Academically Undebatable

Jacob Grimm is famed for 'Grimm's Law,' but I have not yet made any sort of mark on the linguistic world. I am tempted to pretend I am overwhelmed by pride--winking at you textually that I am actually not all that proud--but it is morally acceptable for me to forward linguistics to force others to be proud of me, which is exactly why I have determined a linguistic pattern called Schranz's Law. In both amateur and professional linguistics the term "law" generally means a thought you have that can be right but also wrong.

Schranz's Law should be sent among posterity with this phrasing:

Schranz's Law--
"That a French word, cognate with an English word of Germanic derivation, is itself of 1) Germanic derivation generally, 2) Frankish derivation specifically."

The first iteration of the law, that a French word cognate with any English word is of Frankish derivation, inserted itself into my life as an ache of the spleen--for indeed, what can we say about French words like 'portrait,' meaning, "a figure, drawn, painted, or photographed?" As a matter of fact, 'portrait' is identical to an English word (that word being 'portrait'), but is derived not from Frankish, but Latin, hence the spleen complaint.

Before we go further, let's set up a quick FAQ about the Frankish language:

Q: What is the Frankish language?

A: It was spoken by one of the groups of barbarians who swallowed some of the dying lands of the Western Roman Empire around the fifth century, a group called the Franks, which is also the name of individual people, like certain men. The land the Franks overtook was what is now France, but since basically only the rulers spoke the language, while all those living the hog-and-hovel lifestyle spoke very late Latin, these latter gathered only tiny bits of the rulers' language as their own became Old, Middle, and Modern French.

The big problem is that if you don't think very hard about it, you risk concluding that Frankish and French are the same language. Sadly, the fact that they were spoken in the same place will prompt no clarity among the confused.

This second and final iteration of Schranz's Law includes the qualifier that the English word the French word is cognate with has to be Germanically derived. The French word 'bleu' means 'blue' in English, for example, and the etymology of 'blue' is the following:

"From Middle English blewe ... from Old English *blǣw ('blue'; found in derivative blǣwen ‎('bluish')) ... from Proto-Germanic *blēwaz"

And as long as we accept that "blue" and "bleu" have similar spellings and meanings, then if the namesake of Schranz's Law isn't completely out of his or her mind, we should, upon seeking the etymology of French's 'bleu,' find that it derives not only from Frankish, but from the very same Proto-Germanic root as English's 'blue.'

Well would you get a load of this: "...from Old French blöe, bleve, blef ‎('blue'), from Low Frankish *blāo ‎('blue'), from Proto-Germanic *blēwaz ‎('blue')"

I'd like to tender my least sincere condolences to the foes of Schranz's Law for their inability to defeat it in any way, and I'd like to compound my condolences by refraining from pointing out that there is no color perceptible to our human eye that symbolizes the sadness you feel as a result of your defeat by this Law.

The word 'botte' in French means 'boot,' via this R-rated etymology: "Old French bote, from Frankish *butt." "But wait, Peter," an infomercial-style questioner might ask, "How do you know that the English word 'boot' is of Germanic origin? If it is not, then the word 'botte' is outside of the jurisdiction of Schranz's Law, just as 'portrait' is, being derived via French, and from French via Latin."

Here is the etymology for 'boot.' "From Middle English boote, bote ‎('shoe'), from Old French bote ‎('a high, thick shoe'). Of obscure origin, but probably related to Old French bot ‎('club-foot'), bot ‎('fat, short, blunt'), from Old Frankish *butt, from Proto-Germanic *buttaz"

Thus the word 'boot' came into English from French, (like 'portrait,') but it came into French not from Latin, (like 'portrait,') but from Frankish. One might find this specific example a stretch of Schranz's Law, but one would be hard-pressed to precisely word what the problem is. There is nothing in the Law contradicting the possibility that some English words derived from a Germanic language (Frankish), took a dip in a non-Germanic language (French), only to climb ultimately back into another Germanic language (English.)

Let's do a verb before I rest my case. 'Lécher' in French means 'lick.' It's time to get involved in licking: 'From Frankish *lekkon, from Proto-Germanic *likkōną.' The English 'Lick' derives '[f]rom Middle English likken, from Old English liccian, from Proto-Germanic *likkōną.

To disprove Schranz's Law you'd have to find a French word that is cognate with a Germanically-derived English word that isn't derived from Frankish. For example, if the French 'houx,' meaning 'holly' (which is derived from Old English holeġn, holen ‎('holly; prince, protector'), from Proto-Germanic *hulisaz ('butcher's-broom')) were not derived from Middle French houx, from Old French hous, hos, houlx ‎('holly'), from Old Frankish *hulis ‎('holly'), from Proto-Germanic *hulisaz, but instead somehow from Latin Ilex ('holly'), then you'd have a good counter-example, but unfortunately 'houx' doesn't come from 'Ilex.' Sorry.

Please Don't Get Mad At Me