Tuesday, November 19, 2019


Saint Grelichon

Eugen Weber, Peasants Into Frenchmen: The Modernization of Rural France 1870-1914 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1976), p. 348 (note omitted):
Probably the most notorious saint born of popular whimsy and need was Saint Grelichon or Greluchon (from grelicher, which means to scratch or tickle). Saint Greluchon had started life as the funeral statue of a local lord of Bourbon-l'Archambault, Guillaume de Naillac, but we rediscover the figure in a recessed nook of that city's streets. Childless women came from afar to scratch a little dust from the statue's genital area and drink it in a glass of white wine. By 1880, when Sir Guillaume's lower parts had been scratched down to nullity, the dust was obtained from under the statue's chin. Finally, the statue—which had become a bust—was transferred to the museum for safekeeping.
Cf. Trésor de la langue française informatisé, s.v. greluchon:
Le nom de ce saint de fantaisie est issu d'un calembour obscène sur greluchon et grelot (proprement « clochette » d'où « testicules » p. anal. de forme); suff. dimin. hypocoristique -uche* + -on* (cf. ses autres dénominations: saint Génitour, saint Phallien en Berry ds L. RÉAU, Iconographie de l'art chrétien, t. 3, p. 617).

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?