Francophile Friday : Merci, Mercy

Merci Paris illustration  © Shell-Sherree
Merci Paris illustration  © Shell-Sherree

 Take your pick this week as to Francophile Friday or Flashback Friday. This illustration of the gorgeous Merci store in Paris goes back quite a ways!  So far back, it pre-dates my signature inclusion of a kitty mascot.  I wondered why it felt like something was missing.

I love that the French word for 'thank you' is similar to the English word 'mercy'.  So in a manner most unlike me, I did some research. {Don't be alarmed... it will pass.} 

According to ye olde Online Etymology Dictionary, 'Mercy' is derived from Old French mercit, merci "reward, gift, kindness, grace, pity," which came in turn from the Latin mercedem "reward, wages, pay hire".  Que? 

Thankfully ~ mercifully ~ when we head even further back to 6th century Church Latin, mercedem meant "applied to the heavenly reward of those who show kindness to the helpless."  Ahh.  And we're kind of back where we started.  I knew research was a waste of time.  And on that note ...

Happy Francophile Friday to you!

PS:  You'll find Merci in the 3rd arrondissement:  111 boulevard Beaumarchais 95003.


  1. I remember this illo! The research is new, though. John and I love the Online Etymology Dictionary.

    1. I love that you remember it, Petrea ! It comes as no surprise to me that you and J enjoy digging around in word origins ... I love the word etymology, though I thought it was the study of bugs for the longest time...


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