Clive Bull is Leading Britain's Conversation, including the Legal Hour at 9pm.
26 September 2017, 15:35
We use it to excuse our bad language, but where did the saying originate?
Mystery Hour Question
It’s baffled me for years. Why do we say “pardon my French” or “excuse my French”, where does it come from?
Qualification: Used to work in the military.
The French have always been our natural enemies, with the excuse of WWI and WWII. Coming from the military I've heard this French derogation a lot. For example, syphilis was known as the ‘French Disease’, If you turn down parade badly it was known as ‘French Dress’, if you needed a condom you needed a “French Letter”.