Random Quote #79 topic: voltaire-dict, Philosophical Dictionary by Voltaire, 1694-1778


Boulevart, fortification, rampart. Belgrade is the boulevart of the
Ottoman Empire on the Hungarian side. Who would believe that this word
originally signified only a game of bowls? The people of Paris played
bowls on the grass of the rampart; this grass was called the _verd_,
like the grass market. _On boulait sur le verd._ From there it comes
that the English, whose language is a copy of ours in almost all the
words which are not Saxon, have called the game of bowls
"bowling-green," the _verd_ (green) of the game of bowls. We have taken
back from them what we had lent them. Following their example, we gave
the name of _boulingrins_, without knowing the strength of the word, to
the grass-plots we introduced into our gardens.

I once heard two good dames who were going for a walk on the
_Bouleverd_, and not on the _Boulevart_. People laughed at them, and
wrongly. But in all matters custom carries the day; and everyone who is
right against custom is hissed or condemned.


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