One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of an association of roadside restaurants originally designed for lorry drivers and now well known for providing high-quality food at reasonable prices.
1960s; earliest use found in The Times. From French relais routier from relais + routier (adjective) of or relating to roads; the sense development in French was probably influenced by association with the related routier (noun) long-distance lorry driver.
relais routier/rɪˌleɪ ˈruːtɪeɪ/
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