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February 2008

Entries from January 2008


The picturesque The town of Mirabel-aux-Baronnies Villedieu (Drôme) Sure, you know the French word "le vinaigre" (vin + aigre = wine + sour--or "sour wine"), an ingredient we usually include in salad dressing, but do you know this delightful expression: "faire vinaigre"? I'm adding it now to my other favorites: "dar-dar!" (double-quick) "illico!" (right away) and "chop... Read more →


Are you living in or near Seattle? Then I hope to see you at one of two places on Feb 12th!: fuguer (feuh-gay) verb to run away, to run off Listen to Jean-Marc pronounce and conjugate the French verb fuguer: je fugue, tu fugues, il/elle fugue, nous fuguons, vous fuguez, ils/elles fuguent Download fuguer.mp3 Download fuguer.wav *... Read more →

The French verb cravacher (kra-vah-shay) means "to use the crop on". Spend time at "une écurie," or "horse stable," and you'll come across the term "cravache" ("whip"). From it, we get the verb/idiom "cravacher" which means: "to work like mad" (imagine a horse being "whipped into high speed"...). While the French word for "kick" (coup de pied)... Read more →


Yves and the dashing hounds or "teckels"... more about this survivor in today story! chute (shoot) noun, feminine : a fall ; drop (in tension) Trébucher peut prévenir une chute. A stumble may prevent a fall. --Thomas Fuller In books: "Chasing Matisse: A Year in France Living My Dream" by James Morgan: "A lovely memoir, travelogue and... Read more →


Abbé Pierre's "holy anger" drove him to fight for the rights of those sans-toit, without a roof over their head. Take a moment to read about this great Frenchman, and thank you for sharing this post with a friend. TODAY'S WORD le (la) sans-abri (sahns-ahbree) noun, masculine & feminine : homeless person "Sans-abri" means, literally, "without shelter";... Read more →

à fond

When the last time you were "cat" off guard? What did you discover about yourself: pridefulness? greed? Read on in today's story.... à fond (ah fohn) prepositional phrase : deeply, thoroughly Audio File: listen to Jean-Marc read the following quote: Download MP3 or Wav file A mon avis, vous ne pouvez pas dire que vous avez vu... Read more →


The walls may need paint but the grapes are now pressed... and in bottles! échantillon (ay-shahn-tee-yon) noun, masculine : sample, tester (product) In French reference books: the French/French dictionary on my desk. I'm just itching for an updated version like this one. . On our kitchen table I see échantillons,* shiny and black! Row after row of... Read more →

US Tour: February 2008

Coming up: New York City in April 2008 If you happen to be in the Big Apple next month, then let's meet at Crawford Doyle Booksellers, a small store located around the corner from the Metropolitan Museum between 81st and 82nd Streets on Madison Ave. I'll be there, perusing the stacks, on April 15th, from 4:00 to... Read more →


The best anti-odor remedy yet! Read on, in today's story. Well, here's one for you: "puer"! In English it means "the dung of dogs". Is it me, or is there a whisper of poetry in that last entry? We can forget about the stinky English definition for the moment (aren't you glad this is a French word... Read more →


Photo Vernissage! If you happen to be in Jacksonville, FL between now and February 15th, please stop in to the JU CAMERA CLICK GALLERY (221 Phillips, Jacksonville University; open from 5-7pm) to see select "slices" of my French life -- framed and on display! Mille mercis to Ginger Sheridan for inviting me to participate (and to her... Read more →