In a post at the Languagehat blog there is discussion of an apparently anachronistic use of the English word fun in the film “The Artist”. So, that got us thinking: when did the word “fanne” enter Jèrriais – it’s a long established borrowing from English. The Dictionnaire Jersiais-Français suggests that it became established from the mid-C19th.
A quick bit of corpus searching on the Pages Jèrriaises throws up an attestation of the word fanne in the meaning of fun in “Dialogue entre Jeanneton et Nainai, des Paraisses de Ste.-Marie et St.-Ouen, le 2 Octobre 1811” (published in the almanac of Le Constitutionnel for 1838, but among texts stated to have been written many years before).
The earliest attestation of the spelling fone seems to be in “Dialogue entre Jeanneton de St. Saouvoeux et Nénai de Saint-Ouan” (1841).
The earliest attestation of the spelling fonne seems to be in a dialogue published in Le Constitutionnel in 1845.
AA Le Gros uses the form fane.
So, we have evidence of fanne in literary usage in Jèrriais from at least the early C19th – with the earliest usage we have found being dated 1811.
On a related note, the borrowing into Jèrriais from the Scots language of scaïte was recalled by the Scots Language Centre’s Word of the Week a couple of weeks ago: Skite.
See: Eune bordée dé scaïte.