One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A rifle salute fired by soldiers on a ceremonial occasion, each soldier firing in succession along the ranks to make a continuous sound.
- ‘The feu de joie - literally, ‘the firing of joy’ - began with companies discharging their muskets one soldier at a time, going from right to left and back to front.’
- ‘Significantly, the feu de joie - which posed a real test of military skill - was dropped around this time.’
French, literally ‘fire of joy’.
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