The name of the French dish Lobster Thermidor has a fascinating history. It was created in 1891 at Chez Marie, a restaurant in Paris that was close to a well-known theatre, the Theatre de la Porte Saint-Martin. Earlier that year, the theatre had released a four-act dramatic play set during the French Revolution called Thermidor, and Chez Marie named the food in honor of that. The play's title comes from a month in the French Republican Calendar best known for the Thermidorian Reaction, which is when revolutionary Maximilien Robespierre was deposed, ending the Reign of Terror. Finally, Thermidor was named after the Greek words therme, meaning "heat", and doron, meaning "gift", which reflects the month's position between July and August, the hottest time of the year.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a senior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.