bred self-possession, and a dignity of demeanor which a younger generation has done very ill to discard.