French Word of the Day March 2004
Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2004 12:28 PM
MacDo' = the French abbreviation for Mac Donald's. Since Burger King left
Sent: Tuesday, March 30, 2004 5:39 PM
(le) décalage horaire = jet-lag
Sent: Friday, March 26, 2004 2:55 PM
(un) poulet = a chicken
Also, slang for cop. Things have recently been taken a step further, as poulet has been replaced by it's McDonald's version, nugget. Same meaning, the big advantage is that police cars of various sizes can be referred to as boîtes, or boxes, of nuggets.
E.g. une boîte de quatre (nuggets) = a patrol car with four cops
une boîte de douze (nuggets) = a van with twelve police officers
I personally find this extremely funny.
Sent: Friday, March 26, 2004 8:27 AM
(un) clown = a clown, but to be pronounced "cloon"
Sent: Thursday, March 25, 2004 8:17 AM
French poetry of the day (no translation)
Sous le pont Mirabeau coule la Seine
Et nos amours
Faut-il qu'il m'en souvienne
La joie venait toujours après la peine
Guillaume Appolinaire - Le pont Mirabeau (a famous
Sent: Wednesday, March 24, 2004 8:00 AM
The French swearword of the day
(un) bordel = a brothel
Bordel! = Damn!
Sent: Tuesday, March 23, 2004 8:35 AM
pair = even
impair = odd
Sent: Monday, March 22, 2004 8:16 AM
Back to the basics....
bonjour = hello
salut = hi (the 't' is silent)
ça va ? = how are you ?
au revoir = bye
à bientôt = see you soon (last 't' is silent)
à plus tard = see you later ('s' is silent, but not if the expression is shortened into it's increasingly popular alternative "à plus")
Sent: Friday, March 19, 2004 10:09 AM
négligé = as an adjective: neglected, sloppy. As a noun: negligee. Why it became feminine when adopted by the English language, I have no idea.
Sent: Thursday, March 18, 2004 9:53 AM
(une) amélioration = improvement, amelioration
And in completely unrelated news
Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2004 9:13 AM
Bonne Saint Patrick à tous!
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2004 11:00 AM
Which American movies had their titles translated into these when released in
Le maître du jeu ("The game master"): [LM] Runaway jury
L'amour sans préavis ("Love without notice"): [LM] Two weeks notice
Mon beau-père et moi ("My father-in-law and me"): [LM] Meet the parents
Maman, j'ai raté l'avion! ("Mom, I missed the flight!"): [LM] Home alone
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2004 9:10 AM
(un) débarras = a junk room
Bon débarras! = Good riddance!
Sent: Friday, March 12, 2004 9:13 AM
(la) plénitude = bliss
Sent: Thursday, March 11, 2004 1:31 PM
aïe! (pronounced ah - ye) = ouch!
Sent: Wednesday, March 10, 2004 9:39 AM
(une) lurette = a small lure (as the suffix -ette implies)
(une) lure = old French word for "hour"
None of this is used anymore, except in the following expression:
depuis belle lurette = for ages ("since beautiful small hour" ???)
E.g. Je ne l'ai pas vu depuis belle lurette = I haven't seen him for ages
Sent: Tuesday, March 09, 2004 10:13 AM
goûter = as a verb: to taste, to try food. As a noun: afternoon snack eaten by children.
E.g. Il ne veut pas goûter mon gateau = he doesn't want to try my cake
un goûter d'anniversaire = a birthday party. A successful goûter d'anniversaire requires:
· Pépitos http://www.danone.fr/wps/portal/redirect/ficheProduit/ref/CMS.DanoneConseils.VieDesMarques.MarquesEtProduits.LUPausesEtGouters.Pepito ("Avec Pépito, c'est la fête garantie !")
Sent: Monday, March 08, 2004 10:48 AM
(un) enfant = child / kid
bon enfant: literally, "good kid", but mostly used as an adjective to describe something that's good-natured, friendly, relaxed.
E.g. l'ambiance était bon enfant: the atmosphere was friendly
Sent: Friday, March 05, 2004 2:17 PM
(la) détresse = distress
Sent: Thursday, March 04, 2004 10:01 AM
fouetter = to whip
For some reason, we have two expressions that involve whipping cats. I have to guess this used to be a popular hobby in
il n'y a pas de quoi fouetter un chat = it's no big deal (literally: it's not enough to whip a cat)
avoir d'autres chats à fouetter = to have bigger fish to fry (literally: to have other cats to whip)
Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2004 1:50 PM
(un) bifteck: a (beef) steak
(un) bifteck haché: a beefburger
Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2004 9:54 AM
(un) mur = a wall
Not to be confused with
mûr / mûre (adj.) = ripe / mature
(une) mûre = a blackberry
Je me frappe la tête contre les murs = I bang my head against the wall
Il est mûr pour son âge = He's mature for his age
Elle cueille des mûres = She's picking blackberries
Elle m'en a fait voir des vertes et des pas mûres = She put me through hard times (litterally: she showed me some green ones and some not ripe - or something of that nature)
Sent: Monday, March 01, 2004 11:42 AM
Un, deux, trois... quatre.
un de ces quatre (matins) = one of these days
les quatre fers en l'air = flat on one's back (the image is that of the horse on its back with its four legs up in the air)
tiré(e) a quatre épingles = dressed to the nines
faire ses quatre volontés = to do as one pleases, without taking others into account
ne pas y aller par quatre chemins = to get straight to the point, not to beat around the bush
se plier en quatre pour quelqu'un = to bend over backward for someone
couper les cheveux en quatre = to split hairs
dire ses quatre verités à quelqu'un = to give someone a piece of one's mind