Etymology: From the latin preposition in- (en, dans) ; From Middle English gage, from Old (and modern) French gager (verb), gage (noun), from Frankish *waddi, from Germanic ( > English wed), meaning to pledge, to bet.
I highly recommend the film: A Very Long Engagement (French: Un long dimanche de fiançailles), a 2004 French romantic war film, directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and starring Audrey Tautou. It is a fictional tale about a young woman’s desperate search for her fiancé who might have been killed on the battle of the Somme, during World War I. It was based on a novel of the same name, written by Sebastien Japrisot, first published in 1991. (Source: Wikipedia)
If you liked the film « Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain« , then you will enjoy this one (and I personally love films involving romance in the middle of a war…)!“Engagement” is not quite a false cognate (faux-ami), it is just that the word evolved beyond the meaning of a “commitment” or “appointment”, to encompass a romantic engagement, which describes the period of time following a proposal (“demande en mariage”), where the two people committing their lives to one another become “fiancés” (interesting that the French term to describe the people involved in an engagement carried over, but not the word “fiançailles” – probably too hard to pronounce in English!).
When marriages were arranged, another term used was betrothal (also called espousal, which comes from épousailles), which is a formal state of engagement to be married. These were negotiated between parents in exchange for a dowry that the groom’s family owed to the bride’s family. These could also involve a written contract, and the involvement of clergy or religious officials (depending on the religion practiced). These engagements could be signed/ agreed upon (and still are in countries where marriages are still arranged) when the bride- and groom-to-be were still children, and the outcome of the contract (the wedding) could take place at either adulthood or once the groom had finished his studies and was ready to support a family. Legally, the fiancés were regarded as already married, and were not allowed to have extra-marital relations… This leads to a lot of interesting 18th century literature around courtships, and love affairs vs. marriage.
Dans la vie personnelle tout comme dans la vie professionnelle, c’est important de tenir/ remplir ses engagements. // In your personal as much as in your professional life, it is important to hold up/ honor your commitments.
Vous pouvez faire un essai du véhicule, c’est sans engagements ! // You can try out the vehicle, there are no obligations!
Until my next blog-posting engagement, happy Thursday!