épine
boussole

tomber

French scooter / Mobylette / moped (c) Kristin Espinasse Leaves falling in the village of Grimaud, near St. Tropez

tomber (tohn-bay) verb
  1. to fall; to come down; to go down; to hang

........

Listen:
Hear my daughter Jackie pronounce the word "tomber": Download tomber.wav

.....................
Expressions:
tomber amoureux = to fall in love
tomber malade = to fall ill
tomber par terre = to fall down
tomber dans les pommes = to faint
tomber à l'eau = to not pan out (plans)
tomber pile = to arrive at the right moment (event)

........................
Citation du Jour:
L'arbre se sauve en faisant tomber ses feuilles.
The tree saves itself by letting its leaves fall.
--Pierre Jean Jouve

......................................
A Day in a French Life...

While the grapevines beyond our salon's* window are choking the vert* out of their feuilles* and the kaki tree's leaves are changing from avocado green to tomato red and aubergine, there are other signs of fall in our neck of the leaf-spurning French woods...

Fall is here when I see the woman collecting fenouil* by the side of the country road. "Pour les escargots," for the snails, she tells me, as I slow the car and roll down my window to chat. She'll add thyme, she explains, to the fenouil and serve up this gut-cleansing last supper to some unsuspecting gastropods before plunging the slow travelers into a deceptive stovetop jacuzzi. Garlic butter and persil* to follow...

Autumn has arrived when les coups de feu* echo daily in the garrigue* behind our village. While the camouflage-sporting chasseurs* are hard to spot, the mushroom hunters aren't, with their wicker baskets full of girolles* and cèpes,* the earth still clinging to the mushrooms' spongy feet.

I know it is fall chez nous* by the way my husband begins to snub rosé in favor of more complex red wines, which warm the French soul at the end of a chilly journée.* And fall is here when the moustique* plugs are removed from the sockets and couettes* are thrown over the beds as I tuck the kids in and answer their favorite fall question: "How many days left, maman,* until les Vacances de la Toussaint?"*

(For the record, seven days left until fall break!)

................................................................................................................
*References: le salon (m) = living room; vert(e) = green; la feuille (f) = leaf; le fenouil (m) = fennel; le persil (m) = parsley; le coups de feu (m) = gunfire; la garrigue (f) = Mediterranean scrubland; le chasseur (chasseuse) = hunter; la girolle (f) = chanterelle (mushroom); le cèpe (m) = boletus or porcini mushroom; chez nous = at our place; la journée (f) = day; le moustique (m) = mosquito; la couette (f) = comforter or duvet; la maman (f) = mom; les Vacances de la Toussaint = All Saints Day Vacation

Ongoing support from readers like you helps me continue this French word journal, now in its 18th year! If you enjoy these posts and would like to keep this site going, please know your donation makes a difference! A contribution by check (click here) or via PayPal (below) is greatly appreciated. Merci!
 
♥ Give $10    
♥ Give $25    
♥ Give the amount of your choice