The Government of Canada’s terminology and linguistic data bank.

DRY GREENING [1 record]

Record 1 1991-09-25


Subject field(s)
  • Neology and Linguistic Borrowing

The recycling of the solvent perchlorethylene used in dry cleaning.


The cleaning solvent perchlorethylene (commonly known as "perc") is used in dry cleaning, although it is a suspected carcinogen that contaminates groundwater and landfill sites when dumped. Technology is available that allows dry cleaning to reclaim most of the fluid for reuse.


The formation of the neologism dry greening appears to be a play on words in the form of a rhyme. This is a form of class-maintaining derivation as the new lexeme replaces "clean" in "dry cleaning" with "green" based on the new concept of a green transition characteristic of the late 1980s.


As no French equivalent was immediately found for this neologism, it is quite feasible to propose a translation. Based on the existing translation of "dry cleaning" and the "virage vert" of the 1990s as discussed in the article entitled "Les écolos au supermarché" in the November 1989 issue of L'Actualité, the following proposition can be made: le nettoyage à sec "vert". This signification of "vert" has also evolved in modern journalistic language, but has yet to be incorporated into current dictionaries.


  • Néologie et emprunts


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