Hmmmm…Do they still call it French kissing in France?

The short answer is ‘No’.

Believe it or not (and you should believe it because it’s true – I read it on the internet and blatantly ripped off for this post) for centuries, there was no official French word for the sloppy Gallic export we know as the ‘French kiss’.  Of course that certainly never stopped them from doing it.  But in May 2013, this huge omission was rectified when the one-word verb ‘galocher‘ – to kiss with tongues – was added to the ‘Petit Robert’ 2014 French dictionary.

une-parisienne-movie-poster-1957-1020417569It may surprise you that France – a country famed for its amorous exploits and which gave the world sex-symbol Brigitte Bardot and romantic photographer Robert Doiseau – is only just linguistically embracing the popular pastime, but Laurence Laporte of the Robert publishing house says that it’s just the way language evolves.

We always had many expressions to describe “French-kissing,” like “kissing at length in the mouth,” but it’s true, we’ve never had one single word.”

The term ‘French kiss’ – once also called a ‘Florentine kiss’ – is popularly considered to have been brought back to the English-speaking world by soldiers returning from Europe after World War I. At the time, the French had a reputation for more adventurous sexual practices.

‘Galocher’ is a slang term that’s been around for a while but only now is it being officially recognized in the French dictionary.  Derived from ‘la galoche’, the word for an ice-skate, the new term riffs evocatively on the idea of sliding around the ice.

Think about that, next time you’re wrapped around your sweetie, tangling tongues.

So next time you’re sweet talking your amour try Voulez-vous galocher avec moi?

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