percer
tablette

monnaie

old French bank note
la monnaie (mo-nay) noun, feminine

  : currency; coin; change

Citation du Jour:
Un seul mot, usé, mais qui brille comme une vieille pièce de monnaie: merci! One single word, worn-out, but that shines like an old coin: thanks!
--Pablo Neruda

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A Day in a French Life...

At the last boulangerie* along rue Gambetta, not far from the lonely stone lavoir* and close enough to the square to throw an eye* on the kids as they run circles around the kiosk, I order a string,* a boat* and a restaurant (French bread classification according to shape--like a string or boat, and size--big enough to feed clients at a quaint bistro?).

La boulangère* calculates the total out loud and I empty my coin purse into my free hand, fishing out the littlest coins and minding the lint as I try to unload as many of the pièces jaunes* as I can get away with, dignified look and all. When I hand the collection over to the lady behind the register, she repeats the amount due and I realize I've shortchanged the baker. The line of people behind me grows and I fluster and reopen my hand to display what change remains. With nimble fingers the boulangère pecks out the correct monnaie* due as I watch the coins disappear with the regard of a three-year-old.

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References: la boulangerie (f) = baker's shop; le lavoir (m) = old washing-place; throw an eye (from the French expression "jeter un oeil"); string = la ficelle (here, a thin baguette); boat = la navette (after the bread's shape--note: 'navette' is usually used to refer to a type of cookie); la boulangère (le boulanger) = baker; la pièce jaune (f) = yellow coin (golden-colored "small" change); la monnaie (f) = change

Listen: hear a very enrhumé (sick with a cold) Jean-Marc pronounce the word monnaie: Download monnaie.wav

Expressions:
la fausse monnaie = counterfeit money
c'est monnaie courante = it's quite common
payer quelqu'un en monnaie de singe (to pay someone with monkey money) = to let someone whistle for his money, to talk pretty and make vain promises instead of paying
rendre à quelqu'un la monnaie de sa pièce = to repay someone in kind

Interesting French monnaie article: http://monnaie.notlong.com

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