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Bouleverd

Boulevart, fortification, rampart. Belgrade is the boulevart of the Ottoman Empire on the Hungarian side. Who would believe that this word originally signified only a game of bowls? The people of Paris played bowls on the grass of the rampart; this grass was called the verd, like the grass market. On boulait sur le verd. From there it comes that the English, whose language is a copy of ours in almost all the words which are not Saxon, have called the game of bowls "bowling-green," the verd (green) of the game of bowls. We have taken back from them what we had lent them. Following their example, we gave the name of boulingrins, without knowing the strength of the word, to the grass-plots we introduced into our gardens.

I once heard two good dames who were going for a walk on the Bouleverd, and not on the Boulevart. People laughed at them, and wrongly. But in all matters custom carries the day; and everyone who is right against custom is hissed or condemned.


Francois-Marie Arouet Voltaire