Matinée show

macta123

Senior Member
India,Hindi
In English we use Matinée show for a afternoon show (around 3 PM.)

But Matinée (comes from French : Matin : morning ); so how come it reffer to an Afternoon show?
 
  • mplsray

    Senior Member
    In English we use Matinée show for a afternoon show (around 3 PM.)

    But Matinée (comes from French : Matin : morning ); so how come it reffer to an Afternoon show?
    According to the Online Etymological Dictionary, matinee was a mid-19th century borrowing from French, and the word carried the sense "daytime" rather than "morning"--see here--so the question then becomes, why was the word at that time no longer limited to the meaning "morning" in French?
     

    mplsray

    Senior Member
    It arrived still meaning a morning entertainment, but over time was extended to anything other than evening.
    Well, not according to the source I cited, in which, in the sense borrowed, the reference was already to daytime rather than morning.

    Webster's Third has the etymology as "French matinée morning, time of day before dinner, matinee, from Old French matinee morning...." I wondered what dinner referred to there, whether to the midday meal (as it was in rural Illinois when I was a boy) or to the evening meal. I got the answer in The Century Dictionary, in which the following note is made in the entry for matinee: "The general dinner-hour of early times having been at the close of the forenoon, the French matinée, like the English morning, is often considered as extending to the common modern dinner-hour in the evening, especially in cities."

    So, if I am interpreting the entries from the three sources correctly, before the word was borrowed into English from French, matinée already meant "the time before dinner," and since, in French cities, dinner had already come to be the evening meal, matinée had, by way of matinée musicale and even before it was borrowed into English, gained the meaning "a theater entertainment occurring before the evening meal."
     

    panjandrum

    Occasional Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The Online Etymology Dictionary lists the Oxford English Dictionary as one of its sources. The latter OED :) says this about matinee:
    An entertainment presented in the morning or (in later use) at any time of the day before the evening; (now) esp. an afternoon performance at a theatre, cinema, etc
    And of the matinée musicale:
    A musical entertainment given in the morning.
     

    JeanDeSponde

    Senior Member
    France, Français
    Webster's Third has the etymology as "French matinée morning, time of day before dinner, matinee, from Old French matinee morning...." I wondered what dinner referred to there, whether to the midday meal (as it was in rural Illinois when I was a boy) or to the evening meal. I got the answer in The Century Dictionary, in which the following note is made in the entry for matinee: "The general dinner-hour of early times having been at the close of the forenoon, the French matinée, like the English morning, is often considered as extending to the common modern dinner-hour in the evening, especially in cities."

    So, if I am interpreting the entries from the three sources correctly, before the word was borrowed into English from French, matinée already meant "the time before dinner," and since, in French cities, dinner had already come to be the evening meal, matinée had, by way of matinée musicale and even before it was borrowed into English, gained the meaning "a theater entertainment occurring before the evening meal."
    Absolutely correct when the origin of French matinée is concerned.
    A matinée is before dinner, while the normal show is before supper.

    Originally, the first meal was the déjeuner, first food of the day.
    Then the dîner (hence dinner), derived from meridien, i.e. midi = midday
    And finally the souper (supper : from soupe = soup) took place in the end of the afternoon.

    As wealthy people used to wake-up later and later, so they took their déjeuner at noon, their dinner at supper-time, went to the show, and had supper in the night...
    So we had to invent the petit-déjeuner (breakfast) in the morning, to replace the déjeuner...

    And we kept going to matinées before dinner.
     

    panjandrum

    Occasional Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The OED could have been misled by the literal translation, then. That fits with the rather non-committal examples it gives for matinée musicale.

    A little further investigation uncovered several references to a Grand Morning Concert/ Matinée Musicale in a list of concert programmes for sale. Also one for a Marinee Musicale, but I ignored that one.

    On the hunt for a primary source I didn't stop there. If the OED can jump to conclusions, no doubt the concert programme curator could tell. A few more hops, and hey presto CLICK HERE for a real programme at the Royal College of Music's website.

    Madame Dulcken's Morning Concert, 31 May 1841
    To commence at two o'clock precisely.

    It doesn't mention Matinée Musicale unfortunately, but I think the evidence of morning concerts happening in the afternoon is enough to be convincing :)
    The commentary at the bottom of the page includes this:
    Note also the time: a 'morning concert' could happen at any time before evening.

    1828 - one o'clock start.
    1834
     

    Bezoard

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Adam's New Musical Dictionary (1865) clearly states the equivalence:
    Matinee : A musical entertainment given un the early part of the day ; a morning concert
    Matinee musicale : a morning concert
    Adams' New Musical Dictionary
    Morning concerts would generally begin between 2 and 4 pm, as opposed to evening concerts.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    For what it's worth, this anomaly still goes on in French. In our local paper, tea-dances starting at 3pm are still described as "en matinée". You'd think they'd balk at the non-sequitur, but not so.
     
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