French shopping cart caddy grocery list liste coursses
Grocery shopping cart, or un caddie, and a shopping list.

une fripouille (hear audio file, below) noun, feminine
   rogue, scoundrel, crook

une petite fripouille = little devil

A Day in a French Life... by Kristi Espinasse
At the supermarket, I compared check-out lines to finally settle on the queue next to the last conveyor belt which held only a six-pack of beer and a box of vinasse. I turned to the senior citoyens standing next to their caddie, a scruffy French mutt in the cart's child seat. "I'll be right back!" I said, setting down my basket and darting off to the dairy aisle.

Returning with some milk, I took my place in line and said "Merci!" to the couple who had guarded my place. The woman smiled back, inching forth as her companion with the salt-and-pepper hair pulled the cart forward to load the beer and wine. The tattoos began at his knuckles and ran up one arm and down the next; a few drops of encre marked his face (just next to the deep creases
beside his twinkling eyes) as if the indelible ink from the tatouage had spilled en route. He wore a rolled-brim cowboy hat, the sides pushed up to hold a pack of smokes or two, if indeed there were cigarettes snug behind the brim.

His chérie wore a long wrinkly skirt and sandals, her thick unmanicured toenails hanging out the end. On her head she wore a crocheted green cap, its small bill set to the side, her curly gray tresses tumbling out, a thick bunch here, a scraggly bit there. Her thread-bare tailored shirt, with the little puffed shoulders, spoke of her bourgeois past, told the story of a predictable life interrupted when this twinkling-eyed bad boy motorcycled into town.

The dog barked and I snapped out of my rêverie to find the woman in the green cap pointing to the conveyor belt. There was room now, she indicated, for me to unload my groceries.

"What is your dog's name?" I asked, of the gray mutt in the child seat.
"Fripouille," the woman answered.

Automatically, I looked up at the man in the bent-brimmed hat, who winked, and the little tattoos around his eyes disappeared into the folds of his wrinkly skin.

References: la vinasse (f) = cheap wine; le citoyen (la citoyenne) = citizen; le caddie (or caddy) (m) = cart, trolley; l'encre (f) = ink; le tatouage (m) = tattoo; la chérie (le chéri) = darling; la fripouille (f) = little devil

French Pronunciation:

Listen hear, my son, Max pronounce the French word "fripouille": Download fripouille2.wav

Hear the following sentence:
  Joachim Dioudonna était une sympathique fripouille.
  Joachim Dioudonna was a pleasant enough rogue.
             --from "Short Stories in French" (parallel text edition)

More literary references to the word "fripouille" :

"... nouns with a pejorative connotation: une gouape, une crapule, une canaille, une fripouille." (thug, crook, shyster, rogue)--from French Today : Language in its Social Context


A Message from KristiOngoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal each week. If you find joy or value in these stories and would like to keep this site going, donating today will help so much. Thank you for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.

Ways to contribute:
1.Zelle®, The best way to donate and there are no transaction fees. Zelle to [email protected]

2.Paypal or credit card
Or purchase my book for a friend and so help them discover this free weekly journal.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety