coup de téléphone : etymology


Senior Member
Russian, Belarusian

What does coup / a blow have to do with phone calls? What is the meaning of coup in this phrase?
  • Jagorr

    Senior Member
    Russian, Belarusian
    So coup de fil/télephone originally relates to the last stage of a phone conversation, the hanging up part? Whereas today it implies the whole call from the dialing up till the hanging up part?


    Senior Member
    Inglés canadiense
    There is a word in Spanish which means the exact same thing: telefonazo (the -azo suffix denotes a hit being given with the noun that it's added to). It wouldn't be used for a long, chatty phone call, just a "hit-and-run", as it were.


    Senior Member
    French (France)
    P. ext. [Avec ou sans idée de mouvement] Actionnement intermittent d'un instrument; p. méton. bruit de cet instrument.
    SYNT., EXPR., Coup de klaxon, de sifflet; coup de téléphone (ou fam. coup de fil). Ce coup de téléphone imprévu a jeté un petit froid (Guitry, Veilleur, 1911, I, p. 4); coup de timbre; coup de trompette.

    (COUP : Définition de COUP)