Done like a Frenchman, turn and turn again (1 Henry VI.,
iii. 4). The French are usually satirised by mediæval English authors
as a fickle, wavering nation. Dr. Johnson says he once read a treatise
the object of which was to show that a weathercock is a satire on the
word Gallus (a Gaul or cock).
The nickname of a Frenchman is “Crapaud” (q.v.), “Johnny” or
“Jean,” “Mossoo,” “Robert Macaire” (q.v.); but of a Parisian
“Grenouille” (Frog). (See Brissotins.)
They stand erect, they dance whene'er they walk;
Monkeys in action, parroquets in talk.
Gay: Epistle III.
“Jean Baptiste.” French Peasantry, “Jacques Bonhomme.” French Reformers, “Brissotins” (q.v.).
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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