Brandoch Daha (ticktockman) wrote in linguaphiles,
Brandoch Daha

Bought a giclée print lately?

So, I thought, what is this word giclée I'm seeing on advertisements for mass-reproduced art? I checked wikipedia.

The word giclée was appropriated by Jack Duganne, a printmaker working at Nash Editions. He wanted a name for the new type of prints they were producing on the IRIS printer, a large-format, high-resolution industrial prepress proofing inkjet printer they had adapted for fine-art printing. He was specifically looking for a word that would not have the negative connotations of "inkjet" or "computer generated". It is based on the French word gicleur, which means "nozzle" (the verb form gicler means "to squirt, spurt, or spray"). An unintended consequence of Duganne's choice of name was its problematic use in the French language since it is also modern French slang for male ejaculation.

Two problems with this wikipedia article:

-I wonder, why would they consider the American use of giclée to be based on gicleur, and not giclée itself. Or rather on the verb, gicler, since both giclée and gicleur were made from the verb.

-Saying that the use of gicler and its derivatives has become problematic in French is typical wikipedia BS. Many words are slang for sexual stuff, in French as in any language I expect, it doesn't mean that the use of these words becomes "problematic", unless you're mentally a hormonal teen like whoever added that last sentence in the wikipedia article.
Really, I wouldn't even call it slang for ejaculation. Slang implies that the original meaning is somehow distorted, like a beaver is slang because it's originally the animal, and slang for something else. Gicler is spurting, and whether it's a sprinkler or a penis that spurts, it's still the very meaning of the verb.


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