billet-doux

billet-doux

[bil-ey-doo, bil-ee-; French bee-yey-doo]
noun, plural billets-doux [bil-ey-dooz, bil-ee-; French bee-yey-doo] .
a love letter.

Origin:
1665–75; < French: literally, sweet note. See billet1, douce

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World English Dictionary
billet-doux (ˌbɪlɪˈduː, French bijɛdu)
 
n , pl billets-doux
old-fashioned, jocular or a love letter
 
[C17: from French, literally: a sweet letter, from billet (see billet1) + doux sweet, from Latin dulcis]

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Word Origin & History

billet-doux
also billet doux, 1670s, "love letter," from Fr., lit. "sweet note," from billet "document, note" (dim. of bille; see bill (1)) + doux "sweet," from L. dulcis (see dulcet).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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