n.— «We go to a testing zone to light a lively gerb (a fire fountain named after the French word for “spray”).…In one room, I meet a jovial French couple who are busy sticking fuses into pink tubes which turn out to be multi-coloured gerbs.» —“The retired clergyman whose fireworks factory has made people go ‘Ooooohh’ for 50 years” by Robert Hardman Daily Mail (United Kingdom) Nov. 1, 2007. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

Tagged with →  

  1. Marc Naimark says:

    In French, it’s “gerbe”.

    And although it’s not about English, some may find this fun… The verb form, “gerber” is a colloquial and very common way to say “to vomit” (as in many other languages, in French there are many, many ways to say “to vomit”). But it also has a different meaning in more technical language, meaning “to stack” (for example boxes of goods in a warehouse). You can often see the expression “ne pas gerber” (do not stack) printed on packing crates and boxes. My first inclination is always to wonder why they think I’m about to barf…

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.