chignon (plural chignons)
- A roll or twist of hair worn at the nape of the neck; a bun.
- If I close my eyes I can see Marie today as I saw her then. Round, rosy face, snub nose, dark hair piled up in a chignon.
- (medicine) A temporary swelling on a neonate's head after a ventouse-assisted delivery.
Spelled chaengnon around XIIth century with the meaning of "nape"; same Latin root as chaîne, i.e. catena, perhaps via reconstructed Vulgar Latin *catenione. The evolution of the meaning from "chain" to "nape" is unclear: a chain of bones (see Czech páteř for a similar evolution) or metonymical (see col, collier).
Note that, although not taken into consideration by the TLFi (see reference below), quignon could also be the etymon of chignon, considering that the same "pastry metaphor" applies to French macaron, English bun.
chignon m (plural chignons)
- se crêper le chignon: speaking about two women: to have a dispute.