Life Rock, Paper, Revolutionary
posted by June 15 at 15:02 PMon
When I moved to Virginia for college (I’d grown up here in Seattle), I heard people use the term “rochambeau” for the game “rock, paper, scissors” for the first time.
I had always thought that “ro” maybe stood for “rock,” and “cham”… well, my theory trailed off here, but who knows, maybe the French use champagne in place of scissors? (Champage would get the paper wet, a rock would smash the bottle?)
But today in the New York Times, there’s an article about descendants of the historical Rochambeau, a Frenchman who helped out with the American Revolution. (He’s better known as Maréchal, after the field marshal title given him by Louis XVI after he returned from America.)
Is this where the name of the game comes from? The OED is no help, it doesn’t even have an entry for “rochambeau.” I shall have to investigate further.