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another of those mystifying French phrases


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I'm looking to see if we could possibly squeeze another piano into one of our rooms downstairs.

Searching on line, I have found a beauty, though the price makes me suck in my breath a bit.  The advert says that the piano has been used "comme piano d'appoint".

Now, what on earth can that mean?  I suppose being "d'appoint" is a good thing or the advertiser wouldn't have emphasised that?

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Betty is right. I have often seen d'appoint with chauffage, implying a plug in electric fire, or a paraffin stove rather than built -in heating system.

I think for a piano I would translate it as a "practise piano" as opposed to one good enough to give a recital on.

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I get the impression that the piano being "d'appoint" is to emphasise that it is little used.

I went back to re-read the advert, it says indeed that it is "très peu utilisé, that the vendeur is from a conservatoire, that the piano has been chosen for its its good tone and with much care.

As for the question Betty asks about why a "spare" piano, perhaps I should explain that OH and I have been known to argue about whose turn it is to play (yes exactly like 2 kids) and, in the past, I have always said that should we come to divorce, I wanted the cats (we had 2 now alas long since gone to catty heaven) and the piano!

Also, I believe it was Horowitz who had a piano on each flour of his 4-storey house.  So you see, some people do have justification for having more than one piano!


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For me d'appoint means temporary or standby, something used occasionally to either supplement something or temporarily replace it, examples being un lit or canapé d'appoint, a guest bed or zed bed, or chauffage d'appoint being a portable gas or fan heater.

A piano d'appoint though? I suppose if it was small enough he could take it to recitals or repetitions.

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