A school in Aix-en-Provence

s'éclater (say-klah-tay) verb
  1. to have a ball (a "blast," a good time)

[From éclater: to split, explode, blow up]

Hear my daughter Jackie pronounce the word s'éclater: Download seclater.wav

éclater de rire = to burst out laughing

Citation du Jour:
La joie ne peut éclater que parmi des gens qui se sentent égaux.
Joy never bursts forth freely except among those who are equals.

A Day in a French Life...

                             La rentrée -- Back to school

Last night, on the eve of la rentreé scolaire,* our Citroën pulled into the loading zone of l'ecole primaire* and came to an abrupt halt. Its four passengers burst out of the car in a race to the school's entrance. The iron doors, still closed and locked as expected, displayed a dozen computer printouts in a horizontal line that extended from les portes* across the outer wall of school.

Max and Jackie hovered in front of each sheet of paper like Mediterranean bees moving from one fragrant lavender bud to the next. When Max located his name on the second to last class register, he shouted "Ouais!"* Next, he began to bounce up and down like a French pogo stick.

"All my friends are in my class!" he said, catching his breath. "On va S'ÉCLATER !*

*References: la rentrée scolaire (f) = back to school; l'école primaire (f) = elementary school; la porte (f) = door; ouais (oui) = yes (slang); on va s'éclater! = we're going to have a blast! 

Dictionary of French Slang and Colloquial Expressions lists approximately 4,500 common slang words and colloquial expressions. Entries include grammatical information, the definition in English, a sentence or phrase to illustrate usage, and an English translation of the example and, where applicable, a corresponding English slang expression. Each entry also identifies the word or phrase by type: student or youth slang, political slang, literary slang, and criminal and drug-related slang.


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