What is a FRENCH LEAVE ? Is it same as ENGLISH LEAVE ?

“You look extremely tired and grumpy. Why don’t you take a few days off?”

“No chance! My boss won’t grant me leave even if I ask for it. She’s upset because two people on her team have taken French leave. They’ve been…”

“French leave? Really? Have they gone to France on holiday? Why didn’t you…”

“That’s not what the expression means. When a person goes on ‘French leave’, he takes off without permission. He just…”

“He just doesn’t show up for work. He doesn’t have anyone’s okay to be on leave either.”

“That’s right! The Principal became extremely angry when he learnt that the students took French leave to see the one-day match.”

“Good example. If your boss is giving you a hard time, take French leave and go see your parents.”

“I don’t know if I’ll be able to do it. I’ve never taken French leave. I’ve always…”

“There’s always the first time. Tell me, why is it called French leave? What is the ….”

“The English, as you probably know, hated the French. So whenever they got a chance, they made fun of their neighbours.

They thought that the French were rude; that they were people without manners.

The English believed that when a Frenchman was invited to dinner, he always left without thanking the host. They called this ‘French leave’.”

“That’s shocking. But is it true that Frenchmen really did that? Did they…”

“Who knows? But what’s interesting is that what the English call ‘French leave’, the French call ‘English leave’! “The two just couldn’t stand each other, I guess. Why do you think your two group members decided to take French leave?”

By Rehanaa Khan

At times we think we should give up, but if it's worth fighting for then fight for what's right.

4 replies on “What is a FRENCH LEAVE ? Is it same as ENGLISH LEAVE ?”

The sister of a maintenance man in my shop was getting married 1000 miles away. He requested two days off, to fly there and back – and was refused. Of course, he went anyway. When he returned, he was given an official reprimand for ‘failing to comply with a management directive’. Be assured that, from then on, any maintenance worker who needed a day off didn’t request it. They just took “French leave.” 😯

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