I don’t like English words that aren’t really, wholly, completely accepted and widely used English words. I know that the English Language appropriates words from other tongues, wholesale, but I don’t like words like tsuris, which is a seldom-used Yiddish/Hebrew word, meaning troubles, or woe.
I’m not pretentious enough to use the Word Of this Week, which is
but if I did, I’d have regarded it as an artsy-fartsy, café-au-lait sipping, croissant-munching, Left-Bank Parisian Frog French word which does not fall trippingly from the mouths of most Americans or Canadians…. until I did a little recent research.
It seems that bistro’s ancestor was a common-man, dock-walloper word that would have been familiar to any MAGA who supports Trump. The Seine River that Paris sits on is large enough for small ships to navigate upstream, to unload their cargoes.
Once upon a history, France and Russia used to do a lot of trading. Roustabout Russian sailors used to be common on Paris docks. When they paused for a quick noon-time meal, they would go to the many nearby restaurants/cafes to eat. Time and tide wait for no man, especially the tide. They needed to eat quickly, and get back to finish the job.
The food establishments, used to the French, laggard, laissez-faire lifestyle, were in no hurry to prepare or serve food to them, so it became common for them to shout at the kitchen/waiter, “Bistro, Bistro”, a Russian word that means hurry, rush, get a move on!
I still prefer a Burger King to a Bistro – unless you’re treating, in which case, please contact me at once. We could have a lovely discussion about international trade, and Russian sailors’ tattoos. 😉 😆