Fessée

Note: This article is about the word meaning. For other meanings, see Fessée (magazine).
La fessée par l'instituteur ("The spanking by the teacher"), drawing by Victor Nehlig (1888).
A bottle of La fessée triple beer (2020).

Fessée (pronounced /fɛ.se/) is the French word for a spanking (noun). Like the verb fesser ("to spank", pronounced /fɛ.se/), it is derived from the French word for buttocks, fesse (in singular, pronounced /fɛs/) or fesses (in plural, pronounced the same). Other words are similarly derived; for example a male spanker is called fesseur (pronounced /fɛ.sœʁ/) and a female spanker is called fesseuse (pronounced /fɛ.søz/). A male spankee is called fessé and a female spankee is called fessée —the same word which also means "spanking"—. The word fessade refers to the spanking as a process, implying a long duration.

The word fesse, in turn, is derived from the Latin word fissa, which means "split", referring to the partedness of the buttocks.

Whereas the English words "spank" or "spanking" do not directly refer to the body part upon which blows are to be given, the French words leave absolutely no doubt whatsoever as to what is to come. Anytime a parent or teacher has need to advice some culprit that he or she is to be spanked, reference is directly and openly made to the child's buttocks, intensifying the inevitable feelings of shame, rage and dread.

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