Imagine you’re driving through the English countryside and you get a bit lost. You might spread out a map to find out where you are, and when you reach your destination, you might decide to have a picnic, or a nice spread (meal).
After spreading out a rug, or even a bedspread, on the ground to sit on, you spread your legs a bit, then start spreading butter, cheese spread and other things on bread to make sandwiches.
After your picnic, maybe you and your companions spread out to explore the area. As you do so, you notice a farmer spreading muck on a nearby field, and another spreading seeds. You think they are growing genetically modified crops, and start spreading rumours about this. Before you know it the rumours turn into a double-page spread in the local newspaper, and you end up spreading fear and confusion.
The word spead can obviously be used in a variety of contexts and has various meanings. In French, however, there is a different word for most of these meanings:
- étendre = to spread / open out (a towel, cloth, map)
- écarter = to spread / strech out (arms, hands, legs)
- étaler = to spread (butter, jam)
- répandre = to spread (rumour, lies, fear, confusion, fertilizer)
- propager = to spread (disease, infection)
- disséminer = to spread (pollen, seeds)
- échelonner = to spread (repayments)
- répartir = to spread (wealth, workload)
- se disperser = to spread out
- le fromage à tartiner = cheese spread
- le chocolat à tartiner = chocolate spread
- une double page = a double-page spread
- un repas = a spread (meal)
- le couvre-lit = bedspread