France commune

The beautiful escape and more expressions of French escape

A search is underway for a deer, made of the mascot of a commune of Hauts-de-France, which escaped from its enclosure Monday, December 13.

The deer, named Apollo, roams the wild but was spotted near where it was found and cared for last year on Tuesday before being adopted by a local family.

The town of Lespesses invites anyone who sees it to contact either its owners (on 06 22 87 45 88) or the mayor Arnaud Picque (on 06 17 62 98 18) directly.

Since news of the breakout, the city’s Facebook post has been viewed over 50,000 times and shared by over 1,000 users.

We are looking at three French expressions that mean “to escape”:

Escape beautiful (literally ‘to escape the beautiful[ly]’):

This expression means to escape through the skin of one’s teeth.

It has its origins in the game of “real tennis”, palm game, a precursor to tennis in which players hit a ball with the palms of their hands.

In the 15th century, one would say who beautiful escaped it when a player has missed a ball that he could have hit. The “l” in the expression represented the ball, hence the feminine form of the adjective beau, which at the time meant “good” or “good”.

Now the expression is fixed as the beautiful escape, a form it took in the 17th century, and means narrowly escaping something.

Take the key to the fields (literally ‘take the key from the fields’):

This expression also means “to escape” and dates from the Middle Ages. Fields signify a vast empty space and therefore represent freedom and independence.

To take the key to the fields therefore meant to open the doors to freedom – to escape captivity or restriction.

Pack up (literally ‘do the trunk’):

the trunk – a leather trunk, the ancestor of the suitcase – this is what people in the 20th century used to pack their things when they went on vacation.

The expression “getting out of the box” was coined in prisons in the 1930s to refer to escaping prisoners.

Nowadays, it means any type of escape.

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