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France officially embraces French kissing

Ben McPartland · 30 May 2013, 16:10

Published: 30 May 2013 16:10 GMT+02:00

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Ever struggled to think of the word in French for "French kissing"? Well you wouldn't have been alone because, until Thursday, there wasn't one.

This is no doubt surprising for a country with a reputation for passion and romance, home to the famous artist Rodin who made the sculpture "The Kiss" and photographer Robert Doiseau, famed for his iconic image of the same name.

But all that has been rectified now, because for the first time the new version of the Petite Robert dictionary that went on sale to the public on Thursday contains the word "galocher," along with a number of new entries.

"Galocher" simply means to kiss with tongues.

The fact that it has taken until now for the French to have a word for French kissing is, for Laurence Laporte of the Robert publishing house, just a question of the evolution of language.

"We have always had many expressions to describe "French kissing" like "Kissing at length in the mouth", but it's true we have never had one single word," she said.

Story continues below…

Laporte said "galocher" was a slang term that had been around for a while "but only now is it being recognized in a French dictionary". 

The term "French kiss" is believed to have been introduced into the English-speaking world by soldiers returning home after World War One.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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