Reflexive verbs (se moquer)

RobertB2Kwiziq community member

Reflexive verbs (se moquer)

I guess I find most reflexive verbs make some kind of sense in that I can see that an action is performed on oneself (e.g. se laver) or somehow internalized (e.g. s'amuser, se demander), Sometimes however I just need to know how words get formed and se moquer has me puzzled.

Best I can tell, it has been around as a reflexive verb for at least 500 years and probably comes from blowing your nose at someone as a gesture of contempt (vulgar Latin: muccare), as such it makes sense to be reflexive - as of course is the modern se moucher . Other theories are se moquer comes from dutch, german or piedmontese words for mumble, grumble or grimace, which also kind of makes sense as reflexives. BTW the theory it comes from Norman words for 'stirring manure' has been discredited* which is just as well because that wouldn't explain the reflexive

I appreciate this isn't exactly a level A1 question, but I was wondering if anyone out there can confirm or deny my theories?

*Accordng to Tresor de la Lange Francaise

Asked 1 month ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

I love to trace words and phrases to their etymological roots. I don't know that I can contribute to the musing at hand, except that sometimes there are several possible roots and no one knows for sure...

Reflexive verbs (se moquer)

I guess I find most reflexive verbs make some kind of sense in that I can see that an action is performed on oneself (e.g. se laver) or somehow internalized (e.g. s'amuser, se demander), Sometimes however I just need to know how words get formed and se moquer has me puzzled.

Best I can tell, it has been around as a reflexive verb for at least 500 years and probably comes from blowing your nose at someone as a gesture of contempt (vulgar Latin: muccare), as such it makes sense to be reflexive - as of course is the modern se moucher . Other theories are se moquer comes from dutch, german or piedmontese words for mumble, grumble or grimace, which also kind of makes sense as reflexives. BTW the theory it comes from Norman words for 'stirring manure' has been discredited* which is just as well because that wouldn't explain the reflexive

I appreciate this isn't exactly a level A1 question, but I was wondering if anyone out there can confirm or deny my theories?

*Accordng to Tresor de la Lange Francaise

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