French ship Belle Poule

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Four ships of the French Navy have borne the name Belle Poule.


The ships are:


The name Belle Poule derives from an incident in 1533. Francis I was presented with the keys of Toulouse by Paule de Viguier, the baroness Fronteville. Paule was a young girl known for her beauty, and Francis nicknamed her la belle Paule. The name became altered over time to belle poule through the difference between French and Occitan pronunciation.[1] The name was later adopted by a Gironde corsair for his vessel, giving rise to it as a ship name in the French navy.

Another version of the story is that Francis called her belle poule, as a play on words. The word belle is "beautiful", while poule is a reference to her name, Paule, but also means "chick", which in French, as it was later in English, can refer to a young girl.