French terms in cycling

by drheaton   July 24, 2012  

A little bit of cheeky product research for something I'm working on Big Grin

Is the overuse of faux French terms in cycling (the damn 'tour de' everywhere) annoying or just a nod to the heritage of the sport?

Does the word Velo annoy you or is it just part of the cycling vocabulary?

For me, 'tour de somewhere not in France' annoys me but my local shop is called 'Spen velo' and it doesn't bother me, it's just a term.

Your thoughts? Wink

8 user comments

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Gotta love the names for riders though:

Grimpeur, rouleur, domestique, vainqueur, descendeur (my personal favourite).

And stuff like Contre la Montre, flamme rouge, lanterne rouge, maillot a pois rouges etc.

The worst is of course the word for tyre: Pneu

Sick

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1730 posts]
24th July 2012 - 21:26

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Yes to the Tour de... Tour is OK but it should be 'Tour of ...' if used in an English context. Assuming it is a Tour of course.

No problem with Velo... yes it's the French word for bike but they have just adapted it as well from the Latin word for speed.

I'm in France at the moment and was browsing through a French paper at a cafe on Monday. My wife looked at me scornfully, knowing I speak very little French, and was suitably amazed as I managed to convey the general meaning of an article about Wiggins and an interview with Christian Prudhomme.

Just from following cycling I understand so many French terms, and with knowledge of the context as well, it was relatively easy to understand.

abudhabiChris's picture

posted by abudhabiChris [539 posts]
24th July 2012 - 21:48

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There's a line. Raleigh's examples don't cross it. Tour De bloody everything, on the other hand, does.

My club is 'Velo' so I can't complain about that.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3310 posts]
24th July 2012 - 21:49

1 Like

Raleigh wrote:
Gotta love the names for riders though:

Grimpeur, rouleur, domestique, vainqueur, descendeur (my personal favourite).

And stuff like Contre la Montre, flamme rouge, lanterne rouge, maillot a pois rouges etc.

The worst is of course the word for tyre: Pneu

Sick

I love them but for some reason they always use Gruppo Compatto when the break is caught?! Just throw a random Italian one in there just to mix it up.

posted by drheaton [3429 posts]
24th July 2012 - 21:53

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If anyone uses the term "la grand boucle"I would walk away immediately.

TheHatter's picture

posted by TheHatter [811 posts]
25th July 2012 - 9:35

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I think the over use of all these french terms is just so passé.

FATBEGGARONABIKE's picture

posted by FATBEGGARONABIKE [594 posts]
25th July 2012 - 16:08

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Do you drink from a Bottle or a Bidon?

posted by jayme [114 posts]
25th July 2012 - 19:57

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Bidon.

I think there's a rule about that. Devil

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1730 posts]
25th July 2012 - 23:16

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