The canuts were Lyonnais silk workers, often working on Jacquard looms. They were primarily found in the Croix-Rousse neighbourhood of Lyon in the 19th century. Although the term generally refers to Lyonnais silk workers, silk workers in the commune of l'Arbresle are also called canuts.

Canut Revolts

The canuts were subject to extremely poor working conditions. On account of these conditions, they staged many worker uprisings, known as the Canut revolts. The first revolt, in October 1831 is considered to be one of the very first worker uprisings. The canuts occupied Lyon, shouting "Vivre libre en travaillant ou mourir en combattant!" ("Live free working or die fighting!") King Louis-Philippe sent 20,000 soldiers and 150 cannons to suppress the "riot". On February 14 1834, the canuts revolted a second time, occupying the heights of Lyon. The revolt lasted 6 days before being suppressed by 12,000 soldiers. According to historian Gérard Cholvy, the revolts had a profound effect on the French scholar Frédéric Ozanam.

Other uses

Laurent Mourguet was an unemployed canut when he created the character Guignol and his eponymous puppet show for children, supposedly in his own image.

Cervelle de canut (lit. "silk worker's brains") is a cheese spread/dip, a Lyonnais speciality. The dish is a base of fromage blanc, seasoned with chopped herbs, shallots, salt, pepper, olive oil and vinegar.

The canuts were the subject of songs by Aristide Bruant and Éric La Blanche.


It is often thought that the French form of the Scandinavian first name Knut is the source of the word canut. Nonetheless, the word has other origins. It may come from an abbeviation of the French expression "Voici les cannes nues!" ("Look at those bare canes!"), as canes without any charms or ribbons were considered a sign of poverty. It may equally well come from the word "canette" ("spool") referring to the spool on which the silk was kept prior to being used.

ee also

* Canut revolt
* Luddites
* History of silk

External links

*fr [ Histoire des canuts]
*fr La chanson d'Aristide Bruant : [ "Les canuts"] .
*fr La chanson d'Eric la Blanche : [ "Les canuts"] .

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • canut — canut …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • canut — canut, use [ kany, yz ] n. • 1831; p. ê. de canne « bobine de fil » → 3. canette ♦ Ouvrier, ouvrière qui travaille dans le tissage de la soie à Lyon (rare au fém.). La révolte des canuts, en 1831. ● canut, canuse nom (de can[n]ette, bobine… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Canut — bezeichnet: Canut (Vorname), die französische Variante des Vornamens Knut Canut, ein Trauerspiel, eine gereimte historische Tragödie in Versen von Johann Elias Schlegel Canut (Nord), einen Nebenfluss der Vilaine in der Bretagne/Frankreich Canut… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Canut — Canut, s. Kanut …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Canut — Canut, dän. König, s. Knut …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Canut — Canut, s. Knut …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Canut — Porté en Languedoc (31, 34, 11) ou dans le Nord Pas de Calais, le nom désigne celui qui est chenu, autrement dit qui a les cheveux blancs (latin canutus). Les formes italiennes ou corses Canuto, Canuti ont le même sens …   Noms de famille

  • Canut — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Canut (homonymie). Métier à tisser canut. Les canuts étaient les ouvriers tisserands de la soie sur les machines à tisser. Ils se trou …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Canut — (7 janvier) petit neveu de Canut, roi d Angleterre, favorisa le christianisme au Danemark, martyr vers 1086. Fête le 19 janvier …   Dictionnaire des saints

  • canut — (ka nu) s. m. Ouvrier en soie des fabriques de Lyon. ÉTYMOLOGIE    Peut être cannette 3 …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré