sff_corgi_lj: (Anime - Sailormoon: Uranus)
[personal profile] sff_corgi_lj
The word for 'tuxedo' (as in 'black tie formal wear') in French, despite their loathing of loanwords and its completely unchanged spelling, is le or la 'smoking'.

Yes, 'smoking'. Just like in English.

They must have got it from the tuxedo's origins, a modification of the smoking jacket beloved of Victorian imagery, and named in the States after the district in New York where it was introduced to high society. It retains some of the styling of the smoking jacket still, in that notched lapels are Simply Not Done, for one. However, the French (being the French) have taken 'le smoking' one further to 'la smoking', by Yves Saint Laurent. A recently staged retrospective of Saint Laurent's tuxedo-based designs for women is iconised by Catherine Deneuve dressed in 'a smoking' and characterised by the elegant statement, 'The rapport de force between women and the masculine establishment was played out over the years like a game of chess,' explains Christophe Martin, the exhibition’s scenographer. 'Yves Saint Laurent transformed woman into a queen who, in her "smoking", dares to check the king.'

Now, the reason I found this all out was, believe it or not, Sailormoon. [livejournal.com profile] wickedtrue was able to send me the translated manga to read, and despite all the bits and pieces, fansites and essays I've read here and there, reading the whole thing in a piece was interesting. The one male regular character, Mamoru (Tuxedo Kamen/Mask), also has planet-guardian powers of a sort, but they are much more defensive and passive than those of the senshi, the 'pretty soldiers'. He has psychometry on a large scale - he can see things elsewhere as long as he puts a hand on the earth; he can Heal Light (how did you guess I used to play D&D?); and when he combines his strength with Sailormoon's, they become more powerful together than the sum of their parts. In fact, he's the essential element to more than one of her 'upgrades', despite his occasional protests of ineffectualness.

At one point, Tuxedo Kamen is desperate to join in a fight against their enemies and is coached by a benevolent internal voice to concentrate his energy in his hands and cast it from himself. His kiai for this becomes 'Tuxedo La Smoking Bomber!' Perplexed by this odd phrase, I, of course, Googled - and found a comment which mentioned it was a pun on the French word for tuxedo. Soooo... drop the other one - what French word for tuxedo? Back to Google, and hence to Yves and his 'smoking's.

The feminine article in the kiai is even somewhat appropriate, considering the female-centric series as a whole. And once the pun drops into place (wow, a Japanese pun using English and a French loanword - complex!), you see that his shout fits in with the pattern of the senshi attack phrases. (Another fan points out that a bomber is also a kind of jacket, although whether that part's still punny we'd have to ask Naoko-sensei.)

So now I know. And I learned some French, too.

Date: 2006-04-29 03:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] laurus-nobilis.livejournal.com
It's called "smoking" in Spanish, too, or at least here in Argentina. We probably took it from French - there are a lot of Galicisms going around here.

But in Latin American dubs, the character is still called *Tuxedo* Mask, because the Mexican dub for the first Sailor Moon season is based on the US dub. (The next seasons were dubbed directly from Japanese, and uncensored.)

Date: 2006-04-29 03:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sff-corgi.livejournal.com
Considering the garment's origin, that's not too surprising, but I'd never heard it before anywhere. Go figure.

I've never seen the 'Tuxedo' part of his name get changed to anything, although I've also not made any kind of comparison search. Just the 'Mask' part getting translated.

Date: 2006-04-29 03:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] delcj.livejournal.com
yay for etymology and Sailormoon!

Date: 2006-04-29 04:29 am (UTC)

Date: 2006-04-29 04:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xianghua.livejournal.com
You find the most INTERESTING stuff....

Date: 2006-04-29 05:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xianghua.livejournal.com
Get back on AIM so I can bounce world-building ideas off you? Pretty please? :) I have a new muse giving me a headache with this weird... I don't know. It's got elements of steampunk, only with not much steam and lots of magic and mages that live to be 600 years old and... yeah.

Date: 2006-04-29 11:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wombat1138.livejournal.com
I continue to be boggled in memory by his transformation sequence from the anime, even though it only showed up once iirc.

Wonder if there's a website out there along the lines of "The Annotated Sailor Moon"? There are certainly enough weird little puns and references: the mythological aspects, the mineral names, the weird little multilingual puns ("Sailor V" ~"c'est la vie")-- actually, now that I think about it, ISTR a blurb a while back for a print-on-demand title by some fans that might've been along those lines, but danged if I can figure out where it was now....

Date: 2006-04-29 05:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] erised1810.livejournal.com
thisis the kid nof pu nI hate. wher yo uahe to jump throgh six hoops to getthe joke (or i nmycase fidn the hoops to hjump thorugadn thin kther are mor than ten adn give up.) i tink it's til pu nbecause iknow 'bomer jacket' from a type of skinhead-or-radical-youths whoe like/liekto wear those. funny.

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