avec mes sabots dondaine

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by LouisaB, Sep 19, 2006.

  1. LouisaB Senior Member

    English, UK
    In researching songs current in 17th century France for a novel I'm working on, I came across the 14th century song 'En passant par la Lorraine'. The key line reads 'avec mes sabots dondaine, oh, oh, oh'. Can anyone please tell me what 'dondaine actually means? I can't find it in any dictionary, or web translation. Many thanks in advance.
  2. viera Senior Member

    Paris suburb
    According to TLF, "dondaine" is an onomatopoeia used in the refrains of songs and suggestive of the sound of a bell.
  3. Auryn

    Auryn Senior Member

    France, French
    That's correct. "Dondaine" doesn't actually mean anything, it just completes the line and allows it to rhyme with "capitaines" (the last word of the previous line).
  4. Gil Senior Member

    Français, Canada
    Je suis plutôt d'accord.
    Autre exemple de "dondaine":
    Si ce texte a un sens, je ne le connais pas.
  5. LouisaB Senior Member

    English, UK
    That's brilliant, everybody - thank you very much. I'm sure you're all absolutely right, as in each case the word 'dondaine' is used to achieve a rhyme. The oldest form of the words of the first two verses of 'En passant par la Lorraine' runs as follows:

    En passant par la Lorraine, avec mes sabots, (bis)
    Rencontrai trois capitaines, avec mon sabots dondaine, oh, oh, oh,
    Avec mes sabots

    Rencontrai trois capitaines, avec mes sabots (bis)
    Ils m'ont appelee vilaine, avec mes sabots dondaine, oh, oh, oh,
    Avec mes sabots.

    There are many more verses, but the central rhyme of each (plaine, vervaine etc) is always with 'dondaine'. This answer would also explain why the word doesn't appear in basic dictionaries, and why, as Catina said, it doesn't agree with 'sabots' in number or gender.

    Again - thank you all very much.


    (Apologies for the absence of an accent on 'appelee'. I have't yet worked out how to type an acute accent in this kind of text box, but I will learn..)

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