The other day Brian, Leisa, and I (and my Dad...I guess) were playing a game that Brian had come up with called "nims" (nyms? I forget). In the game you come up with homonyms and other types of "nims" for words. For example, if you pick a card that says "days" you could say "daze" (I'm not really sure what all the "nyms" are, but I that's how the game goes). Well, we got into a discussion about "french" and whether "french bread" or "french toast" could be different meanings of the word "french". I argued that they couldn't, though I wasn't quite satisfied with my arguments at the time and I think neither Brian nor Leisa were either. I want to improve upon one argument that I made.
I made a mistaken reference to something we talked about in my philosophy of language class at BYU. We talked about how a name of a thing sticks with that thing even though the name of the thing doesn't necessarily stick with that thing. For example, Dartmouth is the name of a city. If that city was originally named Dartmouth because it was a city located at the mouth of the Dart river, then when you said Dartmouth, you would know where it was located. However, lets say the mouth of the Dart river moves, but the city Dartmouth stays there. Can the city still be called Dartmouth? Of course, because the word "Dartmouth" refers to the city after it got named such, rather to simply the mouth of the Dart river.
In our discussion I talked myself into a corner by admitting that yes, french toast originated from France (or at least that is what my friend who served his mission there said: only that the French use old stale breach rather than Texas Toast, and they probably don't use maple syrup). So, thus although the french toast that we eat in the US probably has very little resemblance to what they eat in France, it did actually come from France, and thus could be another meaning of "french".
However, I think the example works in my favor. You see, in my example "Dartmouth" refers to the city, even though it currently has nothing to do with the mouth of the Dart because it is not located on the mouth of the Dart. The mouth of the Dart has moved elsewhere. So therefore "Dartmouth" doesn't have anything to do with the city at mouth of the Dart anymore, but simply refers to the city Dartmouth. In other words, the reasons why a thing (referent?) was given its name no longer matters (for the purposes of our game, but probably for a lot of other things as well). French toast now has nothing to do with France. It now simply refers to white bread dipped in a mixture of egg and milk (and hopefully some cinnamon) and then fried and covered with butter and syrup, usually eaten for breakfast.
So, no, I don't think that french toast is a "nim" of "french".
Not sure when somebody will actually read this, but when you do, let me know if I got this right. And forgive the typos, as I wrote this in one draft, since I should actually be working on a paper....