One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In order to pass the time; in order to amuse oneself.
Late 17th century; earliest use found in Thomas Otway (1652–1685), playwright and poet. From French pour passer le temps from pour for, in order to + passer + le masculine definite article + temps time.
pour passer le temps/pɔː ˌpaseɪ lə ˈtɒ̃//pʊə ˌpaseɪ lə ˈtɒ̃/
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