Jus d’andouille (sausage juice)

In 1640, in his French Curiosities, the royal interpreter, Antoine Oudin, helpfully defines an old expression, ‘jus d’andouille’ (sausage juice) as ‘sperm’. In our more innocent times, should you search for ‘jus d’andouille’ on google you will find that it’s the name of an aperitif or even a by-product used as a substitute for petrol. Here Dominic Hills re-animates the old meaning. Anyone interested in pursuing the role of pork products in French Renaissance literature should of course consult Rabelais’s Fourth Book (1552), in which Friar John leads a regiment of cooks to battle fiendish female sausages, led by their queen, Niphleseth (‘Penis’ in Hebrew).