Date: Tue, 2 Jan 1996 09:44:00 -0800 From: "[Deborah Bader]" Subject: Re: Gumbo file' According to Webster's Third New Interntional Dictionary, file' is considered American French (out of Louisiana) and derives from the French past participle of filer, to twist, spin. Its definitin is "powdered young leaves of sassafrass used to thicken soups or stews." Hope this helps.