1. crackling, sparkling, bubbly, fizzy
2. sprightly (wit)
...and the verb, pétiller: to crackle; sparkle, fizz, bubble
Hear Jean-Marc pronounce the word pétillant: Download petillant.wav
pétiller d'esprit = to sparkle with wit
Citation du Jour:
Quel vin est aussi pétillant, savoureux, enivrant, que l'infini des possibles!
What wine is so sparkling, so fragrant, so intoxicating, as possibility!
A Day in a French Life...
I finished washing the floor then tossed the dirty rags in a pile next to the machine à laver.* Next mission: to prevent les petits pieds* from pottering across the now sparkling carrelage.* The four o'clock hour, a.k.a. l'heure du goûter or "snack time" in France, would take place outside today.
I gathered Max, his two neighborhood friends and Jackie into a football huddle out on the patio.
"Listen closely. No one in the house. D'accord?* I've just cleaned the floor and I have GUESTS coming tomorrow."
The little Frenchmen turned to Max and Jackie for a translation:
"Elle ne veut pas qu'on aille dans la maison car elle a nettoyé par terre et elle a des INVITÉS demain," Max said.
The kids gave a serious nod of comprehension.
"Understand?" I said.
"Oui," they confirmed.
Next I brought out individually wrapped chocolate sponge cakes, fruit and water and placed a stack of gobelets* next to the snacks.
"Do you need anything else?" I inquired.
"C'est bon, merci."*
"Okay, now remember, don't go in the house. Keep it clean for my guests!"
I left the kids and the cakes and went inside to tidy up another room. Ten minutes later I noticed the calm... Running for the kitchen I stumbled onto the trail of sucre.* I followed the crunchy path to its source at which point my eyes shot out of my head in a surreal cartoon-like atmosphere.
"What ARE you doing?" I said.
Jackie held a plastic cup which runneth over with just-picked mint leaves. Max stood beside her, pouring sugar from box to cup; some of the sweet crystals landed inside, the rest hit the rim of the cup and shot out across the floor.
"L'eau à la menthe,"* Max explained, concentrating on his aim.
Gobsmacked, I followed my son and daughter outside where the neighbor boys stood waiting, bottles of sparkling water in hand, ready to pour the eau pétillante* into the cups of sugar and mint. Another trail, this time of mint, began at the flower bed and ended beneath the boys' feet.
I studied the kids with their virgin mint juleps in hand. What I failed to realize earlier, was that my guests had already arrived. My all important invités* had been there all along, there in that football huddle and here now as effervescent as eight- and ten-year-olds can be.
Remembering that it's never too late to be a caring maîtresse de maison* (or maman*), I made my way into the house and across the sticky floor, to the freezer, to get my guests some ice for their fancy drinks.
*References: la machine à laver (f) = washing machine; les petits pieds (m) = little feet; le carrelage (m) = tiled floor; d'accord = O.K.; le gobelet (m) = cup; c'est bon, merci = it's good, thanks; le sucre (m) = sugar; l'eau à la menthe (f) = water with mint; l'eau pétillante (f) = sparkling water; l'invité(e) (m,f) = guest; la maîtresse de maison = the "mistress of the house"
(hostess); la maman (f) = mom
Thank you for considering a contribution today!
Ongoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and improving this free language journal, for the past 18 years. If you enjoy this website and would like to keep it going, please know your donation towards this effort makes all the difference! No matter the weather, on good days or bad, I am committed to sharing a sunny, vocabulary-packed update with you, one you can look forward to. I hope it fuels your dreams of coming to France while expanding your French vocabulary. A contribution by check or via PayPal (or credit card, links below) is greatly appreciated. Merci!