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Entries from June 2007


Looks cozy, no? douillet, douillette (do-yay; do-yet) adjective cozy, snug "Douillette" is also a feminine noun for "quilted coat or robe" and, in both masculine and feminine forms, has a second meaning: one sensitive to pain (a wimp). There is also the verb "douiller" which means "to pay through the nose" (never a "cozy" feeling). * *... Read more →

jeu de mots

A pastiche of roof tiles & our pastis-loving roofer, Michel. Rosetta Stone French - the award-winning method used by NASA and the Peace Corps. Learn more here. jeu de mots (zhuh duh moh) noun, masculine a play on words, a pun Meilleur que mille mots privés de sens est un seul mot raisonnable, qui peut amener le... Read more →


Perhaps we can know the word origin for "déballer" by studying this photo? When the French arrive at a new location, one of the first things they "unpack" are the "boules": "de-ball-er". (In the background, the vine horizon. From left to right: Andre, Braise, Jean-Marc, "Uncle Jacques" and cousin Pierre.) In Books: "Auberge Of The Flowering Hearth"... Read more →

The town of Les Arcs-sur-Argens. flou (flew) adjective blurred, hazy, vague, fuzzy Il y a des régions qui doivent rester obscures. Ni floues ni ignorées mais simplement privées de la mémoire des mots. There are areas that must remain obscure. Neither fuzzy nor ignored but simply disallowed from the memory of words. --Hammerklavier . -- Au revoir... Read more →


My daughter playing the role of Camille in this year's school play "Le défi des défis". Read a very different play in today's column, below. Summer reading: Mediterranean Summer: A Season on France's Cote d'Azur and Italy's Costa Bella déborder (day-bor-day) verb to overflow, brim over, run over; to burst; to boil over French proverb: C'est la... Read more →


Max, three years ago, in front of the field from today's story. Why not listen to a musical while improving your French at the same time? Check out Notre Dame de Paris here. la tisane (tee-zan) noun, feminine 1. herbal tea, infusion Les feuilles sèches préparent la tisane de l'automne. Dry leaves make autumn's herbal tea. --Ramon... Read more →


A certain redhead wowed him and that is how the love affair began. Read about my rival, below. From a farm in California to one in France... Divisadero: a new book by Michael Ondaatje. Read more here. angoisse (ahn-gwace) noun, feminine anxiety; fear Toute angoisse est imaginaire; le réel est son antidote. All fear is imaginary, reality... Read more →


Our (current...) village of Les Arcs-sur-Argens and a few of its cud-chewing residents. flagorneur, flagorneuse (flah-gorh-ner / flah-gorh-nuhz) noun flatterer, sycophant, toady, courtier flagorneur/flagorneuse (adjective): fawning J'ai déployé tour à tour, pour me pousser au premier rang, la brutalité d'une acheteuse de grands magasins aux jours de solde et la gentillesse flagorneuse. In order to push myself... Read more →