When the French get bored...  Parc Asterix

un ennui (ah-new-ee) noun, masculine
  1. boredom, tedium
  2. worry, problem, trouble

Hear "ennui" pronounced: Download ennui.wav

Quel ennui! = What a nuisance! (Also, "What a bore!")
les petits ennuis = little annoyances
avoir des ennuis = to have problems, to be in trouble
créer des ennuis à quelqu'un = to cause problems for someone

Citation du Jour:
Quand un bruit vous ennuie, écoutez-le.
When a noise bothers you, listen to it.
--John Cage

A Day in a French Life...

I study the perpetrator. She is wearing a gypsy inspired jupe* in slate blue with a wildflower border. Around her waist she has tied a bordeaux and navy striped silk scarf--a sentimental treasure that once belonged to her grand-père.* She has on her bathing suit with the red hearts and her hair is parted to the side and gathered neatly with une barrette nacrée.* A fashion statement maketh she.

When l'ennui* begins to tickle her rhinestone bedecked feet, she stalks the brother first, then la maman.*

"Maman! Elle m'énerve!"* Max says.

I tell Max to follow me. "Wait here," I say. "We're going to town and I'm going to buy you a beer. I'll have a mint syrup* and we can defuse a bit."
My ten-year-old laughs about the beer, which he knows will really be a soda.

"Je déteste me preparer! I hate getting ready," I say, trying to buy time before Max gets bored enough to gravitate back to his sister and chisel at her nerves.

I have washed my face, applied tinted moisturizer, mascara and some brillant à lèvres* and am now trying to revive some very bored tresses.

"I know what you mean," Max sympathizes. "I get ready by putting on a baseball cap for six minutes and that fixes my hair."

I admire my son's no-nonsense approach to hairdressing. I now understand that caps can correct cowlicks. If only they could curb l'ennui.*

*Refererences: la jupe (f) = skirt; le grand-père (m) = grandfather; une barrette nacrée (f) = a barrette with pearl finish; l'ennui (m) = boredom; la maman (f) = mom; Maman! Elle m'énerve! = Mom! She's bugging me!; mint syrup (le sirop de menthe) = a popular summer drink consisting of water and mint syrup; le brillant à lèvres = lip gloss; l'ennui (m) = boredom

A Message from Kristi on this blog's 19th anniversary
Thank you for reading this language journal. In 2002 I left my job at a vineyard and became self-employed in France. "French Word-A-Day" has been my full-time occupation ever since. Ongoing support from readers like you helps keep this site ad-free and allows me to focus on writing. My wish is to continue creating posts that are educational, insightful, and heart-warming. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider supporting it via a blog donation.

Ways to contribute:
1. Send a check
2. PayPal or credit card
3. A bank transfer, ZELLE is a great way to send your donation as there are no transaction fees.

Or purchase our online memoir, The Lost Gardens