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Old 05-02-2003, 12:41 PM
Peg Peg is offline
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Why Were the French Throne Heirs Called "Dauphin"?

The title basically says it all. I've searched the archives & Cecil's past columns to no avail.

Back in the day, why was the heir-apparent to the French throne call "Dauphin" (The dolphin)?
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Old 05-02-2003, 12:46 PM
UrbanChic UrbanChic is offline
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Does this answer your question?
Quote:
Middle English, from Old French, title of the lords of Dauphiné, from Dalphin, Dalfin, a surname, from dalfin, dolphin (from the device on the family's coat of arms). See dolphin.
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Old 05-02-2003, 12:50 PM
missbunny missbunny is offline
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It's just a word that happens to have two meanings. Dauphin with a capital D doesn't mean "dolphin." It means "heir-apparent."

Just like "polish" means rubbing something to make it shiny but "Polish" is an adjective relating to Poland or Polish things. Or honey can mean the stuff you put in tea or it can be a name you call someone.
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Old 05-02-2003, 12:54 PM
brianmelendez brianmelendez is offline
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Dauphine is a region in southeastern France, which takes its name from its medieval lords whose surname was originally Dolphin or Dalphin. The name later became Daulphin, then Dauphin. The House of Valois acquired the Dauphine region in the 14th century in exchange for, among other things, a condition that the monarch's eldest son would bear the name as a title.
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Old 05-02-2003, 01:34 PM
Peg Peg is offline
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Huh!

Thanks, everyone.

From Dictionary.com (thanks, JuanitaTech):
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The name was given, for some reason unexplained, to Guigo, count of Vienne, in the 12th century, and was borne by succeeding counts of Vienne. In 1349, Dauphiny was bequeathed to Philippe de Valois, king of France, on condition that the heir of the crown should always hold the title of Dauphin de Viennois.] The title of the eldest son of the king of France, and heir to the crown. Since the revolution of 1830, the title has been discontinued.
I guess now I'm curious about why Guigo, count of Vienne was given the name, but that may be a lost cause.
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Old 05-02-2003, 01:55 PM
brianmelendez brianmelendez is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Peg
I guess now I'm curious about why Guigo, count of Vienne was given the name, but that may be a lost cause.
I'm speculating here, but the first Guigo who bore the epithet "dolphin," Guigo V (b. ca. 1120 CE), probably got it about the same way that most surnames began: as a convenient way of distinguishing him or his family from others in the area. He and his family adopted the dolphin as their heraldic device, which may have turned a personal or family nickname into a permanent surname.
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Old 05-02-2003, 03:35 PM
sailor sailor is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by brianmelendez
Dauphine is a region in southeastern France,
i believe it was also the model name of a Renault car back in the middle ages. Now I know where it got the name from.
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