renard

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French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

The name of the fox in the medieval Roman de Renart. A Germanic personal name, from Proto-Germanic *Raginaharduz, from *raginą (counsel) + *harduz (hard, strong).

Replaced goupil (from Latin vulpecula) by euphemism – mentioning the fox by name was considered bad luck, so Renart replaced it. Compare Russian медведь (medvéd’, bear), literally “honey-eater”, and possibly English bear (one theory holding that its Proto-Indo-European antecedent means “brown”).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

renard m (plural renards, feminine renarde, diminutive renardeau)

  1. fox (small carnivore)
  2. (figuratively) crafty, purposeful and cunning character
  3. (slang) flatulence
  4. (nautical) ancient navigation tool: circular, wooden or copper plate, which enables the helmsman to keep a record of wind conditions by inserting pegs at specific positions
  5. hardly detectable cracks or holes causing a water tank or pond to empty itself

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