Thursday, February 16, 2017

Chasseurs Alpins and Goats

Faithful followers of this blog know not only of my love for (large diameter) berets, but of a similar affection for goats and, to a slightly lesser extent, beret badges of the French Chasseurs Alpins.  
Coincidentally, these three subjects all come together very nicely, with many (vintage) beret badges carrying a goat (or ibex, chamois, etc).  
The 30th Chasseurs a Pied, for instance, and the 22nd Chasseurs Alpins.
A really nice example is the badge of the 47th battalion of Chasseurs Alpins
But best of all, is the 96h battalion of Chasseurs a Pied, with their motto "Bigue-Les". My French being insufficient, I had to resort to my friend Jean-Claude, who gave me this beautiful lecture:
"I didn’t know the word ‘bique’ on the badge, but I found it. Actually it isn’t exactly French, it’s Arpitan or Franco-provençal, the form of Occitan spoken mainly in the Alps (and almost disappeared, except for single words used in French, like this one). So the verb ‘biquer’, from Occitan ‘bicar’, means ‘give a kiss’, exactly like the French ‘baiser’ that means first ‘give a kiss’ but has now the meaning of ‘fuck’. So ‘bique-les’ means ‘kiss them’, or ‘fuck them’ (the enemies). Just choose."
Thank you, Jean-Claude. I love it!

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