Expression "Make the leek" ou " to wait " dating back to the middle of the XNUMXth century is a metaphor which equates the static standing position of a person with that of a leek on the ground straight and motionless.
- wait a long time for someone, even in vain;
- wait a long time in a place without moving.
- As early as 1866, the expression "plant your leek" was noted, meaning "to wait a long time". This locution taking up the image of the leek planted upright and motionless, like the one waiting, is influenced by the phrase “stay planted”, in the sense of remaining motionless without being able to move.
- Ten years later appears with exactly the same meaning, the expression "faire le leek" followed by the verbal form "poireauter".
- This metaphor means to stand still and without moving, comparable to the situation of one who is waiting for someone.
- In the gardener's language, "to plant or make the leek" refers to the leek standing still in the ground all winter. By its shape, it would be comparable to the one waiting for someone, in a standing position.
- According to other interpretations, the leek would be taken in the figurative sense corresponding to a police officer standing on the public highway without having the possibility of moving. The act of planting would reinforce the idea of a static position.
- The other interpretations revolve around the same idea of forced immobility as those of the leek taken in its slang sense (pawn or supervisor not having to move from his supervisory post).
Examples of use:
- Ah! Damn ! cried Coupeau, 'let's sit down to table. You will see him abound; he has a hollow nose, he smells of boustifaille from afar… Say, he must be laughing, if he's still playing leek on the road to Saint-Denis! E. Zola - L'Assommoir
- I had done the leek from nine in the morning until ten, before the other dealer jester came over. I imagined him having to have his breakfast comfortably while I peeled my rush to wait for him. Éric Maravélias- La faux sileuse, Editions Gallimard, 2016
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