Sunday, December 1, 2013


Wooden shoes, clogs, or as the French call them, sabots, a 19th-century symbol of anarchy. The shoe was typically worn by factory and farm workers. The verb saboter originally meant to walk noisily along. Although the origin of the word "sabotage" is debatable, most right-thinking Frenchmen will tell you that it comes from the act of protesting workers, who during the industrial revolution would throw their wooden shoes into cogs of the machinery, thus upsetting the works. Another explanation is that the word derives from the action of making noise with ones shoes in order to muddle the sound of secret conversations or covert speeches.

un sabot: a clog; a hoof
un sabotier:  a clog maker
une saboterie:  a clog factory
encombrer:  to clog up
saboter:  to sabotage (as of a machine, an installation or a negotiation); to botch or make a mess of

©2013 P.B. Lecron

No comments:

Post a Comment