Staging a Coupon Coup

I know you’re all dying to know what the Miller family discusses around the dinner table back at the old homestead so here’s a taste:

Coup versus Coupon: Are they remotely (or closely) related?

Turn out, yes they are.

Coup:

Pronunciation: \ˈkü\
Function: noun
Etymology: French, blow, stroke

Coupon:

Pronunciation: \ˈkü-ˌpän, ˈkyü-\
Function: noun
Etymology: French, from Old French, piece, from couper to cut

Two things:

  1. Those French seem to have been working from some older source and may have crammed several meanings into one verb form that we went on to unpack and use for a few of our own. Plus, how nice is it that “cut” is one of those meanings, since the defining characteristic of coupons is that they are cut. Beautiful, this English language.
  2. People who utilize that secondary pronunciation of coupon – the one that sounds nothing like coup and everything like a kewpie doll – need to be punished.

I hope you enjoyed the etymology lesson. I know I did.

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