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Quelqu'un peut-il me dire ce que le mot "sourceau" signifie? Je l'ai trouvé dans un poème de (Jules Jean) Paul Fort (aussi connu sous le nom de «le prince des poètes») que Brassens a utilisé comme base pour une de ses chansons.
Ce n'est pas dans TLF, ni dans dictionary-fr.com, ni dans Collins French Dictionary, ni dans le Concise Oxford French Dictionary, ni dans wiktionary, ni dans le vocabulaire français que j'ai appris quand j'étais jeune.

Super Member
Joined: 13.08.2017

-Le petit d'une souris.Souriceau
https://books.google.es/books?id=Tv1dAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA537&lpg=PA537&dq=sour...

-Or,une petite source d'eau

Editor and cheeky nitpicker
Joined: 14.09.2013

Never heard the word. I tend to agree with Emilia, that is most likely a typo.
Could be a kind of diminutive of "source" (spring). Poets like Du Bellay tended to do that, but that was a few centuries before Paul Fort Regular smile
Could you point me to the actual poem, Tom?

Super Member
Joined: 13.08.2017

Origine : sourceau est un nom localisé dans la region de l'ouest, diminutif de source, petite source, désignait l'habitant d'un domaine caracterise par une petite source .
https://www.filae.com/nom-de-famille/SOURCEAU.html

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Pierre, the version of the poem used by Brassens is at http://lyricstranslate.com/en/georges-brassens-comme-hier-lyrics.html. I think the original had some extra stanzas which Brassens didn't use, but Brassens did show the elisions as did Fort and also the same grammatical oddities (eg 3rd person plural future in place of 1st person).
Emilia, thanks for the filae.com reference.

Editor and cheeky nitpicker
Joined: 14.09.2013

Fancy that, I know the song but I had no memories of this wierd word. So I told a lie, I actually heard it a lot Regular smile

The poem is written in a semblance of peasant's dialect, Little to do with a real dialect though, it is just plain French with a few twists to give it flavour.

"c’est moi qui t’aimerons" is typically used to evoke a peasant speaking. That was probably used at some point in ancient French or some dialects of it. You can find similar forms in some folk songs, though I can't think of a precise example right now.

From the context there is little doubt "sourceau" stands for "ruisseau" ("hopping from stone to stone across the stream", with an atypical use of "sauter" too), certainly based on "source". Don't know if it's an invented word or something from an actual regional dialect, but that's technically not French, so you won't find it anywhere but (possibly) in specialized dictionaries.