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Borrowed from French chignon.


chignon (plural chignons)

  1. A roll or twist of hair worn at the nape of the neck; a bun.
    • 1977, Agatha Christie, chapter 2, in An Autobiography, part II, London: Collins, →ISBN:
      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.
  2. (medicine) A temporary swelling on a neonate's head after a ventouse-assisted delivery.




French Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia fr
Chignon tenu par des baguettes.


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).

The modern sense dates back from the middle of the XVIIIth century and might have been influenced by the sound proximity of tignon, from tignasse.

The expression chignon de pain, is a local, dialectal prononciation of quignon de pain ("loaf of bread"). For dialectal equivalence of /k/ and /ʃ/ see campagne, champagne, camp, champ.

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)

  1. roll or twist of hair worn at the nape of the neck; a bun

Derived termsEdit


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