• Nicomon

    Senior Member
    Français, Québec ♀
    Hello hansjakob and welcome to the forum. :)

    There isn't any logical explanation, that I know of. Patron is one of those words that are called « faux amis » or « false friends ».

    Just like librairie = bookstore, whereas library = bibliothèque

    You'll find an explanation on this wiki page and here's a non exhaustive list of such faux-amis

    Punky Zoé

    Senior Member
    France - français
    Hi Hansjakob

    I didn't know about patron beeing "a regular customer" in English, and it is amazing, I can't see where it comes from. Patron comes from pater...

    As for library mentioned by Nicomon :))), the evolution of sense appears more clearly, Montaigne called his library, "ma librairie" and the difference between senses is lighter.


    New Member
    Thanks for your answers. Interesting page, this faux ami page. After wondering about the English patron for a while, I recently came across that explicit question when reading Watanabe, S. (1985). Pattern Recognition: Human and Mechanical. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons. In Watanabe's intro there is a section on the etymology of the word 'pattern', being derived form patron. And in there he asks the question about that inverted meaning as a recreational quiz - without giving the answer though. I will keep looking, I find this quite interesting. Thanks again.
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