Today's edition is "une rediffusion" or "rerun" from one year ago today.
un épi (ay-pee) noun, masculine
1. ear (of corn); spike (of flower)
2. cowlick (of hair)
3. diamond cluster
4. a loaf of bread shaped like a seed-head of a stalk of wheat
[From the Latin, spica (point)]
en épi = at an angle
être garé en épi = to be parked at an angle (to the curb)
Quand on jette deux grains de blé à un oiseau, il en prend un, et Dieu fait un épi de l'autre. When we throw two grains of corn to a bird, the bird takes one, and God makes an ear of wheat with the other.
A Day in a French Life...
by Kristin Espinasse
My 6-year-old was climbing into the back of the car, when I said:
"Jackie, mets-les en avant--put them up front," referring to some items hindering her path.
"That's 'devant' maman,* remember?" Oh yes, she'd recently given me that lesson..."devant" for "up front" and not "en avant" which must mean "before" or something...
"Alright, alright--get inside the car already. I learned French three times your age ago--how come you speak better than I do?"
We headed down the one-lane path, direction: l'école.* I was enjoying roadside wildflowers, particularly les coquelicots,* which are now jutting out of the rock walls that flank our path; another happy find: wild sweet peas and, more abundant still, those mini marigolds that are thick and pushing up through grass lawns in our neighborhood. As my eyes continued to survey the scene, I caught sight of a curious growth. Double-taking via the rearview mirror, I discovered, to my horror, a great bunch of my son's hair, sticking straight up!
I reached back, swatting down the unruly tuft of hair, but the mass just shot straight up again. I navigated the next 20 winding meters or so with one arm on the wheel, the other trying to flatten out several startled strands of fine hair.
"Max, you need a haircut!" Jackie said.
"Did you brush your hair this morning, Max? Really!" I added.
"Those are épis*--I can't help it. I'll cut it with the ciseaux."*
"Oh no! Don't you dare cut your hair! We're going to le coiffeur!"*
"Here, take this," I said, handing a small plastic bottle of water to my son. "And don't pour! Put a little on your hand and hold your hand on your head. No, not that way. First push the hair down. There you go, now hold it!"
"Voilà, c'est bon!"* Max complained.
"No, it's not good. It's still there. Hold your hair!"
"It's sticking, mommy!" he assured.
"That's right, it's sticking straight up!" I said. Jackie held her mouth and pointed at Max's épi, bursting with enthusiasm for her brother's predicament.
"Jackie, tais-toi!"* Max said.
"Max, just hold on to your hair! O.K. Let's see now... Mon Dieu,* we've got to cut your hair!"
We reached the main road in the village and, looking out the window, I noticed that the other villagers' locks were en pétard* as well, thanks to le Mistral wind, which was out and en force.* Hairdos went to hell as bangs blew north, toupées fluttered hither and thither, barrettes went bust. Max's wayward tuft would fit in just fine.
une maman (f) = a mom; l'école (f) = school; un coquelicot (m) = a poppy; un épi (m) = a cowlick; les ciseaux (mpl) = scissors; le coiffeur (m) = barber; Voilà, c'est bon! = There, that's good!; tais-toi = be quiet; Mon Dieu = My God; en pétard = blown up, exploded (a pétard is a firecracker); en force = in force
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