The French adopted the expression (at first—in 1776—spelled wass-ist-dass) as a name for the small windows over the doors to German homes, because the inhabitants often asked the French (through the windows) was ist das? ‎(what is that?”, i.e. “who's there?) before letting them in.



vasistas m ‎(plural vasistas)

  1. transom
    • 1938, Francis Carco, L’Homme de Minuit:
      Jim manœuvra le cordon d’un vasistas, mais l’ouverture donnait sur la loge de Gaby Million où la vedette avait laissé ses chiens. Les bêtes se mirent à aboyer.
      Jim maneuvered a rope from the transom, but the opening overlooked the lodge where the star Gaby Million had left her dogs. The creatures began to bark.
  2. fortochka

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