Alphadictionary.com

Our Sponsors

Technical Translation
Website Translation Clip Art
 

Canape

Use this forum to discuss past Good Words.

Canape

Postby Dr. Goodword » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:43 pm

• canapé •


Pronunciation: kæn-ê-pay or kæn-ê-payHear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. A couch, sofa, divan, settee, chesterfield. 2. An appetizer made of small pieces of toast or crackers overlaid with a tasty relish of cheese, meat, or the like.

Notes: The accent over the [é] is optional, though it shows that accent may fall on the final syllable, as in French, and that the word is not pronounced [kê-nayp], the typical English mispronunciation. The plural is canapes and there are no other related words.

In Play: Most often this word is used to refer to food: "Matilda served her guests a fetching tray of canapés with tiny dollops of various meat and fish by-products." But don't forget that canapé also belongs to that long list of English words referring to sofas: "Gloria, dripping in slithery fabrics and far too much jewelry, was appetizingly arrayed across a Louis XV canapé." Doesn't Gloria seem absolutely delicious? She will enjoy singular success if only she does not drop her canapé on the canapé.

Word History: What do mosquitoes have to do with hors d'oeuvres? Just ask your neighborhood etymologist! Today's word is French canapé, which originally meant "a (canopied) couch." This word descended from Medieval Latin canapeum "mosquito-net, tent, pavilion", also the source of English canopy. The Latin word was borrowed from Greek konopeon, an Egyptian bed with mosquito netting, from konops "a gnat, mosquito". This word was originally a compound meaning "cone-faced", based on konos "a cone" + ops "face, eye" (also in optic). How did the word for a sofa transfer to an hors d'oeuvre? Apparently, French chefs of the 17th century saw a similarity in such visuals as the second example above in "In Play".
• The Good Dr. Goodword
User avatar
Dr. Goodword
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3625
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:28 am
Location: Lewisburg, PA

Re: CANAPÉ

Postby MTC » Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:55 pm

Lord Chesterfield: I say, Diana! You look absolutely "divan" draped over that "canape."
Diana: Ouch!  Here, have an hors d'oeuvre. (offering)
Lord C: I must watch my fate, er, weight, that is.
Diana: Too many double entendres?
Lord C:  It's the Spoonerisms, I'm afraid. Every spoonful counts.
Diana:  You make light of weighty matters.
Lord C:  I diet 'tis true.
Diana: And count calories?
Lord C: Like so many sheep, before I sleep.
Diana: Black sheep, they must be.
Lord C: Your meaning is veiled.
Diana: (Pulling aside her veil) There! 
Lord C: Ah, my little canapé!
Diana: You consume me!
Lord C: With relish!
Last edited by MTC on Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
MTC
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1071
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:40 am
Location: Pasadena

Re: CANAPÉ

Postby Slava » Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:08 pm

Dr. Goodword wrote:Notes: The accent over the [é] is optional, though it shows that accent falls on the final syllable, as in French...

I beg to differ here. The accent may be optional, but it has nothing to do with the placement of the stress. All French words have the stress on the penult. The accent does not play a role here.

I expect most English speakers call the snack items "CAN-a-pays."
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
User avatar
Slava
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 4840
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:31 am
Location: Finger Lakes, NY

Re: CANAPÉ

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:02 am

Everybody has multiple vocabularies. A person has a vocabulary from which she/he quickly pulls familiar words in every day conversation. A person has a larger vocabulary that is called upon in discussing topics in a forum or in writing an essay. One has a vocabulary of recognized words that he/she cannot define exactly but sort of knows what they mean. Some of us have vocabularies of words we choose not to use. In my case, that vocabulary is rather large.

Canapé and hors d'oeuvre are two words that are in my "do not use" vocabulary. I do not know how to pronounce some words and gladly accept correction (unless it messes with my redneck persona). I know how to pronounce these two words, but they sound so silly. Why should I ever want to say one of them? They tend to make one think she/he is chic, another word in my “do not use” vocabulary. And, yes, I can pronounce it. I learned the word chic when I was seven years old and at that tender age, it nauseated me. The child is the father to the man,

Andy Griffin was paid to say, “Every thing is great when it sits on a Ritz.” Is there an alternate word for the cracker and what sits on it? I would be glad to know one. I am reduced to asking my guests if they would like one of those little "things" on the tray. I will be grateful for a suggestion.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
Philip Hudson
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1837
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 4:41 am
Location: Texas

Re: CANAPÉ

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:03 am

That's how I pronounce it, accent on first, secondary on last.
pl
Perry Lassiter
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2544
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:41 pm
Location: RUSTON, LA

Re: CANAPÉ

Postby gailr » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:05 am

Slava, I think he means the optional accent is to help the average English speaker with pronunciation, so it won't be interpreted as canAPE, for example.
User avatar
gailr
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1945
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2005 11:40 am

Re: CANAPÉ

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:13 am

Slava: isn't the penult in canapé the schwa sound represented by the second a in the word? I believe the accent is on "pé" which is the "ult" . If I could say "KAN-uh-pae" or "kuh-NAP" I might learn to like the word. Nah! Not really.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
Philip Hudson
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1837
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 4:41 am
Location: Texas

Re: CANAPÉ

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:03 pm

Philip, I like your distinction in one's vocabulary. I've often noticed that. You might add that at the second or tertiary level we have words that easily move to the top in certain situations. In the present case, I would not count either canapes or hors douevres in the top level, but as a pastor I got involved in a lot of receptions, plus involvement in preparing for my wife's parties. In those cases I refer to all sorts of two-bite sized victuals as canapes. I seldom use the other word because my weird mind wants to say "horse doovers," which only shows my ignorance.

It may be appropriate at this point to notice that all speakers and writers are encouraged to increase their vocabulary. Then they are encouraged not to use it to communicate, but aim at an eighth grade level or thereabouts. I notice on this forum I feel relaxed about using whatever word comes to mind, assuming most or all of the readers will know it.
pl
Perry Lassiter
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2544
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:41 pm
Location: RUSTON, LA

Re: CANAPÉ

Postby Slava » Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:30 pm

Philip Hudson wrote:Slava: isn't the penult in canapé the schwa sound represented by the second a in the word? I believe the accent is on "pé" which is the "ult" . If I could say "KAN-uh-pae" or "kuh-NAP" I might learn to like the word. Nah! Not really.

I stand corrected. My use of penult was wrong. The proper word is ultima.

If the stress were actually on the penultimate syllable, we'd have "can-UH-pay," wouldn't we?
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
User avatar
Slava
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 4840
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:31 am
Location: Finger Lakes, NY

Re: CANAPÉ

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:02 pm

And in a three syllable word, the first becomes the antepenultimate syllable! Work that into your next conversation.
pl
Perry Lassiter
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2544
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:41 pm
Location: RUSTON, LA

Re: CANAPÉ

Postby Philip Hudson » Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:36 am

In a benzene ring we could go ortho, meta and para.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
Philip Hudson
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1837
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 4:41 am
Location: Texas

Re: CANAPÉ

Postby MTC » Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:22 am

Philip Hudson wrote:In a benzene ring we could go ortho, meta and para.


But then we'd be going in circles, wouldn't we?
MTC
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1071
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:40 am
Location: Pasadena

Re: CANAPÉ

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:57 pm

No, they're three-dimensional.
pl
Perry Lassiter
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2544
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:41 pm
Location: RUSTON, LA

Re: CANAPÉ

Postby Slava » Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:03 pm

Philip Hudson wrote:Andy Griffin was paid to say, “Every thing is great when it sits on a Ritz.” Is there an alternate word for the cracker and what sits on it? I would be glad to know one. I am reduced to asking my guests if they would like one of those little "things" on the tray. I will be grateful for a suggestion.

Generic words: appetizer, snack, munchies, nibblies, cheese & crackers, chips and dip, etc.

Don't forget that Ritz remains a brand name for a specific cracker, so you don't necessarily ever really have to use it. You can still simply call them crackers.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
User avatar
Slava
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 4840
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:31 am
Location: Finger Lakes, NY

Re: CANAPÉ

Postby Philip Hudson » Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:34 pm

Thanks Slava. Good ideas.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
Philip Hudson
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1837
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 4:41 am
Location: Texas

Next

Return to Good Word Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests