My dinner this evening was a delice.


Oh, come on. Something that’s capricious is a caprice. The cause of anything malicious is malice. So my dinner was a delice. It…

How do I pronounce it? OK, OK, caprice and malice don’t rhyme. Which does delice go with? I’m going with the rhyme with caprice. Really, otherwise it sounds too much like jealous. Which you would be, by the way, if you knew how good my supper was. It was at this place called…

Yes, true, it could rhyme with vice, since vice is what – originally – is vicious. But I’m still going with the French-style pronunciation. After all, if you’re in Montreal, which is where I am today, you –

In Lachine. I was in Lachine for dinner, and then a dance performance. That counts. It’s now officially part of Montreal. But OK, yeah, it didn’t use to be, and it’s a ways out of the centre. Anyway, the restaurant is called Shangrila, and it serves Nepali, Indian, and Italian food.

No, I’m not making that up! Look it up for yourself. It’s an unprepossessing place, but I enjoyed the heck out of my dinner, which was “chatpate au poulet” (that’s how it was spelled on the menu) and two bottles of Cheetah beer. What’s with the suspicion here?

Mm-hmm, yes, I suppose we could say delicion instead of delice, given that suspicious has suspicion. But we could also say deliciosity. Which, however, is hardly shorter than deliciousness, which is not quite the same as delice, because something can be a delice but not really a deliciousness.

Why? Because I’m not making this up. Look, there really is an English word delice. It’s just not used anymore. Don’t ask me why. They still use the word delice in French.

Well, that’s where English got it from, of course. As I was about to say before. French made delice from Latin delicium, and English just plain old took it. The first meaning was ‘delight, pleasure, joy, enjoyment’, according to the OED. After that came the countable: a thing that causes the sensation of delice. But both senses are out of use now. I don’t know why.

I’ll tell you this: anyone who has what I had for dinner tonight ought surely to be motivated to bring delice back. Deliciousness just takes too long to say when you’re busy eating.

3 responses to “delice

  1. Well, this is a yummy post. I’m sure you didn’t pingle your meal, and hope you didn’t need a poon for a wobbly table.

    • I’d read that poon was long ago a term used for a shim to steady a wobbly table but then remembered it’s currently a slang term for vagina. So don’t use a vagina to steady a wobbly table. There should be an edit option on this Response thing so one could save face after posting in haste : )

  2. Maybe I’m too mullt-culti for my own good, but delice doesn’t faze me at all. I see it often enough on menus as well as in the names of numerous French cheeses.

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