chauffer
trottoir

araignée

   Poissonnerie = Fish market (c) Kristin Espinasse
   A shopfront in the southern French village of Flayosc

une araignée (a-ray-nyay) noun, feminine
  1. spider

Also:
une araignée de mer = spider crab
une toile d'araignée = cobweb, spider's web

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Listen:
Hear my 8-year-old, Jackie, pronounce the word araignée: Download araignee.wav

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Expression:
avoir une araignée au plafond (or 'dans le plafond') = to have a screw loose

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Citation du Jour:
Quelques gouttes de rosée sur une toile d'araignée, et voilà une rivière de diamants.
A few drops of dew upon a spider's web, and there you have a river of diamonds. --Jules Renard

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A Day in a French Life...

Forty-eight silk weavers came crashing down just outside my husband's office fenêtre.* My first thought was, "Death by insecticide!" With that, I set down my basket, pressed my nose to the window, cupped my hands around my eyes and peered into the accused's office. "Have you been spraying chemicals again?" I asked. When Jean-Marc shook his head in denial, I leaned back to examine the multi-legged unfortunates.

On the red-tiled window-sill, there, where I usually put my panier* as I go about hanging the laundry on the line opposite, lay the 48 araignées.* Scattered around the leggy corpora delicti were broken pieces of clay--delicate little chips no bigger than shaved chocolate. It looked as if the spiders had made their home in a tiny pot which then fell from a hidden ledge behind the window shutters. While the spiders' fate remains a mystery, their passing will not go unnoticed. In honor of these unlikely (and to some, unsightly) heroes, a little chanson* about their compatriot, who survived a similar chute*:

              :: L'Araignée Gipsy :: 

L'araignée Gipsy  -- Gipsy the spider
Monte à la gouttière -- Climbs up the rain gutter
Tiens voilà la pluie! -- Here comes the rain!
Gipsy tombe par terre --Gipsy falls to the ground
Mais le soleil a séché la pluie --But the sun has dried the rain
L'araignée Gipsy --Gipsy the spider
Monte à la gouttière...  -- Climbs up the water spout

Hear Jackie sing the song (replay it for the unbroken version!): Download araignee_song.wav

(The author to the song "Araignée Gipsy" is unknown)

English version:
The itsy bitsy spider
Climbed up the waterspout
Down came the rain
And washed the spider out
Out came the sun
And dried up all the rain
And the itsy bitsy spider
Climbed up the spout again


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*References: la fenêtre (f) = window; le panier (m) = basket; l'araignée (f) = spider; une chanson (f) = song; la chute (f) = fall

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