Photo - Oradour sur Glane.
What happened at Oradour
sur Glane ?
And what was the OAS
? And what exactly does Oc
signify? And what is the Musée
d'Orsay about ? Answers to these and many other
questions in this "O" section of the dictionary of France
- Organisation de l'Armée Secrète -
Secret army set up by French
right-wing activists in Algeria in 1961, in the hope of stopping the
process of decolonisation and independence. The main leader
of the movement was General Salan. In 1961 and 1962, the OAS was
responsible for a campaign of bombings and assassinations inFrance and
Algeria, targeting people in favour of independence. After the Evian agreements,
paving the way for independence, the OAS tried in vain to provoke the
remaining French colons into insurrection, through more bloody acts of
terrorism, culminating in an assassination attempt on DeGaulle at
Petit-Clamart, in the south-west suburbs of Paris . After the violence,
hundreds of ex-members of the OAS were tried and found guilty, and
three were sentenced to death. In an attempt at national
reconciliation, many of those who were jailed were later amnistied.
- Cartoon character. A rather strong but overweight Gaulish
villager, the sidekick of Astérix
in the eponymous bande dessinée
or cartoon series.
Obs - L'Obs is the
title taken by the newsmagazine le Nouvel
in Autumn 2014, to mark its fiftieth anniversary. Le Nouvel
Observateur, now l'Obs, is a left-leaning weekly newsmagazine. Since
2000, along with much of the print press in France, it has suffered
from falling readership. In early 2014 it was bought by a trio of
investors including Xavier Niel, the millionnaire founder and boss of
France's very successful independent internet and phone company Free.fr.
Oc : the language
traditionally spoken in the south of France, notably in the Languedoc
(meaning Language of Oc region). Occitanian languages, the family of Oc
languages (for it is more than just a single tongue), were historically
spoken in "Occitania"(see below) from the Atlantic to the southern
Alps, from parts of Spain to the Val d'Aosta in Italy. Oc languages
include Provençal. Linguistically they are close to
the traditional language of Catalonia in Spain and the
Orientales department of France.
: sign often seen on objects for sale. It just
means 'second hand', or 'used'.
Historic. Occitania, the southern area of France, from the Atlantic to the
southern Alps, but also including parts of Spain to the Val d'Aosta in
Italy, where the Occitanian language, Occitan or langue d'oc, was
Occitanie - Region The name chosen for the new region, capital Toulouse, that
came into existence at the start of 2016 with the merging of Midi
Pyrénées and Languedoc Roussillon.
Christine : Born 1944, a Belgian journalist who
became one of the most important television news and current-affairs
presenters on French television. After working in the USA on CBS News's
60-Minutes programme, Ockrent returned to France, where in
1981 she became the first woman to serve as anchor on one of
the main evening news programmes on French TV, the 8 p.m. (Vingt
heures) news on the state TV channel Antenne
2 (now called France 2). Although she
became the most respected of France's evening TV news
anchors, she left to become Director of the commerial channel TF1.
In the following years, the was editor of l'Express
newsmagazine, then returned to chair current affairs programmes on
television, notably the very popular and long-running France-Europe
Express. She is the partner of the former (2008) French Foreign
Secretary, Bernard Kouchner.
pollution , see under individual entries Amoco
Cadiz, Erika, Prestige
- Olympique Lyonnaise - Famous French football team, from
the city of Lyon, currently (2008) the undisputed top team in French
football, having won the League championship seven times in a row, and
also the Coupe de France in 2008.
- Olympique de Marseille - First division French football
club, from the city of Marseille, with a chequered history. One of the
few French clubs to have won a major international competition
(Champions' League, 1993), OM was retrograded to the second division in
1994, following a match-fixing scandal. Back in the first division
since 1996, the OM will again be playing in the Champions' League in
ONF - Office National des
the French government agency responsible for overseeing French forests
and forestry; the French equivalent of the UK's Forestry Commission, or
the US Forest Service.
ONG - Organisme non
gouvernemental; an NGO.
Onze novembre, Le -
See November 11th. A public holiday in France.
OPA - Offre public
d'achat. In the corporate world, a takeover bid.
Opéra Bastille -
large modern opera house in Paris, located on the Place de la
Bastille, and opened in 1989, to mark the bicentenary of the falling of
the Bastille, during the French Revolution.
Opéra Garnier -
The original Paris opera house, located place de
the 9th Arondissement. Designed by the architect Garnier, it was opened
in 1862, and is one of the finest examples of a nineteenth-century
opera house anywhere in the world.
escargot – ‘Operation
snail’. Name given to protest
actions periodically undertaken by French lorry-drivers (and
occasionally taxi-drivers), as a demonstration of their griefs, such as
the cost of fuel or the tax burden. It involves driving groups of
lorries very slowly along main routes, blocking all the
traffic behind them.
Oradour sur Glane :
A village in the Limousin region that was the site of a
massacre by Waffen-SS troops in 1944. 642 villagers were murdered, and
the village set on fire, in reprisal for the alleged capture by the
Resistance of a German officer. After the war, General de Gaulle
demanded that the remains of the village be left as they were after the
massacre, and that is how the village remains to this day, fixed in
time, a memorial to the atrocities of war.
Ordonnance, une : 1)
A prescription for medicines or specialist treatment, written out by a
doctor; an ordonnance is required for the purchase of most medicines,
except over-the-counter products such as aspirin or sore-throat
tablets. See medical
treatment in France. 2) Generally speaking, any public order
issued by the authorities.
national de la Légion d'honneur :
l’: See L’Oréal.
Orly The name of the
second airport (at one time the principal airport) of Paris. orly is
situated in the southwest suburbs of the capital, and can be reached by
the RER express transit rail link via the station at Antony, and a
connection to Orlyval, a driverless automatic light-rail system. Orly
has two terminals, Orly
Sud, the biggest, and Orly
Ouest. The airport is mainly used for French domestic
flights, plus flights to southern Europe and north Africa, as well as
by some low cost airlines. There are a few long-haul flights, including
a newly introduced Orly-JFK service run by Open Skies, a subsidiary of
Orsay, Musée d'
French museum of the nineteenth century, housed in the dramatic
nineteenth century setting of the old Gare d'Orsay, on the left
bank of the Seine in Paris.
Notably home to France's finest collection of Impressionist paintings.
Orsec, le plan :
name given to emergency contingency operations that may need to be
launched by a local Prefecture, in the event of a natural or human
disaster. The word is an acronym, notably for Organisation des Secours, (Organising
de Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française
- The French
broadcasting authority, from 1964 to 1974. An autonomous agency, it was
modelled, by General de Gaulle, on the BBC. it was dismantled in 1974,
when the various divisions that it previously included, such as the
state TV channel Antenne 2, became autonomous bodies in their own right.
Ouest France :
France's biggest-selling daily newspaper, with a circulation
of almost 800,000 - which puts it well ahead of any other French daily,
whether regional or national. It is produced in Rennes, Brittany, and
distributed in the Brittany,
and Pays de la Loire
regions of France. See article on Newspapers in France.
OVNI - pronounced
volants non identifiés - or in English UFO's.
Something missing? If you
cannot find a word,
phrase or name that you believe we ought to have included in this
Dictionary of France, please contact About-France.com. Dictionary
editors will consider your request, and if appropriate include a
definition of the missing term at the next update.