Thursday, 14 July 2016

revenons à nos moutons

With it being Bastille Day, one could be forgiven for taking the title to be one of the rousing but lesser known verses from La Marseille, but it is actually a French idiom to the effect “but we digress,” which sometimes makes an appearance in English too as a turn of phrase.
From an anonymous medieval play called La Farce de Maître Pathelin, an anti-hero and petty thief tries to confuse a county magistrate trying him for sheep-wrangling but introducing details from a second crime—to which the judge cries “but let us return to our sheep at hand.”