A couple of French turkeys, each pouting in his/her own corner après l'engueulade. Photo taken in 2005 at Château Miraval in Correns, France.
"Arguing is to the modern Frenchman what thinking was to Descartes, a proof of existence....Vitupero ergo sum: I bicker, therefore I am." --from the book "Culture Shock! France" by Sally Adamson Taylor
engueulade (ongh-lahd) noun, feminine
1. argument, shouting match
Also: a telling-off, bawling out, blowing up, chewing out or "a giving to another of one hell of a bad time". Get the picture?
Idioms & Expressions:
recevoir une engueulade = to be hauled over the coals (to be told off)
"Ils se sont quittés sur une engueulade. They parted after a stinking row."
--quote and translation from the Dictionary of French Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Henry Strutz
Listen to my daughter, Jackie, pronounce today's words and example sentence:
Download engueulade.mp3 . Download engueulade.wav.
When Jean-Marc and I were in Paris last month, we stayed at Florence and Olivier's love nest in the onzième.* A "shopping list" posted on the fridge had me admiring the couple's 15-year-old recipe for amour.* Scribbled on a piece of paper were these essential ingredients:
MA LISTE DES COURSES:
- 1 kg de câlins
- 300 g de caresses
- 2 kg de tendresse
- 1/2 T de bisous
- 0 kg d'engueulades
(MY SHOPPING LIST:)
- 1 kilo of cuddles
- 300 grams of caresses
- 2 kilos of tenderness
- 1/2 T of kisses
- 0 kilos of shouting
One thing that amused be about this list, was the ingredient "engueulades". But, of course! I thought, knowing all along that shouting and spouting somehow measured into real love. But just how much temper... tempered love? I wondered, rechecking the list of ingredients. That's when I noticed the zero allotment...
A little disheartened to realize that the Love Recipe was limited to only sweet ingredients (personally, our marriage "cake" has always included a good measure of salt), I had an inspiration....
Like that, I picked up a virtual crayon* and crossed out that "0" as well as that "kilo". Next, having looked both ways and when the coast was clear, I scribbled in, there--just before the word "engueulade"--this new measure:
"1 heaping, HOLLERING teaspoon!"
I may not be the best cook, but this is one recipe that I have been perfecting ever since cutting a frosty French cake (with the help of my Sometimes Huffy Husband) a decade and a half ago.
A Sometimes Hissy Housewife
le onzième (m) = the "eleventh" district or "arrondissement"; l'amour (m) = love; le crayon (m) = pencil
Words in a French Life: Lessons in Love and Language from the South of France
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