Is it safe to leave your wife and a Frenchman alone? It would seem it isn't according to Mark Twain, or is there another way of interpreting this?:

A Frenchman's home is where another man's wife is. — (Notebooks and Journals, #18, Feb.- Sept. 1879)

  • 1
    What is your specific question? The meaning of the passage? Or the truth of the opinion stated?
    – bobble
    Jan 15 at 4:45
  • 3
    It's playing on the reputation of the French (among English speakers) for being 'naughty' (free-and-easy with regard to sex). Jan 15 at 10:02
  • Not sure why people are voting to close this—understanding the joke depends on knowing how 19th-century Americans stereotyped the French, which may not be common knowledge 150 years later. Jan 15 at 10:27
  • @bobble Exactly, If the meaning is a corollary of the truth.
    – Ptah-hotep
    Jan 15 at 19:32
  • @KateBunting "It's playing on the reputation of the French (among English speakers)" native English speakers in general or American English speakers particularly?
    – Ptah-hotep
    Jan 15 at 19:35


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