Les goddams

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Les goddams (sometimes les goddems[1] or les goddons[2]) is an obsolete ethnic slur historically used by the French to refer to the English, based on their frequent expletives.[3] The name originated during the Hundred Years War (1337–1453) between England and France, when English soldiers were notorious among the French for their frequent use of profanity and in particular the interjection "God damn".[4][5][6]

Outside France, the name has been used in French-speaking parts of Canada.[7] Related terms have existed outside the French-speaking world: Godames was historically used in Brazil, while Gotama was used in East Africa.[8]


  1. ^ Hughes, Geoffrey. (1998). Swearing: A Social History of Foul Language, Oaths and Profanity in English. Penguin. p. 1. ISBN 978-0140267075
  2. ^ Calder, Nigel (1986). The English Channel. Chatto & Windus. p. 185. ISBN 978-0701130534
  3. ^ Hitchings, Henry (2011). The Language Wars: A History of Proper English. Hachette UK. p. 20. ISBN 978-0374183295
  4. ^ Richards, Jeffrey. Films and British National Identity: From Dickens to Dad's Army. Manchester University Press. p. 13-14. ISBN 978-0719047435
  5. ^ Hughes, Geoffrey (2006). An Encyclopedia of Swearing: The Social History of Oaths, Profanity, Foul Language, and Ethnic Slurs in the English-speaking World. M.E. Sharpe. p. 324. ISBN 978-0765612311
  6. ^ Caunce, Stephen. (2004). Relocating Britishness. Manchester University Press. p. 89. ISBN 978-0719070266
  7. ^ Brierley, Jane. "Long-dead Authors Make Amiable Companions: Translating Philippe-Joseph Aubert de Gaspé". Retrieved 2007-05-26. 
  8. ^ Burton, Richard F. (2006) [1885]. "Tale of Taj al-Muluk and the Princess Dunya (The Lover and the Loved)". The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night: A Plain and Literal Translation of the Arabian Nights Entertainments (volume 2, part 23 ed.). Adelaide: eBooks@Adelaide. Retrieved 2007-05-26.  Charles Johnston records the use of this word specifically for a soldier. (Travels in Southern Abyssinia through the Country of Adal to the Kingdom of Shoa (London, 1844), vol. 1 p. 182 and note.)

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