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February 2006

Entries from January 2006

frotter

frotter (fro-tay) verb to rub (more on frotter--including pronunciation--at the end of this edition) Citation du Jour: Il faut voyager pour frotter et limer sa cervelle contre celle d'autrui. One must travel to rub and polish one's brain against that of others. --Michel de Montaigne .............................. A Day in a French Life... In the sleepy outskirts of... Read more →


rosace

rosace (ro-zass) noun, feminine rose-patterned After lunch I quickly clear off the table, making room for my daughter to do her math. Jackie sets down her paper, her pencil bag, and her new compass (the kind with two "legs" joined by a hinge—and not the kind that points to the North Pole). I watch her work the... Read more →


clouer

clouer (kloo-ay) verb to nail, tack; to pin Also: un clou (kloo) = nail (audio pronunciation file and expressions follow at the end of this letter) Proverb: N'accroche pas tout au même clou. Don't hang everything on the same nail. ..................................... A Day in a French Life... Objets autour du lit d'un malade - Objects around a... Read more →


coquille

Coquille (ko-kee) noun, feminine shell When I am old and wrinkled—well into the troisième âge—I want to race along the shores of Brittany on my Mobylette, that most groovy of French bikes with an engine! I want to be an eccentric vieille dame. I don't want to care about what anyone thinks, as long as I am... Read more →


gargouiller

gargouiller (gar-goo-yay) verb to growl (in the stomach), to gurgle, to rumble [from the word "gargouille" (waterspout) and the 'drole' sound that water makes inside it] French Proverb: Ce sont les tonneaux vides qui font le plus de bruit. It's the empty barrels that make the most noise. ................................ A Day in a French Life.... Jean-Marc invited... Read more →


dedommagement

Photo taken at the restaurant "La Grotte" at the end of Marseilles, in Callelongue... Dédommagement (day-doh-mazh-mahn) noun, masculine compensation. In a menswear boutique in Draguignan, I stand at the comptoir, hesitating between the powder-blue chemise and the olive-green one. As I hem and haw, Jackie taps her foot, says either shirt will look good on Papa, and... Read more →


s'occuper

s'occuper (so-kew-pay) verb to keep oneself busy; to deal with, to look after (someone) Citation du Jour: Puisque je personnifie la sauvage sur scène, j'essaie d'être civilisée dans la vie. Since I personify the savage on the stage, I try to be as civilized as possible in daily life. --Josephine Baker A Day in a French Life...... Read more →


foule

la foule (fool) noun, feminine 1. crowd, mob 2. the masses Citation du Jour Un grand peuple sans âme est une vaste foule. A great nation without a soul is a vast crowd.--Alfred de Musset ...................................... A Day in a French Life... Don't miss part I of this story: http://french-word-a-day.typepad.com/motdujour/2006/01/tablette.html I looked over to discover his eyes... Read more →


tablette

une tablette (tah-blet) noun, feminine 1. shelf; flap; tray 2. bar (chocolate); tablet; stick ......................... Citation du Jour: Je ne connais rien de plus érotique qu'une tablette au fort pourcentage de cacao. I don't know of anything more erotic than a bar with a strong percentage of cocoa bean. --Paul-Loup Sulitzer A Day in a French Life...... Read more →