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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Zoreille[1] is a Réunion Creole term to describe French people who were born in Metropolitan France, but reside on the island of Réunion. It contrasts with the terms Petits Blancs (fr) ("Little Whites") and Gros Blancs (fr) ("Big Whites"), which refer to the early settlers of European, generally French, origin. It is one of the ethnic groups of Réunion, but the term is also used in New Caledonia, French Polynesia, the Lesser Antilles, and Mauritius.[2]


Zoreilles (z'oreilles, zorey) means ears in Réunion Creole, owing to a reanalysis, in a manner common to many French nouns beginning with vowels absorbed into Réunion Creole, of the liaison between the French plural article les and the noun oreilles in les oreilles (/lezɔʁɛj/), 'the ears'. It has been suggested that a warning spread by the French government in 1915, during World War I, "Taisez-vous! Méfiez-vous! Les oreilles ennemies vous écoutent" ("Be quiet! Be careful! Enemy ears are listening to you"), played a role in the adoption of the term to refer to Metropolitan French, but does not necessarily lie at its origin.[2] Some scholars suggest that the red ears of the white soldiers drew the attention of the locals, while others propose an origin based on European colonists, having trouble understanding Creole, cupping an ear and asking speakers to repeat themselves.[3]

See also


  1. ^ Labourdette, Jean-Paul (2008). Réunion (in French). Nouvelles éd. de l'Université. ISBN 978-2-7469-2257-0.
  2. ^ a b Wissner, Inka (September 2016). "Le français des Isles : des Antilles à la Nouvelle-Calédonie (Island French: from the West Indies to New Caledonia)". CAIRN.INFO (in French). Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  3. ^ "Les "zoreys", une communauté à part". (in French). 2010-05-26. Retrieved 2020-03-02.
This page was last edited on 6 October 2020, at 18:17
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