Beulemans French : bad French ; verbeulemansen: to Frenchify

After Ferdinand Beulemans, a character from the popular play Le mariage de Mlle Beulemans by Frantz Fonson (1870-1924) and Fernand Wicheler (1874-1935).

The play in three acts is set in a Brussels middle-class environment in the years 1909-1910. Ferdinand Beulemans has become a rich beer stinger. His daughter is engaged to Séraphin Meulemeester, son of a colleague and competitor.

The play was first performed on March 18, 1910 at the popular Théâtre de l'Olympia in Brussels. It was a hit from the very first performance. After June 7, 1910, five hundred performances followed in Paris.

It was translated from the Brussels dialect into ten languages and distributed all over the world. Before the war, the play had been performed more than a thousand times.

The Brussels tradesman of 1910 is usually a Fleming who easily renounces his mother tongue and only uses Dutch in the family atmosphere. In his attempts to speak French – he loves French and Paris – he utters the craziest words and phrases.

Examples: 'Je suis chemin' (I'm gone) and 'ça penche mes pieds dehors' (It's hanging off my feet).

The sentence dates from 1922: 'And Flanders does not become independent, then it will become verbeulemanst.' In the world of comics, the prototype of the eternal Beulemans is undoubtedly Serafijn Lampion, the Brussels insurance broker from Hergé's Tintin adventures.