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February 2005

Entries from January 2005


gaspiller (ga-spee-yay) verb 1. to waste; to squander (money) Also: le gaspillage = waste un gaspilleur/une gaspilleuse = a squanderer, spendthrift Expressions: Quel gaspillage! = What a waste! gaspiller son argent/son talent/temps = to waste one's money/talent/time ........................... Citation du Jour: Nous avons gaspillé nos richesses car nous nous sommes laissés aveugler par l'attrait de l'avoir au... Read more →

le lardon

Salut from Provence where the snow is now melting. Yes, la neige! A few days ago, our village, which borders the sunny Côte d'Azur, was snowed in (according to this desert rat) and so today's recipe, which includes lardons, was on the menu du jour. Speaking of lardons, another Bacon quote today... le lardon (lar-dohn) noun, masculine... Read more →

un pépin

le pépin (pay-pehn) noun, masculine 1. pip, seed 2. snag, hitch 3. (informal) umbrella Also: sans pépins = seedless une pépinière = nursery (of young trees) Expressions: avoir avalé le pépin = to have swallowed the seed (to be pregnant) avoir un /des pépin(s) = to have a problem(s) ........................... Citation du Jour: Serrer trop fort le... Read more →

un balai

un balai (ba-lay) noun, masculine 1. a broom, brush 2. windshield-wiper blade Also: les balais = (informal) years "avoir trente balais" to be 30-years-old balayer (ba-lay-yay) verb = to sweep la voiture-balai = the last car in a line of wedding guests' cars (usually with saucepans attached to it) ................... Expressions: Du balai! = (Get) out! un... Read more →

un ours

Jean-Marc and I trekked north over the weekend, to les Alpes du Sud or the Southern Alps. While we didn't spot an ours, I'll tell you what we did see tomorrow... un ours (oors) noun, masculine 1. a bear Also: un ours polaire = a polar bear un ours savant = a trained or performing bear ........................ Read more →

la chair

A nice surprise for you today: Barbara is back with more delightful French phrases. Enjoy her column in French or English. la chair (shair) noun, feminine 1. flesh adjective: flesh-colored Also: la chair de poule = goose bumps Expressions: en chair et en os = in the flesh donner chair à = to give life to être... Read more →

la grève

la grève (grev) noun, feminine 1. strike Also: un(e) gréviste = a striker une grève de la faim = a hunger strike une grève surprise = a lightning strike une grève sur le tas = a sit-down strike Expressions: faire grève = to strike se mettre en grève = to go on strike être en grève =... Read more →

une coquille

une coquille (ko-kee) noun, feminine 1. a shell 2. a scallop (decoration) 3. a misprint (typo) Citation du Jour: La vie est ce que notre caractère veut qu'elle soit. Nous la façonnons, comme un escargot sa coquille. Life is what our character wants it to be. We fashion it, as a snail does its shell. --Jules Renard... Read more →

la moelle

la moelle (mwal) noun, feminine 1. marrow; pith, core Also: la moelle de boeuf = beef marrow la moelle épinière = spinal marrow la moelle osseuse = bone marrow Expressions: corrompu jusqu'à la moelle = rotten to the core n'avoir pas de moelle dans les os = to be weak se ronger les moelles = to worry... Read more →


transpirer (trahns-pee-ray) verb 1. to sweat, to perspire 2. to transpire; to come to light synonym: suer Also: la transpiration (f) = perspiration, sweat; transpiration ......................... Citation du Jour: Le génie est fait d'un pour cent d'inspiration et de quatre-vingt-dix-neuf pour cent de transpiration. Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. --Thomas Edison ...................................... A... Read more →