Whilst recently watching an episode of Dickensian on TV, I heard Mr Bumble exclaim to his wife about the cost of the new china and napery she had purchased in an effort to impress. The word napery caught my interest as he was referring to the table linen. Napery is an old fashioned word not much used these days but which means table linen, napkins and household linen.
A lot of our tablecloth fabrics are produced in France and Spain and we have had to familiarise ourselves with a whole set of new french and spanish words when dealing with our suppliers.
For example; In France our fabrics are called tissus enduit, which refers to coated fabric and nappe means tablecloth or napkin, which is derived from the old french word naperie. It is interesting to note how many of our everyday english words are derived from other languages, and we use them without even thinking about it. 45% of all our english words have a french origin, derived from the invading Normans in 1066,who spoke a form of french called Old Norman, which later developed into Anglo-Norman and then into the language we use today. Many of the words are exactly the same. Which all leads me to wonder why I still haven't managed to master the french language!!!!