A little warmup penbrush/watercolor Courfeyrac.
A little warmup penbrush/watercolor Courfeyrac.
WHOOOWOW that is a big order
But here, I have done what I can !
Notes: This is more or less in the order of character appearance.I’ve only included puns and references , not direct translations or name meanings (like “Felix” meaning “lucky”). I also haven’t sourced everything, because then I would really take forever answering this’; I’ve tried to get SOME sources linked in; if there’s any source someone’s especially curious about, let me know and I’ll add it.
ALSO I am in NO way saying this is a complete list of references or puns. I know right now Im’, missing some really good references about Fantine and Eponine! It is possible it will never be complete. But if anyone would like to help complete it, and sees a reference or a joke I’ve missed, please message me and let me know! I want to know about these things too!
Anyway. Here goes:
This is great! Fantine, I’m pretty sure, is derivative of enfant or enfantin (child or childish). She’s a stray kid on the streets, people just call her “kid”, eventually some version of that becomes her name.
Éponine is the French version of Eponina, wife of Julius Sabinus, who was a leader of the Gauls. Sabinus led a revolt against the Roman Empire, lost, and became a fugitive. Eponina visited him in secret, and sought a pardon for him, but he was caught and executed. Eponina then demanded the Roman emperor Vespasian execute her too, and he obliged. The story became popular in late 18th and 19th century France, and inspired many creative works, including a novel, plays, and an opera. Wikipedia (linked above) says its appeal was due to its connotations of “wifely virtue, patriotism and anti-imperialism.” So, a really obvious reference there! There’s probably something subversive about Hugo applying the story of a virtuous Roman matron to a girl who’d be considered a common criminal in her society, too.
Oooh! Yay for all of the puns! And other origins.
Oh I can help with the Enjolras bit! It’s originally an Occitan name so the actual meaning comes from Occitan enjeura = to terrify. But it also happens to sound a LOT like the French word enjôler = to charm. Also the Enj part is pronounced like ange = angel.
In other words:
“Enjolras was a charming young man, who was capable of being terrible. He was angelically handsome.”
Victor Hugo you cheaky devil you.
As for the Jeanne part… I really doubt that. Enj is the phonological palindrome of Jean (this was pointed out by the annotated edition of Les Mis that I own) but to have anything to do with Jeanne there would have to be an n sound somewhere. (I don’t even think the Jean link is very likely. But it would make it sound pretty funny if his first name was Jean
which it probably is let’s face it.)
I don’t know about Courf puns but I do know that there’s a castle called Fayrac (pronounced exactly the same as Feyrac) in
Castelnaud-la-Chapelle in Dordogne and another one in
Beynac-et-Cazenac and possibly even another one in La Roque-Gageac. EDIT: Or… in fact more probably now that I found all these three communes on the map: it’s the same castle.
Also cour means either courtyard or court so both relate to a castle. In any case I’ve been told by at least two actual French people that it’s a very obviously Gascon name… if you ever wondered which area of France Courfeyrac was from (aside from just generally the south).
So, I’ve been digging around about the Fayrac castle. The castle was a part of the lands of the comte de Périgord.
The comtes de Périgord belonged to the House of Talleyrand (hence the name de Talleyrand-Périgord).
If Courf’s using the castle name as territorial designation/surname, then he’s related to Talleyrand
#let me repeat #courfeyrac is related to talleyrand #i don’t even know if that’s better or worse than my headcanon of courf being lafayette’s reckless reprobate of a grandson #who used to idolise him as a child then slowly grew disillusioned with his grandfather over time #culminating in courf cutting off all their ties after what he did in ‘30 #but a courfeyrac related to talleyrand #this opens a whole new can of worms #which i do actually want to touch with a ten-foot metal pole #maybe that’s where courf got his thing with the ladies? #but i digress #because their political opinions are so vastly different #that is #if talleyrand even has a permanent political opinion #jesus #this is looking to be more promising than a laf/courf familial dynamic #les mis
so Courfeyrac keeps coming buy like. borrowing sugar and flour and baking soda all the times, because Courf talks a lot but his flirting game when he has an actual crush is absolutely atrocious. it’s terrible pickup lines and bad jokes and Feuilly’s love that actually but Courfeyrac doesn’t know that so he has no idea how to approach him.
so after something like two months of that, Feuilly’s curious about his cute neighbour who looks like he bakes a lot so he gathers his courage and initiates Small Talk (with extra awkward because he’s not good at small talk) ‘’Hey you like to bake? That’s so cool what do you bake? I’m learning to bake too. Maybe we could swap tips and reciepes and stuff’ (and he curses himself because he’s actually terrible he burned the last three batches of cookies he’s tried).
But Courfeyrac’s been sorta gathering all these ingredients without knowing what to do with them and he panics like – ‘Crap have I been stealing from him?? I have haven’t I’
(they both call their friends/coworker Bahorel to help them come up with something, not realising they have a common acquaintance. And it all goes well, more or less, until they realise Bahorel gave them both the same tips and reciepes because no way he’s letting that kind of misunderstanding up in the air for long enough to screw everything up. in the end they all have a good laugh and Courfeyrac totally declares it a successful date. Feuilly’s still a lil embarrassed but he agrees.)
Okay but soulmate au where Marius has “put your hands up or I shoot” and courfeyrac has “oh thank GOD, you must be my soulmate. Also, do you always take laser tag this seriously?”
And Marius spends most of his life unbelievably terrified bc his soulmate is going to try and KILL HIM.
And courf just goes to play laser tag a lot.
Enjolras looked up from his reading to see that Courfeyrac had listed over from where he’d been propped up on the pillows on Enjolras’s bed.
No wonder. Courfeyrac had been up since dawn. They had helped some of Enjolras’s friends from a different print shop, and one or two of Feuilly’s fellow fan painters, flee the city a few steps ahead of the police. Charles X was trying to tighten his grip; many of their allies were feeling it close around them.
And now it was past midnight. Enjolras put his book down. He removed the papers from Courfeyrac’s lap and laid him down on the bed, pulling the covers over him. Courfeyrac had already rid himself of boots, coat, waistcoat and cravat. They were strewn about the floor, Enjolras noted in fond exasperation.
He tidied up and changed for bed himself. As he slipped under the blanket, he felt Courfeyrac stir next to him. “Mmmm.”
Enjolras kept silent, hoping Courfeyrac would go back to sleep, but it wasn’t to be. Courfeyrac’s eyes snapped open. “I didn’t mean to fall asleep,” he said, sounding bleary. “I–where’s that letter–I wanted to–”
He flailed out with his arm; Enjolras caught his wrist, and drew it back to the bed. “It needn’t be done right this second, whatever it was.”
Courfeyrac made a soft, harrumphing noise. “I suppose you’re right.” He flopped back down on the pillow and closed his eyes, managing to look sulky about it.
Half-smiling, Enjolras lay down beside him.
Let’s grab life by the throat and live it to pieces
We can choose, we can change and if we don’t
We’re just afraid of living life like we’re loved
Imagine Courfeyrac being a part time model for those stock photos
“Combeferre, have you got a minute?”
Combeferre rubbed his eyes beneath his glasses. He’d been staring at his stupid computer for way too long, but he only had until midnight tonight to finish this lab report.
“Not really,” he said without looking up. “Can it wait?”
“Sure,” Courfeyrac said, but even from deep within his own mind Combeferre could hear something tense in his tone, like a rubber band pulled too tight. Combeferre looked up to better appraise the situation, but Courfeyrac was already slamming the door behind him.
“Shit,” Combeferre muttered, rising to follow him. “Courfeyrac!”