• confit •
kahn-fee • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Noun
Meaning: 1. Meat, particularly goose, duck, or pork, cooked in its own fat. 2. Condiment made of fruit or vegetables, especially prepared.
Notes: Confit covers many ways of preparing food. It applies to meat one way and fruit and vegetables many other special ways. It comes with but one somewhat dated derivation, confiture, referring to the special ways of preparing confit.
In Play: This word is generally restricted to exquisite meals: "At the new Indian restaurant, we dined on Indian samosas filled with coriander-scented duck confit." But feel free to play with it when you think the conversation needs a bit of elevation: "My goose will be confit if I forget our anniversary."
Word History: In Middle English today's word was confit, swallowed whole—pronunciation and all—from Old French confit. French inherited its word from Medieval Latin confectus "prepared (with)", the past participle of conficere "to prepare (with)", comprising con- "(together) with + ficere, the combining from of facere "to make". The prefix con-, an assimilated version of com-, was inherited from Proto-Indo-European kom "by, with, near". The Germanic languages converted it to German and Old English ge-, a past participle marker. But English borrowed the Latin form com-, and reduced it to co- "together with", which is alive and well today. Latin facere came from PIE dhe-/dho- "put, place" which turned up in English as do and Russian as delat' "do, make". We've encountered this one many times before.
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