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See also: porcélaine



From Old French (1298 AD) pourcelaine ‎(cowrie, cockle, or similar univalve seashell; the polished material of these shells). By metaphorical extension, also fine china, which had a similar appearance. From Italian (13th century, in Marco Polo) porcellana ‎(cowrie; china; vagina). From porcella ‎(the mussel and cockle shells which painters put their pigments in, literally female piglet), the diminutive of porca ‎(sow), from porco ‎(pig), from Latin porcus ‎(pig).


porcelaine f ‎(plural porcelaines)

  1. cowrie, a mollusk of the family Cypraeidae, or its translucent shell
  2. porcelain, the translucent ceramic of fine china, or vessels made of this material



  • "porcelaine", Le petit Robert 1, 1990 edition.
  • "porcelain", Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition.

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