What does ménage à trois mean in English?
June 24, 2012 8:43PM
In English, the French phrase "mÃ©nage Ã trois" is frequently used as a equivalent for threesome. However, that would not be really understood in French, where translations for threesome as a sexual encounter are "triolisme", "amour Ã trois", or "trip Ã trois" (Quebec).
In French, "un mÃ©nage Ã trois" is "a love triangle", in which there are the two spouses, plus a lover in the same household. This is different of a threesome in the sense (in French at least) that one of the two is unaware of what is going on between his spouse and the lover. That situation was a frequent occurence in comedies in the late nineteenth century theatre.