Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
pied-noir Login/Join
 
Member
Picture of shufitz
posted
In this morning’s newspaper I found a disparaging ethnic term, new to me.

pied-noir (literally ‘black foot’) – an Algerian-born French person (often disparaging)
    The original genius of COIN theory, the Tunisian-French pied-noir colonel David Galula, touches on this problem in the last pages of his masterpiece, "Pacification in Algeria. 1956-1958." Galula's big idea was simple: Place small numbers of the 100 soldiers under his command in isolated villages, living among the populace. Galula's men supervised and funded the building of the area's first schools, latrines, garbage pits and street cleaning in their villages. According to Galula, the very fact that he could disperse his company so much was proof of success.
 
Posts: 2615 | Location: Chicago, IL USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of zmježd
posted Hide Post
I had run across this word before in the context of post-WW2 cinema, possibly in The Battle of Algiers by Pontecorvo.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
Posts: 5086 | Location: R'lyehReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of arnie
posted Hide Post
I'm pretty aure I first came across it in reference to Albert Camus.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
Posts: 10940 | Location: LondonReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
You can hear how it's pronounced at dictionary.com . You can also see the "spelled" pronunciation, as it calls it, or the IPA pronunciation. Note the term is often disparaging, but not always. See the OED entry below:

quote:
pied noir, n.

[< French pied noir stoker on a steam ship (1901), former nickname for an Algerian (1917), French person born in Algeria (1955) < pied foot (see PIED-À-TERRE n.) + noir black (see NOIR adj.).
Stokers on Mediterranean steamships, often of Algerian origin, used to walk barefoot in the soot.
Not fully naturalized in English.]

In France: a person of European origin living in Algeria during the period of French rule, esp. a [QUOTE]French person repatriated after Algeria was granted independence in 1962.

1961 Times 6 May 9/6 They are the pieds noirs, fiercely proud of this pejorative nickname given them by the metropolitan French.
1977 Time 21 Nov. 12/1 Unlike the white settlers of Rhodesia or the French pieds-noirs of Algeria, the Afrikaners have no ties to a European motherland.
2004 Times (Nexis) 8 Apr. (Times2 section) 3 The war of liberation from France, which broke out 50 years ago this November and lasted until 1962 when a million pieds noirs were forced to leave.

Wikipedia chimes in:

quote:
Origin of the term

The origin of the term Pieds-Noirs is debated. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Pied-Noir refers to "people of French origin living in Algeria during French rule, and to those who returned to Europe after the granting of independence in 1962."[1] Le Robert cites that from 1901 the word indicated a sailor working bare foot in the coal room of a ship, who would find his feet dirtied by the soot. In the Mediterranean, this was often an Algerian native, thus the term was used pejoratively for Algerians until 1955 when it first began referring to "French born in Algeria."[5][6] This usage originated from mainland French as a negative nickname.[1]

There are other popular interpretations[7]. At their arrivals, french officials and executives were often dressed with same clothes : white helmet, white jacket, white trousers, and black boots. Settlers, at their beginings, worked to clear lands on the south of Algiers which were swamps, of which black mud adhered to foots and legs of the workers. Settlers also often owned vineyards, and at the season of the grape harvest, they trampled it bare foot in the vat, so their feet were dark red, almost black.

When I first saw the word, I wondered if it was related to Piedmont. It's not .
 
Posts: 2795 | Location: Shoreline, WA, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of zmježd
posted Hide Post
I wondered if it was related to Piedmont.

Depends what you mean by related. The pied in Pied-Noir 'black foot' and the pied in Piedmount 'foot hill' both go back to the Latin pes, pedis, 'foot'.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
Posts: 5086 | Location: R'lyehReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of arnie
posted Hide Post
quote:
I wondered if it was related to Piedmont. It's not

Well, it is in a way; pied (foot) forms part of both words.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
Posts: 10940 | Location: LondonReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Yes, I realize they both stem from the Latin, but when I said they weren't related I meant one came through French and the other through Italian. I wasn't too clear about that. Thanks for keeping me on my toes.
 
Posts: 2795 | Location: Shoreline, WA, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by arnie:
I'm pretty aure I first came across it in reference to Albert Camus.


I agree with Arnie, much of Camus is set in Algeria, where he lived for some time, and he often wrote about the struggles between the natives and the French.
 
Posts: 886 | Location: IllinoisReply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata  
 


Copyright © 2002-12