In Brief

Incroyable! French finally find word for French Kiss

Dictionary adds 'galocher' to French language, but lack of word 'never stopped us doing it', says publisher

Kiss

THE French kiss, the intimate, tongue-twisting, saliva-sharing gesture synonymous with Gallic passion, has finally found a name … in France.

To the surprise of many, the French have never had a word for the passionate interplay of lips and tongues. Until now, that is. The latest edition of the Petit Robert dictionary boasts a brand-new verb – galocher, meaning "to kiss with tongues".

It's a "clever derivation" of la galoche, a word for an ice-skating boot, and so evokes the idea of "sliding around the ice — or the lips and tongue", explains Time.

The term 'French Kiss' is believed to have been coined by American soldiers returning from World War I in Europe. They used it to describe the "more adventurous" kissing of the Frenchwomen they smooched. But the country that unleashed first Brigitte Bardot and then Serge Gainsbourg's Je t'aime … Moi non plus on an unsuspecting world, somehow failed to come up with a word for uninhibited snogging.

"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,"

Laurence Laporte of the Robert publishing house told The Guardian. The slang term galocher had been around for a while, she said, "but only now is it being officially recognised in a French dictionary".

The lack of a specific term for French kissing "never stopped us from doing it," said Laporte, somewhat unnecessarily.

Not surprisingly, galocher has attracted rather more attention than some of the other new words and phrases included in Petit Robert's 2014 edition.

They range from microblog and texter to boson de Higgs. Less prosaic entries include être dans les patates (to be confused) and the "delightfully onomatopoeic" bombasse, which translates roughly as "hottie".

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