August 5, 2012

shoal of fish
If, like me, you’ve been glued to the television watching the London Olympics for a week, you will have heard an intriguing-sounding word used by the commentators: repêchage. It’s a word borrowed from French which refers to a last-chance race in which the runners-up in qualifying heats face each other to gain qualification for the finals. It dates back to 1925-30 and comes from repêcher, to fish out again (re + pêcher, to fish).

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Fishes by Richard Ling

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Posted by céline on August 5, 2012


Hi Céline, in Spanish we have the word "repechaje", which is being used these days mainly in TV programs. And it is used to refer to the last chance given to a team or person to continue in a competition. Surely, it comes from repêchage.
Thank you for this explanation, I love etymology!

Posted by Luciana E. Lovatto on August 7, 2012 4:11 PM

I first came across the word repêchage when I was a schoolboy in the fifties and obsessed by bicycle racing. The Tour de France was my main interest but the riders in those days rode 6 day races on the tracks of Europe and New York in the winter and the repêchage was a second chance for the slower sprinters.

Posted by Michael on August 13, 2012 10:54 PM

Hi Céline, I always love your photos! And thanks for the explanation of this word, Cathy

Posted by Cathy Lara on December 10, 2012 3:54 AM

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