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we all practice SM, the question is where (faux friends # 001)

October 11, 2010
The other day, watching the quite pleasant Bored to death, I discovered that SM clubs can be called “The Dungeon” also in English. Well, it actually makes sense. What better than a basement to humiliate/be humiliated (insert your favourite role)? It is nevertheless interesting when you know that, in French Le donjon is also largely a locus for sadomasochist practices/fantasies. Interesting because donjon and dungeon are (partially) false friends. Though it’s true that they both convey some semantics of imprisonment, they have a very specific difference. When you say dungeon and think downstairs, I think upstairs. Every time. I just can’t get my head around this divergence of concepts because, in French, un donjon is a tower. So even if technically it can have a basement and you are not necessarily on the upper floor, it’s a word that really primes my concept of height. For the record, I checked the etymology, and we’re right, you’re the ones who drifted from the original meaning. Now if you want to punish me for showing off, you know where to take me… [warning: one innuendo in this sentence is unintended].
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