The French are famously protective of their language and are constantly monitoring it to ensure that Englishisms are not creeping in. Nevertheless, the language evolves like any other, and so dictionary makers in France follow their global counterparts by regularly adding new words to their volumes.
One new addition to the Petit Robert dictionary has caused quite a stir. Because it turns out, the dictionary had no word for French Kiss. Now this has been amended, and ‘Galocher’, to kiss with tongues, has been given its own entry.
The French have been quick to defend their sexual reputation, pointing out that the novelty of the word does not mean that the practice is new. Laurence Laporte of the Robert Publishing house said: “The French have always had many expressions to describe it, such as ‘kissing at length in the mouth’, but it’s true, we’ve never had one single word.”
The term French Kiss is believed to have originated at the start of the 20th century as knowledge of amorous French practices increased. It has been amusing to see that this image of the French is being stoutly defended now, despite the obvious amusement people are finding in French Kiss only now entering the dictionary.
As Ms Laporte said, the lack of a specific term “never stopped us doing it”.