Les goddams

Les goddams

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 [cite book
last= Burton
first= Richard F.
authorlink= Richard Francis Burton
title= The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night: A Plain and Literal Translation of the Arabian Nights Entertainments
origyear= 1885
accessdate= 2007-05-26
edition= volume 2, part 23
year= 2006
publisher= eBooks@Adelaide
location= Adelaide
chapter= Tale of Taj al-Muluk and the Princess Dunya (The Lover and the Loved)
chapterurl= http://etext.library.adelaide.edu.au/b/burton/richard/b97b/part23.html#fn1203
] . The term "godons" was used by Joan of Arc with the same purpose [cite book
last= France
first= Anatole
authorlink= Anatole France
others= Winifred Stephens (translator)
title= The Life of Joan of Arc
origdate= 1908
url= http://www.gutenberg.org/files/19488/19488-h/joan1-htm.html
accessdate= 2007-05-26
series= volume 1
publisher= Project Gutenberg
chapter= Childhood
chapterurl= http://www.gutenberg.org/files/19488/19488-h/joan1-htm.html#FNanchor_233_233
] , and the forms "goddam", "goddem" and "godden" also derive from that expression.

This expression has also been used by Acadians in Quebec [cite web
url= http://www.vehiculepress.com/tr_brierley.html
title= Long-dead Authors Make Amiable Companions: Translating Philippe-Joseph Aubert de Gaspé
accessdate= 2007-05-26
last= Brierley
first= Jane
] and Louisiana, and Zachary Richard has included it in the lyrics of a song in French [cite web
url= http://www.zacharyrichard.com/lyrics/reveille.html
title= Réveille
accessdate= 2007-05-26
last= Richard
first= Zachary
authorlink= Zachary Richard
] .

This sort of appellation based on utterance is common when persons from different cultures interact (see, for example, the nickname Che as applied to Ernesto Guevara). Nowadays, "les goddams" has somewhat fallen out of favour.

A similar designation is "los guiris", an informal Spanish term, sometimes pejorative, sometimes facetious, for foreigners, especially for English-speaking ones, from the question "Where is...?" asked by tourists (influenced in the form by the preexisting Spanish word "guiri", with a completely unrelated meaning).Fact|date=June 2007 A comparison can even be found within the UK, when natives of the seaside resort of Skegness refer to summer tourists as "chisits" (a contraction of "'ow much is it?").Fact|date=June 2007

"Os camones" is sometimes used in Portugal when referring to English speakers, especially North Americans. Its origin is uncertain, but the "come on" used by local guides to direct the tourists touring the country is a likely possibility. Furthermore, in the late 1980s TV "come on!", spoken in an urgent tone, was a common expletive for protagonists in series such as "MacGyver" and "Knight Rider". Portuguese TV primarily uses subtitles in these series, allowing the unilingual or younger audiences, unable to understand English, to capture such simple expression and turn them into catch phrases. For a few years, children would often use the expression when playing outdoors.Fact|date=June 2007

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.


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