GRÂN MÊTRE* / tansy, golden ball

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grân mêtre“, s.m., pronounced [grɑ̃: mwɛ:tr̥] 🔊, or simply “mêtre“, lit. meaning “greater feverfew”, is the Sarkese neology name for “tansy” or “golden ball” (Tanacetum vulgare), based on the Old Sarkese name for feverfew, “ptit mêtre“, lit. “small feverfew”, and the Jerriais name “maître”, used both for feverfew and tansy in the past in Jersey.

origin: neology / first recorded for Sarkese: introduced / current status in the 21st century: introduced

“grân mêtre” is a compound name, with the noun “mêtre”, in the meaning of “feverfew”, being a masculine uncountable invariable noun (a he-word that does not change) and the adjective “grân“, meaning “big” or “greater”. When speaking of “tansy”/”golden ball”, we are therefore obliged to use the so-called partitive, so “du grân mêtre”, lit. some tansy, never “dê grân mêtre”, tansies. The pronunciation is regular.

On the origin

The name for “tansy” or “golden ball”, known mainly as “tnézî” in other Norman languages, was introduced into Modern Sarkese with regard to the Old Sarkese name for feverfew, “ptit mêtre“, once a very popular herb in folk medicine, which, most intriguingly, was documented to have the epithet “small” in Sarkese, as well as due to the fact that “feverfew” and “tansy”, two gentically very close potent herbs, were in the past to some extent called by one generic name in Jersey Norman “maître”, corresponding to “mêtre” in “ptit mêtre” for feverfew in Sarkese.


Citation: NEUDÖRFL, Martin. grân mêtre/tansy. In: Sark Norman Dictionary Online [on-line].

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