[ANSTHRLD] Name: de la Tour vs. de le Tour

Jay Rudin rudin at peoplepc.com
Thu Oct 8 05:15:12 PDT 2009

He can certainly have "de la Tour", but it does not suggest a link to the Letour winery.  Changing the "a" to an "e" is not a trivial letter shift.  It actually changes the root word.

"Tour" is a feminine word meaning "tower".  "de la Tour" means "of the Tower", and is a legitimate place name.  

But "tour" (same spelling) is a masculine noun meaning "turn" or "tour".  (It's also the root word of "tournament".)  "De le Tour" means "of the Turn" or "of the Tour".  For instance, the bike race is "le Tour de France".  It is a very different phrase.  The submittor would have to document "le Tour" or "Letour" as a pre-17th century place name, or explain convincingly how a word about travel can be used as a byname.

Robin of Gilwell / Jay Rudin

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