Southern France (or the South of France), colloquially known as Le Midi, is a loosely defined geographical area consisting of the regions of
Francethat border the Atlantic Oceansouth of the Gironde, Spain, the Mediterranean Sea, Italy, and Switzerlandsouth of the Jura. The region includes:
This area corresponds in large part to
Occitania; that to say, the territory in which Occitan (the "langue d'oc") – as distinct from the " langues d'oïl" of northern France – was the historically dominant language.
The name "le Midi" derives from "mi" (middle) and "di" (day) in
Old French. Midday was synonymous with the direction of south because in France the Sun is in the south at noon, like all of the Northern Hemisphere. The synonymy existed in Middle Frenchas well, where "meridien" means both "midday" and "south."
Northern Basque Country
Mezzogiorno(name for Southern Italywith the same etymology)
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