Garenne-Colombes (origin/meaning of name)

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages and Linguistics (EHL)' started by SydneyBox, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. SydneyBox

    SydneyBox Senior Member

    London
    English -Ireland
    Happy New Year to all
    A whimsical question if anybody can help. This was sparked when I looking up le lapin de garenne which I saw defined as a wild rabbit. I came across a fascinating thread discussing garenne at: http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1657409

    What is the origin of the name Garenne-Colombes? It is located in the north-western suburbs of Paris and according to Wiki is one of the most densely populated municipalities in Europe. Has the name anything to do with an overcrowded rabbit warren, or a woody dove park or is it something else?
    Thank you.
     
  2. snarkhunter

    snarkhunter Senior Member

    France, Région parisienne
    French - France
    Hello,

    Based on what I know about this (I live in a city nearby), "Colombes" (meaning either "doves" or "half-timbered houses": This was never actually settled for good!) refers to the neighbouring city of Colombes. As far as "La Garenne" itself is concerned, this is because the area used to be hunting grounds (and "garenne" is an old word meaning woods inhabited by rabbits and hares).
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  3. SydneyBox

    SydneyBox Senior Member

    London
    English -Ireland
    Thank you Snarkhunter. My pleasure watching wild rabbits scampering around remains undiminished now I know the Normans did not bring them over from an overcrowded french suburb
     
  4. snarkhunter

    snarkhunter Senior Member

    France, Région parisienne
    French - France
    My pleasure! And please note that, as far as etymology is concerned, "Colombes" might also derive from "colombages" ("half-timbering"), hence the unsettled linguistic debate.
     
  5. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo

    Since this question is one of etymology and not translation, SydneyBox, we are moving it to the WR Etymology and History of Languages Forum, where you are likely to get more expert opinions.

    wildan1, FR-EN Moderator
     

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