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What is the "chicken phase" of the World Cup?

Will England, Wales, France... get out of the chicken phase?

My plan was to boycott this abomination of a World Cup, but I admit that I've been drawn to watching a bit here and there.

And there are always interesting teaching/learning points, whether or not you even like football...

What we call the "group stage" is "la phase de poules" in French. When we talk about 'pooling our resources' or 'winning the pool', we don't think of chickens, but that's where the word came from!

There are different theories about the etymology, but the best one I can find is that the way the gamblers' coins were collected resembled a "pondoir, où plusieurs poules déposent leurs œufs " (that place where hens lay their eggs).

Sometimes knowing a word is enough; knowing where it came from is a superfluous luxury!

Andrew Wenger

Contact me here to find out about learning French. We don't only talk about football...

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