un arbre (ar-bruh) noun, masculine
1. a tree
l'arbre généalogique = the family tree
un arbre fruitier = a fruit tree
l'arbre de Judée = Judas tree
l'arbre moteur = the driving shaft
l'arbre de Noël = the Christmas tree
l'arbre de vie = the tree of life
faire grimper quelqu'un à l'arbre = to pull someone's leg, to kid someone
couper l'arbre pour avoir le fruit = to sacrifice one's future for the (fleeting) present moment
faire l'arbre fourchu/droit = to do a handstand (with legs apart/together)
les arbres vous cachent la forêt = you can't see the forest for the trees
Tel arbre tel fruit = a tree is known by its fruits
l'arbre ne tombe pas du premier coup = (the tree doesn't fall from the first hit) = Rome wasn't built in a day
Entre l'arbre et l'écorce, il ne faut pas mettre le doigt.
Do not meddle in other people's affairs.
La vieillesse embellit tout : elle a l'effet du soleil couchant dans les beaux arbres d'octobre.
Old age beautifies everything: it has the effect of the setting sun on the beautiful trees of October. --Maurice Chapelan
A Day in a French Life...
At the Nice Côte d'Azur airport, I left ma tante* and mon oncle* to catch their flight home to San Francisco.
My family from California visits each year, and the kids have a great time playing with their arrière tante* and oncle. That's right, playing. My uncle, who sometimes refers to himself as "une personne du troisième âge,"* climbs trees and hops fences with Max, who is ever enthusiastic to have an adult as a complice.* But these adventures can get sticky, as in the time they got the bright idea to climb the grand arbre* outside our last apartment.
Folding the laundry, I paused to look out the window and was soon horrified to see my uncle and then five-year-old son perched up high in a tree.
"Descendez tout de suite!"*
I ran down the stairs and out to le parking* to meet the spotted pair at the base of old pine. Both grimpeurs d'arbre* had tree sap stuck in their hair, chemises,* pantalons* and on the tips of their shoes. But before I could say "Regardez-vous!" they were off; this time in a great chase after le ballon de foot.*
*References: une tante (f) = an aunt; un oncle (m) = an uncle; arrière tante = great aunt; une personne du troisième âge (f) = a senior citizen; un complice (m) = an accomplice, a partner-in-crime; un arbre (m) = a tree; Descendez tout de suite! = Get down right away!; le parking (m) = the parking lot; grimpeurs d'arbre = tree climbers; une chemise (f) = a shirt; un pantalon (m) = trousers, pants; regardez-vous! = look at you!; le ballon de foot (m) = the soccer ball
Thank you for the time you've spent reading my column. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me continue doing what I love most: sharing these missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi