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honi soit qui mal y pense

English translation: Evil be to him who evil thinks

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07:06 Oct 22, 2001
French to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - History
French term or phrase: honi soit qui mal y pense
i've been told by someone it means one thing and by others it means other things

can you give all possible meanings?

the first friend said it came from old french latin, and the second says it's from the french court, the third an army or christain saying
graham price
English translation:Evil be to him who evil thinks
Explanation:
'Honi soit qui mal y pense’ (French for ‘Evil be to him who evil thinks’) appears on a garter which surrounds the shield on the Royal Coat of Arms. This garter symbolises the Order of the Garter, an ancient order of knighthood of which the Queen is sovereign.

"According to tradition, the Order was founded in 1348 by King Edward III, who is said to have picked up a garter dropped by the Countess of Salisbury at a court festival and gallantly tied it round his own knee, saying, 'Honi soit qui mal y pense' ('Shame on him who thinks evil of it'), words which today form the motto of the Order" [Adrian Room, Dictionary of England, 204]. Sellar and Yeatman offer another version of the tale: "Edward III had very good manners. One day at a royal dance he noticed some menaboutcourt mocking a lady whose garter had come off, whereupon to put her at her ease he stopped the dance and made the memorable epitaph: 'Honi soit qui mal y pense' ('Honey, your silk stocking's hanging down') and having replaced the garter with a romantic gesture and gave the illmannered courtiers the Order of the Bath. (This was an extreme form of torture in the Middle Ages.)" [1066 and All That, 41-42]. :)
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GoodWords
Mexico
Local time: 21:50
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Summary of answers provided
5 +1Evil be to him who evil thinks
GoodWords
5Dishonor or damnation to him who thinks ill of it
Colin Brayton
4 +1device of The Most Noble Order of the GarterSerge L
4 +1it's french
Maya Jurt


  

Answers


14 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
it's french


Explanation:
It is the inscription of an order still given by the Queen of England.
It means "evil to him who evil thinks"

It is the "order of the garter"

I thin the stroy is that someone who was to be honored by the queen (Elizabeth I?) lost her garter. The queen picked it up and said: Honni soit qui mal y pense."

Maya Jurt
Switzerland
Local time: 04:50
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in FrenchFrench

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Sven Petersson
2 mins
  -> Thanks
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21 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
device of The Most Noble Order of the Garter


Explanation:
On the first link, you'll find everything you ever wanted to know about this order. The device is in 14th century French.


The second link shows that there is a Canadian army regiment that has this saying in its flag. There's a pic on the site. I found several other regiments with this device (in Australia...)

HTH,

Serge L.


    Reference: http://www.kwtelecom.com/chivalry/britords.html#T2
    Reference: http://www.royalmontrealregiment.com/francais/ecusson.html
Serge L
Local time: 04:50
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i wanted meaning not history

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Simon Charass
1 day 10 hrs
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Comment: i wanted meaning not history

23 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
Dishonor or damnation to him who thinks ill of it


Explanation:
An Old French proverb, it is also a common colophon in medieval manuscripts, such as that of the Middle English poem "Pearl."

Colin Brayton
Local time: 22:50
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
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40 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Evil be to him who evil thinks


Explanation:
'Honi soit qui mal y pense’ (French for ‘Evil be to him who evil thinks’) appears on a garter which surrounds the shield on the Royal Coat of Arms. This garter symbolises the Order of the Garter, an ancient order of knighthood of which the Queen is sovereign.

"According to tradition, the Order was founded in 1348 by King Edward III, who is said to have picked up a garter dropped by the Countess of Salisbury at a court festival and gallantly tied it round his own knee, saying, 'Honi soit qui mal y pense' ('Shame on him who thinks evil of it'), words which today form the motto of the Order" [Adrian Room, Dictionary of England, 204]. Sellar and Yeatman offer another version of the tale: "Edward III had very good manners. One day at a royal dance he noticed some menaboutcourt mocking a lady whose garter had come off, whereupon to put her at her ease he stopped the dance and made the memorable epitaph: 'Honi soit qui mal y pense' ('Honey, your silk stocking's hanging down') and having replaced the garter with a romantic gesture and gave the illmannered courtiers the Order of the Bath. (This was an extreme form of torture in the Middle Ages.)" [1066 and All That, 41-42]. :)


    Reference: http://www.britainusa.com/faq2/xq/asp/SID.354/qx/showfaq.htm
    Reference: http://www.catawba.edu/dept/history/johnbull.htm
GoodWords
Mexico
Local time: 21:50
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
thanks

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  brno222: Unfortunately, you repeat the mistranslation of this phrase, even though in the body of your text you show that you do know the correct translation. "Evil be to him who evil thinks" is clearly wrong. It is all in the little French word "y".
3438 days
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Changes made by editors
Dec 6, 2006 - Changes made by Maria Diaconu:
Language pairLatin to English » French to English
Field (specific)(none) » History
Dec 6, 2006 - Changes made by Maria Diaconu:
LevelNon-PRO » PRO


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