1981: For Battle, read Bataille

January 1th, 2014

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1981: For Battle, read Bataille

Office du Jerriaisdictionary, history, Jersey Evening Post, vocabulary

For Battle, read Bataille

From Dr. Frank Le Maistre

In reply to Mr. Whittle (JEP 2/2/81), re the above, the explanation is quite simple.

The fight or skirmish which took place in Lé Vièr Marchi on January 6, 1781, incidentally still known to us as Lé Jour du Vièr Noué, became known as La Bataille dé Jèrri.

It has always been that to every real Jerseyman and Jerseywoman, and still is to this day. The designation was eventually anglicized, of cours, and for a long time now many folk (including authors) have never even been aware of its correct title.

The fact is that our Jèrriais bataille or batâle can be either a battle or a skirmish, and in my Dictionnaire the term escarmouche is indeed the description given. We have numerous fields and localities called La Bataille to this day, after just such skirmishes or fights, with the French, of long ago,

It is nowadays easily forgotten, I fear sometimes conveniently so, that everything is being more and more translated and anglicized, often to the prejudice of our remaining true Jerseyness.

In all that has been written concerning the events, not once does one come across any reference to the expression La Bataille dé Jèrri, nor mention of the fact that little English was then known.

In all the recent celebrations and commomorations of that period of our local history, one ingredient has not been touched upon.

Our most precious heritage has been forgotten, to wit, the use of at least some of our old Jèrriais language.

La Brecquette,
St. Ouen.

February 3, 1981