1. Deegirl New Member

    United States
    This is the word used for the grandmother in the movie "An Affair to Remember." Does it mean "grandmother" or what? Is it a proper name? Looking desperately to find out its meaning....
  2. Welcome to WR, Deegirl.

    "Janou" is probably an affectionate form of the name Jeanine (according to a google search).

  3. geve

    geve Senior Member

    France, Paris
    France, French
    I agree with that - it could be "Jeanne", too.
    The suffix -ou can be used with some first names to create diminutives: Michou (Michel), Philou (Philippe), Patou (Patrice, Patrick). It's not that common, especially with girls' names, but it wouldn't surprise me as an endearment surname for a grandmother. :)
  4. Deegirl New Member

    United States
    Thanks. That helps a lot. I wonder why they would have chosen that as the name for the grandmother in the movie "An Affair to Remember" 1957 circa? Is it French or could it be Italian? What you said has made more sense than anything else we've heard so far. Thanks again.
  5. deeliteful New Member

    Hi Deegirl! I'm responding close to 4 years late ! :D

    The diminutive suffix -ou is very common in Southern France where the traditional Occitan dialects (Provençal, Niçart, Languedocien, Gascon, Limousin, Auvergnat, etc.) have influenced the local French speech. It comes from the Occitan diminutive suffix -on (pronounced 'ou'). Since Grandmother Janou lives in Villefranche-sur-Mer in the former County of Nice, and her grandson has a distinctly Italian name, one could reasonably conclude that she is Niçoise or Provençal.

    FYI: In the original 1939 version, called "Love Affair," Charles Boyer calls his grandmother "Nanou", a nickname for "Anne". Both Nanou and Janou sound very close to mamou or manou which is what many Southern French people call their grandmothers.
  6. franc 91 Senior Member

    English - GB
    Absolutely, I agree with what said above. I would also add that it is common in the Auvergne and could be the masculine name Jean as well. In the family everyone was named after their godparents which meant that quite a few of the family were called either Jean or Jeanine. This led to various nicknames or adaptations of the name being used to distinguish between them - Janou was one of them. Similar situations arise in Welsh villages (Jones) or in Ireland (Seàn). The only remark I would make is that I'm more used to seeing Nissart and Nissa/Nizza.
  7. ryba

    ryba Senior Member


    There is some trivia on the Occitan suffix -on (IPA: /u/) in the WRF thread Occitan provençal: bisous (cf. poton).

    From Wikipedia:


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