Monday, November 29, 2004

French Word of the Day November 2004

Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 2004 6:53 AM

(le) zinc = zinc (surprisingly...). Pronounced "zingue". Also, slang for bar counter and plane.

Sent: Mon 11/29/2004 10:56 AM

chipoter = to nit-pick

se chipoter = to argue, to fight

Arrête de chipoter! = stop nit-picking

Ils n'arrêtent pas de se chipoter = they argue all the time

And today's piece of French news:,,1-3-1371665-3,00.html

Sent: Wednesday, November 24, 2004 9:08 AM

(une) ripaille = old-fashioned, colloquial term for a feast. Think of a never-ending medieval buffet

Happy Thanksgiving! Will be back on Monday.

Sent: Tuesday, November 23, 2004 8:57 AM

(une) hypothèse = an hypothesis, an assumption

Sent: Sun 11/21/2004 11:43 PM

(une) velléité (de) = a vague desire (to). Often plural.


Il a des velléités d'indépendance = he feels a vague desire to be independent

Sent: Friday, November 19, 2004 9:31 AM

Une fois n'est pas coutume, deux mots aujourd'hui:

Beaujolais nouveau!

Sent: Friday, November 19, 2004 8:49 AM

(un) marécage = a swamp

Sent: Thursday, November 18, 2004 6:40 AM

(une) doudoune = a down jacket

Sent: Wednesday, November 17, 2004 12:44 AM

atchoum! = atishoo!

Sent: Monday, November 15, 2004 9:42 PM

(une) tranche = a slice

E.g. une tranche de gâteau = a slice of cake
une tranche de vie = a slice of life
une tranche d'âge = an age bracket

Sent: Mon 11/15/2004 3:08 PM

Since last Friday's word triggered some questions, here are some clarifications:

(une) pendaison is the noun associated with the verb pendre (je pends, tu pends, il pend, nous pendons, vous pendez, ils pendent) = to hang

And cremaillère is "a trammel, the metal adjustable hook that was used to hang pots in the fireplace in the days of yore, and the hanging of that essential piece of equipment in a new house was a good occasion to have a village gathering" (thanks Dave)

Sent: Friday, November 12, 2004 8:28 AM

(une) crémaillère = honestly ? I'd like to know. I think it's something that goes in a chimney. Anyway, the interesting expression is:

une pendaison de crémaillère = a housewarming party (hanging the crémaillère)

Sent: Thursday, November 11, 2004 6:47 AM

l'argus = used car price guide (the 's' is pronounced)

Sent: Wednesday, November 10, 2004 6:24 AM

alu = short for aluminum. E.g. du papier alu = tin foil (literally aluminum paper)

Sent: Tuesday, November 09, 2004 6:45 AM

(une) pénurie = a shortage

E.g. il y a une pénurie de talents = there is a shortage of talent

Sent: Mon 11/8/2004 6:23 AM

(le) cœur = heart

E.g.hier le PSG a montré qu'il avait du cœur = yesterday, PSG showed they have courage

Sent: Friday, November 05, 2004 6:28 AM

béer = to gape. Mostly used in:

bé(e) = wide open, e.g. être bouche bée = to be standing open-mouthed

béant(e) = wide open, e.g. un trou béant = a wide open hole

Sent: Thursday, November 04, 2004 7:41 AM

(la) vie = life

C'est la vie!

Sent: Wednesday, November 03, 2004 6:40 AM

bleu(e) = blue

un bleu = a bruise / a rookie

avoir une peur bleue de quelquechose = to be scared stiff of something (literally to have a blue fear of something)

Sent: Tuesday, November 02, 2004 7:34 AM

(une) élection = an election

Sent: Monday, November 01, 2004 10:18 AM

(le) soleil (pronounced something like sol-hey-yyy) = sun

un coup de soleil (the 'p' is silent) = sunburn. Literally, a blow from the sun.

E.g. il soigne ses coups de soleil = he's treating his sunburn