Poilu

s were often worn.

The image of the dogged, bearded French soldier was widely used in propaganda and war memorials. The stereotype of the Poilu was of bravery, doggedness, and endurance, but not always of unquestioning obedience. At the disastrous Chemin des Dames offensive of 1917 under General Robert Nivelle, they were said to have gone into no man's land making baa'ing noises, parodying the idea that they were being sent as lambs to the slaughter. Outstanding for its mixture of horror and heroism, this spectacle proved a sobering one. As the news of it spread, the French high command soon found itself coping with a widespread mutiny. A minor revolution was only averted with the promise of an end to the costly offensive.

The two remaining poilus from World War I are Pierre Picault and Fernand Goux. However, French authorites recognise Lazare Ponticelli as the "dernier" poilu, as he was the last veteran whose service met the strict offical criteria.

ee also

*A close British equivalent of Poilu is Tommy Atkins or Tommies
*Film: "A Very Long Engagement"


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  • poilu — poilu …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • poilu — poilu, ue (poi lu, lue) adj. Couvert de poil. •   Quelque poilu que fût Ésaü, sa peau ne pouvait ressembler à celle d un chevreau, VOLT. Philos. Genèse..    Terme de botanique. Qui est composé de poils simples non ramifiés. Aigrette poilue.… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • poilu — [pwä lo͞o′, pwä′lo͞o΄; ] Fr [ pwȧ lü′] n. [Fr, hairy, virile < poil, hair < L pilus: see PILE2] Slang a soldier in the French army: term used esp. in WWI …   English World dictionary

  • poilu — 1. poilu, ue [ pwaly ] adj. • 1530; pelu XIIe; de poil 1 ♦ Qui a des poils. 2 ♦ Qui a des poils très apparents. ⇒ hirsute, velu. Jambes, mains poilues; bras poilus. Un homme à torse poilu. Femme trop poilue. Poilu comme un singe. ⊗ CONTR. Glabre …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Poilu — Statue d un poilu du monument aux morts d Arjuzanx Poilu, est le surnom donné aux soldats français pendant la Première Guerre mondiale. Ce surnom est typique de cette guerre, et ne fut utilisé qu en de rares et exceptionnels cas pendant la… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Poilu — Poi|lu 〈[poaly:] m. 6; im 1. Weltkrieg Spitzname für〉 französ. Soldat [frz., eigtl. „behaart, haarig“; zu poil „Haar“] * * * Poilu   [po̯a lyː; französisch »behaart«] der, (s)/ s, Spitzname für den französischen Soldaten (im Ersten Weltkrieg). *… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Poilu — Poi|lu [po̯a ly:] der; [s], s <aus gleichbed. fr. poilu, eigtl. »der Tüchtige, Unerschrockene« (poilu »haarig, behaart« zu poil, vgl. ↑Poil)> Spitzname für den franz. Soldaten (im 1. Weltkrieg) …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • poilu — noun Etymology: French, from poilu hairy, from Middle French, from poil hair, from Old French peil, Latin pilus Date: 1914 a French soldier; especially a front line soldier in World War I …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • POILU, UE — adj. Qui est velu, couvert de poil. Main poilue. POILU s’est dit substantivement, pendant la guerre de 1914, des Soldats français qui combattaient au front. Les poilus …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 8eme edition (1935)

  • poilu — adj. Viril, courageux. / C est poilu, c est parfait, au poil ou poilant …   Dictionnaire du Français argotique et populaire


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