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Rfv-sense: Two of the defining English terms are non-idiomatic and contradict the third. Does this mean head to toe (“completely”)? Does it mean "upside-down"? Does it mean "alternatingly head up and head down"? I don't have suitable resources. DCDuring TALK 18:27, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
- To me it means er, what I would call in English ‘top to tail’, ie when two people are next to each other but each a different way up. Like if you sleep in a friend's bed, you might sleep tête-bêche so that your head is next to their feet and vice-versa. I think it's also used as a synonym for ‘sixty-nine’, the sexual position. Ƿidsiþ 19:44, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
- So, the only sense of three I suggested would be "alternatingly head up and head down"? I saw some usage that seemed to refer to a way of packing suitably shaped items in a box. I don't think we can exclusively rely on idioms and slang English definitions! DCDuring TALK 21:49, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
- I don't speak French so can't comment on its literal meaning, but I have always heard that the English philatalic meaning came from the French meaning "head to toe".--Dmol 22:28, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
- I've found an image that illustrates one of the French senses. DCDuring TALK 23:57, 17 February 2009 (UTC)