Talk:Pure laine

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Ironic term[edit]

There is a total derivation from the original meaning here. The wool, used in this expression, means these people come from a poor origin. There's some humour in that expression. It always had that part of humour. No one would love to compare himself to wool, even less if they were thinking they were part of a superior group or race. So this is an ironic term, because it tells the group doesn't compare to something great, but only indicate it is from the same origin. It would be like a non-mixed chinese man who compares himself to pure chinese rice. And not race. That's all. This is a perfect comparison. (talk) 02:50, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

All very true. The Quebecois are very honest with themselves, about themselves, and their origins. That said, there is a lot of English slurs in this "article" and it is sad that what science so clearly says - that the French Canadians are a pure genetic founder group - is ignored by bigots. We have been here for 400 years, however, and will be here 400 years in the future. Get used to it bigots. We are not going anywhere, whether you like it or not.


Merge because the French Wikipedia article redirects to Quebec nationalism. 09:10, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure if this is a good idea, because this is a very complex topic that has the potential for a great deal of length. There is a great deal in the English language that has been written about this subject, and of course in French. There is also an article on the "White Anglo Saxon Protestant" issue, and this one is in a similar range. The present article on Quebec nationalism is already quite long (considering WP:SIZE), so that could also be an issue. Laval 09:17, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
It is definitely not a good idea to merge. The current version article presents one possible understanding of "pure laine" along with evidence that it is very unlikely that it be the case for a great number of French Canadians. This would be the genealogist definition I guess. This would be out of place in the article on the vast and complex suject of Quebec nationalism which currently only presents a short historical overview. At some point though, it would be nice if we could find the origin of the expression, its various meanings and how it ended up being used literally in English to try to discredit Quebec nationalism. -- Mathieugp 13:10, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
The present article is simply a general sketch, thus it would be good to work towards a fuller understanding of the issue and the political context in modern times. In addition, taking things more into consideration, I am not sure why the French Wikipedia redirects to Quebec nationalism, as the issue and its background has a much broader context, and as you point out, is often used in English media to paint a negative portrait of Quebec nationalists. Though I would also add that it is not so much the "nationalism" that is attacked, but Quebec in general. The stereotype of Quebec (a false one, needless to say) that is too often presented in the English world is that of an isolated, xenophobic society made up of homogeneous French who want to stay "pure." Cases like Herouxville are used to back this up, even though there is evidence to show that there were other factors at work there (especially since not a single immigrant or non-French-Canadian lives there.) While there is going to be a cultural gap between the metropolitan and pastoral civilizations, this is true anywhere in the world, but in Quebec is it not to the extreme of say Belgium or many parts of the United States. As I wrote on Talk:Québécois, many of the articles on Quebec here are in generally poor condition as they reflect only a singular world-view that is not universal in nature and is based mostly on English language sources. One cannot write a history or analysis of Quebec without making use of French language sources. This is true of any civilization. Laval 03:44, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
I could not agree more. For the first time in my life, I get the impression of dialoguing with a clone of myself, only you seem to make less typos than I do! ;-) -- 06:03, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

No link[edit]

By talking about a citizenship law in this article, the autor(s) made a link between this law and racism. But one sentence later, we can read Canada and other countries have very similar laws. This is ridiculous, there's no bad political link to do here. It should be removed. (talk) 02:50, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Canada does NOT require immigrants to learn English or French and knowledge of either official language is most certainly NOT a requirement of Canadian citizenship. However, due to the fact that Quebec has been granted (by the Federal government) significant "influence" over selection of immigrants to Quebec, in this particular case, a knowledge of French is unquestionably looked upon favourably by the Quebec provincial government - as opposed to the Federal government.


I removed the cross-link to WASP, which is not an equivalent term. WASP stands for White Anglo-Saxon Protestant as a type, without a historical dimension -- an Englishman moving to North America would be classed as a WASP (or his children would). By contrast, 'pur laine' refers to White Gallic Catholics in their capacity of descendents from 17th/18th C French settlers in New France -- a Frenchman moving to Quebec would not be 'pur laine'. Jackmitchell 14:28, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

I'm not so sure about this. My understanding is that "WASP" sometimes refers specifically to those Americans who were descended from the Mayflower pilgrims. I have never heard the use of the term "WASP" (the American usage) in connection with more recent British immigrants, for example. Laval 19:55, 5 April 2007

The Church records are amazingly complete and accurate. It is very easy to demonstrate if one is pure laine or not (and why the English bigots care so much is a mystery).

Many of you are missing the point of this "article," which is to further slurs against the French Canadians. A common pastime of the English - they've been doing it for centuries. First, it was the typical anti-French crap (lazy, smelly, etc etc.). Then it was not "really Canadian" "not loyal" etc. Now we see the latest strain of this virus: the French Canadians are not really French at all. Disgusting. That Wikipedia allows this garbage is breathtaking. These slurs would not stand for a minute if the target were another group. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gen. Archibald Smythe, IV (talkcontribs) 23:28, 10 December 2008 (UTC)


The expression is not deprecated in French, except when it is used to exclude non-French Canadians. A person who was born and had lived his entire life in Montreal might well be referred to as un Montréalais pure laine. A person can be "un Japonais pure laine" or "un Toulousain pure laine" (although the speaker is likely to be Canadian, because this expression is not used in France). Similarly, it is, I believe, perfectly acceptable to say that an immigrant who came from Pakistan as an adult is not a "Québécois pure laine", without that being offensive. What would be viewed as unacceptable would be to refer to his or her children, born and raised in Quebec, as not being "des Québécois pure laine". Of course, the uncontroversial use of pure laine hasn't seeped into English because it is uninteresting (and we've already got words like dyed-in-the-wool), so pure laine has ended up implying French Canadian in English. I think this should be reflected in the article. Joeldl 10:13, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm Québécois and I've never heard anyone in Québec refer to visible minorities as Québécois pure laine. That would be like calling Mexicans WASPs in the United States. It doesn't even make any sense and if people started saying that, it would only lead to confusion. When one says pure laine, there is only one meaning that comes to mind. It definitely means more than simply born and raised in Quebec. In French, we sometimes say néo-Québécois to refer to immigrants or children of immigrants. Nothing controversial, racist or confusing about néo-Québécois. Denis C. (talk) 07:32, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
No, WASP means "White Anglo-Saxon Protestant." It's obvious that Mexican Americans aren't WASPs and wouldn't claim to be. The closest I can think of for an American would be all-American as in the phrase "all-American good looks." It is certainly true that some people use this in a way that excludes non-whites, but I don't blame people for taking offence at that, since it suggests that non-whites are not typical or representative of the United States.
I also don't dispute that people who use the phrase "pure laine" often have something in mind that goes beyond being born and raised in Quebec. What I'm saying is that it is mainly when the phrase is used in that way (which suggests that people who are not of French ancestry are less authentic Quebecers) that people may take offence.
Here are some examples, taken from the Dictionnaire historique du français québecois, that illustrate inclusive uses of pure laine:
  • William Johnson est un Anglais [...]. Mais William Johnson est aussi un Québécois pure laine. Un Québécois pure laine de Montréal, comme il y a des milliers d'autres anglophones québécois pure laine à Montréal. Et comme ces milliers d'autres anglophones québécois pure laine de Montréal, William Johnson est très inquiet de ce qui arrivera, demain, quand la Cour suprême du Canada rendra son verdict sur la loi 101.
  • [...] [le] sprinter Bruny Surin, de Montréal, qui affirme que les Canadiens – et les médias en particulier – ont mis beaucoup d'emphase sur les origines jamaïcaines de Ben Johnson après le scandale des Jeux de Séoul : « [...] On était très fier de Ben (Johnson) un jour ; c'était un Canadien pure laine. Le lendemain, il était en disgrâce et il avait soudainement changé de nationalité. » Joeldl (talk) 09:29, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Name of article[edit]

It seems to me that leaving out the e is a mistake. Laine is feminine, so pure takes an e. You would never see it without the e in French, and I don't know if the use of it without an e in English is an established practice rather than just a mistake people make when they don't know French well enough. I would favour moving it to Pure laine. Joeldl 10:13, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Pur lainePure laine — As best I can tell, this is just a mistake. It would never be spelt pur laine in French because laine is feminine. In English, I don't know how common the pur laine form is. But my guess would be that whatever currency it has does not result from an established usage in English, but rather a common mistake. I suspect it is uncommon in carefully edited prose. The creator of the page felt that pur laine was the predominant form, however. Joeldl 11:51, 7 May 2007 (UTC)


Add  * '''Support'''  or  * '''Oppose'''  on a new line in the appropriate section followed by a brief explanation, then sign your opinion using ~~~~. Since this is not a vote, please explain the reasons for your recommendation.


  • Comment I'm pretty sure that pur laine is more common. 04:48, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

While I'm not sure that "pur laine" is outright wrong (rules of grammar are always much more complicated than they appear), "pure laine" is vastly more common, including in the specific context of Québec / Canada. This article has been renamed from pur laine to pure laine as the result of a move request. --Stemonitis

Whatever uncertainty there is in English, there is none at all in French. I was presenting the grammatical argument as an explanation for the fact that only pure laine exists in French. The fact that there is such an explanation also increases the likelihood that people will perceive pur laine to be a mistake, as opposed to cases where variant forms exist without a clear rationale for one or the other. Joeldl 10:09, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Prime Minister?[edit]

The article currently refers to Bernard Landry as the former "Prime Minister of Quebec." While in french, the title of the office is "premiere ministre," the official english designation is "Premier." Shouldn't this be changed? (talk) 03:35, 10 December 2007 (UTC) You are wrong. "Premier Ministre" is the right way to write it in French. Première ministre is a feminine form.

True blue and Dyed-in-the-wool[edit]

Tru blue and Dyed-in-the-wool might be terms used in conjunction with pure laine, but they have multiple other uses other than describing French-Canadians and as such should be seperated. I cam to this page looking for the origin of the term dyed-in-the-wool. The term must be much older that the setteling of Canada and have something to do with the ability of wool to hold its color better than other materials. True blue must also refer to a quality of fabric color and not just the French-Canadians. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tmpafford (talkcontribs) 20:48, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Came from "Dyed-in-the-wool" too. "Sgt. Snorkel is a dyed-in-the-wool soldier", writes Mort Walker in an editorial to his "Sarge" ("beetle bailey"). In German the use of the analog term "in der Wolle gefärbt" dates back to 1517, there meaning bad boys ("so seind menschen, heiszent lasterliche menschen, und sein die, die in der wollen geferbet seind. es sol gar kostlich sein, wenn man wollen ferbt und thuch darausz macht. also seind etliche menschen in der wollen geferbet worden in der leckery und bübery ufferzogen." (Geiler von Kaisersberg). Todays meaning is less derogatory, but still intense. Kindly give dyed in the wool its own entry. -- Fritz Jörn (talk) 10:59, 9 February 2011 (UTC)


Using the term "Pure laine" is derogatory and implies racism, even when argued that it is not a racist expression. The term "of origin" is more appropriate, which do not induce errors such as "from 3rd or 4th generation". Saying for example "of Cuban origin" implies the person was born in Cuba and there is no importance to whether it's the 3rd or 4th generation. Using "pure laine" to make a distinction of the xth generation of origin implies that being from the xth generation is more important than the actual location of birth of the person it applies to. It has no social implication other than making distinction based on ancestry, which in the common use implies racism. Only in a research context like a Doctoral dissertation, such expression could be valued. The description should specify that the use of this expression reflects a form of racism.Mfregeau (talk) 04:56, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Even if the term was derogatory and racist(which I personally think it is not), this article has, theoretically, a use. The term is widely used in Québec; although it is used sometimes by racists for racists, it is also used by common folk and people that choose to use "popular" or colloquial language. It is true that some of these people have questionable political/social beliefs, but it is a generalization to categorize all users of this expression as such. Not only is the expression a arguably archaic for of self-identity, it is also a historical term used since times well before the ascent of multiculturalism in Québec or Canada. Many generations of Quebeckers have struggled (be it against an imaginary foe or a true threat) to identify itself with something; facing a France that developed itself differently with a bloody revolution and a North American anglophone majority that could not understand the children of New France. We who pursue historical accuracy or critical thought must try to attain objectivity(itself a goal and not an end). Lordmick 21:39, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Accusations of racism, unexplained changes, etc.[edit]

I've rolled back two edits made by (talk · contribs), one in a series of similar changes that have been made in the past few days by (talk · contribs), (talk · contribs), EnglishChiefEagle (talk · contribs), Senatorjones (talk · contribs) and SenatorJonas (talk · contribs) this past week. In all but two cases, these changes have been made without edit summaries. The two that feature edit summaries make some very serious accusations [1][2]. The request to elaborate on this talk page has been met with silence. In the interests of clarity, I again ask the user or users to discuss the issues on this page, as is appropriate.

The roll back touches on several areas:

  1. The most recent edit concerns the insertion of a sentence not found in others: "Recent genetics studies confirm that French-Canandians are indeed a distinct genetic group, with virtually all of their genes traceable to 16th Century France, and that Quebecois, being descended nearly exclusively from a 1600 person French "founder population," are a nearly perfect snapsnot, genetically, of French peasantry in the 17th century." As this is not referenced and not one of these "Recent genetic studies" is named, I've removed the sentence. Citations, please.
  2. The claim that "nearly all French-Canadians are able to trace their ancestry back to the original settlers of New France". I've changed "nearly all" to "most" (which I believe is more accurate), though I recognize that neither is supported (and both fall into WP:WEASEL). Likewise, I've changed the claim that "a few are descended from mixed marriages" to read "a number are descended from mixed marriages". I've added citation requests for both these claims.
  3. Several of the edits over the past few days are devoted to the elimination of "native Indians" from "many are descended from mixed marriages between the French, the native Indians and Irish settlers." As no explanation had been given, I cannot comment further.
  4. I've removed: "This experience is analogous to the English Canadians (except to a much less degree given the historic bias in favor of keeping the population "French") as nearly all "English" Canadians are descended in large part from slavic immigrants, aboriginal peoples ("Indians"), as well as Irish, Scottish, and eastern European stock." Editorializing aside, the analogy breaks down as so-called "English Canadians" are not generally thought of as having defined from English immigrants, rather they are those "whose first language is English or who is of English ancestry" (Encarta).
  5. Finally, I have removed: "Indeed, this very discussion shows the lengths English bigots will go to in order to deny the scientific truth that French Canadians are indeed French, and is a sad commentary of the bigotry still alive and well in "tolerant" Canada today. Deny a person his roots, his family, and you have taken away his personhood - which is of course the intent." This sort of editorial comment ha no place in an encyclopedia.Victoriagirl (talk) 15:25, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
While I am not certain that this article is the proper place for it, these academic sources go a long way in disproving the claims of whoever it was that you have just reverted:
1. Hélène Vézina, Marc Tremblay, Bertrand Desjardins, Louis Houde "Origines et contributions génétiques des fondatrices et des fondateurs de la population québécoise, in Cahiers québécois de démographie, Démographie historique, Volume 34, numéro 2, automne 2005
2. Bertrand Desjardins. "Homogénéité ethnique de la population québécoise sous le Régime français", in Cahiers québécois de démographie, Diversité de la population québécoise, Volume 19, numéro 1 (Printemps 1990)
3. Marc De Braekeleer. "Homogénéité génétique des Canadiens français du Québec : mythe ou réalité ?", in Cahiers québécois de démographie, Diversité de la population québécoise, Volume 19, numéro 1 (Printemps 1990)
4. François Drouin. "La population urbaine de Québec, 1795-1971 : Origines et autres caractéristiques de recensement", in Cahiers québécois de démographie, Diversité de la population québécoise, Volume 19, numéro 1 (Printemps 1990)
There is also a special issue of the Québec Science magazine published for the 400th anniversary of Québec City which tries debunk a few myths, and among them is the question of mixed French-Amerindian marriages. -- Mathieugp (talk) 18:10, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
Genetic studies prove beyond any doubt that the Quebecois are descended almost entirely from the 1600-2000 original French settlers. Deal with it bigot. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:05, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
The bigots tend to be those who misunderstand genetic studies and misuse their results to sustain claims such as those you are repeating without being able to show their source. Since I am sure you are not one of those yourself, you will not have any difficulty reading and understanding the studies above. But judging from what you wrote, you might want to refresh your memory and read up some of the basic notions concerning the difference between descent, family lineages (genealogy) and the passing of genes (genetic genealogy) between generations. For example, in the 2005 study above, the analysis of the sample of 2223 ascending genealogies from the BALSAC-RETRO database showed that for nearly 100% of the subjects (Catholics who married in Quebec between 1945 and 1965) at least one founding ancestor who was an immigrant person from France could be traced. Yet for 90% of the same subjects, we also find at least one founding ancestor who was an immigrant male from Great Britain. It is 25% in the case of a founding ancestor who was an immigrant female from Great Britain. It is about 20% if we look for a founding ancestor who was an immigrant male from Ireland and 14% if we look for a founding ancestor who was an immigrant male from Germany. (In the case of female immigrants from Ireland or Germany, it is negligible.)
Despite the mixed ancestral origins of most of the subjects, the genetic contribution of the British, Irish and German founding immigrants to the genetic pool of Quebec's population is obviously much less than shows their presence in the lineages. -- Mathieugp (talk) 21:56, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
But Pierre Trudeau is a Canadian PM from 1968 to 84 leads the country during the problematic issue of Quebec separatism and French Canadian activism, and he was not only an Anglophone on his mother's side but a French-Canadian by his father of "pur laine" origins. He was a byproduct of two peoples claimed to co-founded Canada together in the last 4 centuries leading up to the current political dilemma faced by both Anglophone and Franco-Canadians. Trudeau opposed Quebec separatism, never supported the idea of a province seceding into a separate nation and considers French-Canadians with the mentality not faithful to Canada, and Trudeau speaks well as a person of French-Canadian ancestry whose father's family are treated differently or lived apart from the English, but nevertheless are "Canadians" not "pur laine". + (talk) 10:17, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

PQ and Marois[edit]

I am removing the manifestly biased portion of the article referring to the proposed Quebec citizenship of the PQ, and for the following reasons :

- It contains weasel words (i.e. "Some people think...").

- It literally has nothing to do with the "pure laine" concept itself. It's only what the author considers to be an example of racial tension in Quebec. However, it's clearly a linguistic dispute, not racial. Even if it were racial, unless the word "pure laine" shows up somewhere in the debate over the measures, it really doesn't belong in an article about the "pure laine" concept.

- The proposal is centred around possessing an adequate command of the French *language*, and has nothing to do with being descended from the first French settlers in Quebec. I'm sure there are certain articles where the author's observations might have their place, but it's not this one. (talk) 16:37, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

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