To take English leave, in Russian

There is a phrase quite often used in Russian (or at least in my family) that since childhood always caught my attention. It’s the expression “уходить по английски” (to take English leave), which is said in situations when someone leaves a social event without saying goodbye.

Researching, I came to the origin of the expression. It turned out to be in the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763), where Great Britain and France were at war. According to what is said, the French army often deserted, and the English military began to joke, creating the expression “to take French leave”. The French, for their part, borrowed the joke and used it in relation to their enemies, transforming it into “to take English leave”.

After the war the phrase came to be used in cases of people who didn’t respect good manners and left an event without saying goodbye.

Finally, as the French culture was an example for the Russian aristocratic society of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the French phrase migrated into the Russian language and is used today.

I find it an interesting expression, especially now that I know its origin. My question is: is it currently used in French or, in its opposite version, in English? You are all invited to answer :blush:

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In the USA, it seems that it’s called an “Irish Goodbye” and essentially is the same concept. Also, in Germany it is a “French goodbye”. Quite interesting!

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Wow, I’m impressed how each country has its own equivalent of the same expression! Thanks for sharing this!!!

This is very interesting! In Portuguese we have the expression “sair à francesa” that has exactly the same meaning as the one in Russian!

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