fringe » French

Chiefly in:   French benefit

Variant(s):  french benefit, french-benefit

Classification: English

Spotted in the wild:

  • He also had some thoughts to share on what a novelist is and what french benefits writers get. (Shades of Maybe, Apr. 24, 1996)
  • That’s why if you have a lot of money, be careful when people surround you maybe they are not really interested in you as a friend. Maybe they really want the ‘french-benefits’ that come by being close to you. … Or are we looking for Jesus because of some things that we might be able to get, the french-benefit. (Homily of Bishop Luis Antonio G. Tagle, May 5, 2003)
  • But why would I want to trade my wife? I don’t really want to trade her. I take a lot of good care of her and treat her well. The kids really like her, since she’s their mom and all. And I get a lot of French benefits from being married! (Neohapsis, Sep. 8, 2004)
  • The fact that we get helped, that we are benefited by this spiritual power is a side benefit, it’s a French benefit. (Living Epistles Ministries transcript)

Satirized in a recent ad campaign for FedEx Ground:

In “Wrong,” a guy is chastised by his co-workers for being a source of misinformation. “Steely Dan is not one person,” berates one guy. “We get fringe benefits, not French benefits, it’s not the Leaning Tower of Pizza, and James Dean was an actor—Jimmy Dean makes sausages.” The guy is then told that he’s wrong by thinking that FedEx ground is too expensive. “So we don’t get French benefits?” he replies.

| link | entered by Ben Zimmer, 2005/02/21 |


  1. 1

    Commentary by Brad Rich , 2005/03/04 at 6:24 pm

    I laughed at FedEx’s commercial. It’s a good illustration of how
    we get malappropriate use of words. I admit that the image created by
    “French benefits” is pleasant and sounds like the kind of benefits that
    might accompany a comprehensive (though shady) employment plan.

  2. 2

    Commentary by Incredible_Hulk , 2005/03/14 at 8:28 pm

    This one time, DanMalo ,this mod from NG, thought I meant fringe benefits, and then he said “no mod for you!’ Oh man, it was great. But it’s one of those, “you had to be there” moments. Good times.

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