Shut the French what, now?
January 28, 2013 6:28 AM   Subscribe

So Sunday night at the SAG Awards, "Downton Abbey" actress Phyllis Logan hollered, "Shut the French windows!" when the show won an award. Is this a common Scottish/English saying? A pop-culture reference? Just a British version of "well, butter mah biscuits"? Any information would be appreciated.
posted by GaelFC to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
It might be "Shut the fuck up"/STFU
posted by discopolo at 6:32 AM on January 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Watching that, my assumption was that it was a riff on "Shut the front door" which is itself a newish minced oath of "Shut the fuck up."

She is using it as an exclamation of disbelief, and both her version and the more common "front door" version play on the fact that when you hear someone start "Shut the f-", you're pretty sure you know where they're going with it, but then they playfully change tack.
posted by 256 at 6:34 AM on January 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


It a polite way to say "Shut the fuck up!" much like the more popular "Shut the front door!"
posted by inturnaround at 6:34 AM on January 28, 2013


Wait. U is not W. carry on.
posted by discopolo at 6:34 AM on January 28, 2013


(Sorry, wait, I'll stick with STFU.)
posted by discopolo at 6:37 AM on January 28, 2013


I'm not sure if they're known as such in the US, but French windows in the UK are basically patio doors (usually made predominantly of glass). That image may help you puzzle out the phrase.
posted by fight or flight at 6:38 AM on January 28, 2013


We have French doors in the US that are as you describe; I've seen "French windows" to describe windows that have pretty much the same type of operation.
posted by LionIndex at 7:09 AM on January 28, 2013


I could be mistaken, but I believe the windows are part of the opening sequence.
posted by effluvia at 7:32 AM on January 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Could be a Downton cast inside joke version of "Shut the front door!"
posted by Sunburnt at 7:59 AM on January 28, 2013


Is this a common Scottish/English saying?

I have never heard this before, I haven't heard the "shut the front door" version either. (I'm in the southern UK).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:16 AM on January 28, 2013


It's a play on the French windows in the Downton credits married with "shut the front door."
posted by Countess Sandwich at 11:07 AM on January 28, 2013


Weirdly, I did actually hear someone reference "shut the front door" on the radio (I can't remember what the context was but nothing to do with Downton Abbey) last night after posting that comment! So I guess I have heard that version now.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:39 AM on January 29, 2013


I've never heard anyone here call patio doors 'French windows' before (patio doors are just giant sliding windows that let you out onto the garden, if we're talking about the same thing here?) and it's definitely not a common phrase here. I think it's a Downton gag.

(I've only heard 'shut the front door' on the US WNTW show.)
posted by mippy at 7:02 AM on January 29, 2013


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