Nowadays we ‘flop down’ on the couch to watch TV or ‘flounder’ after we stumble…

But the term affaler originated in the navy. The term applies to sails that are hauled down when the wind has fallen or is too strong. It can also mean for a ship ’to be carried to the coast under the effect of the wind without being able to get up; to run aground.”

By extension, the word has taken the meaning of dropping or flopping down and is frequently used in today’s French.

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