Sunday, August 29, 2004

French Word of the Day August 2004

Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 2004 11:14 AM

dawa (not even sure of the spelling, as it's more of a spoken word) = mess

C'est le dawa! = It's a mess!

On va foutre le dawa! = We're gonna mess things up!

Sent: Monday, August 30, 2004 12:12 PM

(la) FNAC = Fédération Nationale des Achats des Cadres = National Federation of Purchases for Middle Management

A large chain of stores selling books, music, DVDs that competes with the Virgin Megastores of the world. I am still a little puzzled by the meaning of the acronym, but FNAC is so popular it's almost a common noun.

Il faut que je passe à la FNAC = I have to drop by the FNAC

Sent: Friday, August 27, 2004 12:42 AM

Ways to say "bye"

au revoir = bye

salut = bye - in a friendly manner. Also works as a way to say hi

à demain = see you tomorrow

à la semaine prochaine = see you next week

à la prochaine = see you next time - "fois" (=time) is implied

à plus tard = see you later, often shortened into à plus

adieu = farewell

Sent: Thursday, August 26, 2004 9:52 AM

ailleurs = elsewhere (the 's' is silent)

d'ailleurs = besides


d'ailleurs, je n'étais même pas là = besides, I wasn't even there

va voir ailleurs si j'y suis = get lost (literally: go see elsewhere if I'm there)

Sent: Wednesday, August 25, 2004 10:37 AM

(un) air = air / expression, manner

il a l'air bête = he looks stupid

tu as l'air fatigué = you look tired

l'air de rien = casually ("looking like nothing")

"Alors soyons désinvoltes, n'ayons l'air de rien"

Noir Désir - Tostaky

Sent: Tuesday, August 24, 2004 7:45 AM

l'aube = dawn (feminine)

à l'aube = at dawn

Sent: Monday, August 23, 2004 10:07 AM

Today's swearword

emmerder = to annoy, to hassle someone

s'emmerder = to be bored

Tu m'emmerdes! = You're pissing me off!

Je m'emmerde = I'm bored

Sent: Friday, August 20, 2004 8:35 AM

(la) paresse = laziness

être paresseux (the 'x' is silent) = to be lazy

and in related news in France

Sent: Thursday, August 19, 2004 8:35 AM

Ne pas confondre (not to be confused):

(une) brassière = a bra

(une) brasserie = a type of restaurant, that typically serves alcoholic beverages (brasserie also means brewery) as well as food

Sent: Wednesday, August 18, 2004 8:57 AM

Today, a little more on a very useful word: oui ('yes', hope everyone knew that)

It is often changed to ouais ("oo - eh") to indicate boredom or impatience (e.g. if someone keeps asking questions), anger ('YES!'), skepticism ('yeeaaah right') or lack of enthusiasm. Or a ton of other things I forget. My theory is, after spending too much time around French people, you inevitably end up with one of the aforementioned feelings.

Sent: Tuesday, August 17, 2004 8:46 AM

(une) blague = a joke

C'est une blague! = It was a joke!

Blague à part... = seriously though..

Sent: Monday, August 16, 2004 9:52 AM

(le) pressing = dry cleaner

Also, faire le pressing is a term widely used in sports journalism to indicate that a team is putting pressure on their opponent.

J'ai apporté ton costume au pressing = I took your suit to the dry-cleaner's

Sent: Friday, August 13, 2004 8:45 AM

hello = bonjour (during the day) bonsoir (in the evening) salut (to close friends - any time of the day)

Sent: Thursday, August 12, 2004 3:21 PM

late = tardif or, preferably, en retard (the 'd' is silent)

E.g. il est en retard = he is late

Sent: Wednesday, August 11, 2004 8:03 AM

(une) flûte = a flute. Also an exclamation:

flûte! = damn!

Sent: Tuesday, August 10, 2004 9:49 AM

patatras = exclamation associated with a crash/fall.

Et là, PATATRAS! je suis tombé = And then BANG! I fell

Sent: Monday, August 09, 2004 10:38 AM

(un) coucou = a cuckoo / slang for an old plane

coucou! = peek-a-boo!

Sent: Thursday, August 05, 2004 1:40 PM

des montagnes russes = roller coasters (literally: Russian mountains)

Sent: Thursday, August 05, 2004 9:59 AM

un bob = a sailor's hat. Can be either old school and ridiculous, or cool and hip, depending on how you look at it.

For example: when teenage singer Alizée wears a bob, it's cool and hip:

promotional bobs by Pastis liquor maker Pastis 51: old-school and ridiculous

Sent: Tuesday, August 03, 2004 9:39 PM

ouf = 1/ a sigh of relief, "phew!" 2/ "verlan", i.e. a reversed form of "fou" (crazy). Used by the younger generation to indicate that something is cool/wild/crazy...


ouf! ça n'était qu'un rêve! = Phew! It was just a dream!

C'est un truc de ouf! = That's some crazy stuff!

Sent: Monday, August 02, 2004 9:07 AM

(une) rotule = a kneecap

Je suis sur les rotules = I am exhausted (literally I am on my kneecaps)