une plaisanterie (play-zon-tree) noun, feminine
: joke, jest, prank
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:: Audio File :: (follows, in the "reference" section, below...)
I overheard the following plaisanterie* while driving Max and his friend, Bastien, home from the town of Pontet (where they lost their basketball match):
Bastien: Max, what is the most fruity sport?
Max: FRUITY sport? I don't know.
Bastien: La boxe française ...car je te mets une "pêche" ... en plein "poire"... et toi, tu tombes dans les "pommes" où tu ne peux plus ramener ta "fraise".....et tout ça pour des "prunes"!
Bastien explained to Max that the fruitiest sport is French boxing: "Because (when I'm boxing) I give you a "peach" ... right there in the "pear" ... and you fall into the "apples" ... where you don't dare show your "strawberry" (or "turn up" around here again)... and all that for a mere "prune"!
* * *
To better understand Bastien's blague* here are some fruity French idioms:
* une pêche (peach) = a "punch" or a "clout"
* "en plein poire" (pear) = "right in the face"
* "tomber dans les pommes" = to pass out
* la fraise = "strawberry" (synonymous with "head")
* "pour des prunes" ("for plums") = for nothing
We might throw a tomato or two into that fruity French boxing farce.... We could, for example, have the winning boxer (he who is now doing the tutti frutti victory dance, self-satisfied expression on his sweaty "poire" )... we could have him face an unhappy, rooting-for-the-other-guy crowd. Then, because we're a
little bit evil, spoiled sports and all, we could have that crowd "lancer des tomates"* (this, in a kiwi-quick manner before the sour-grape guards arrive -- and give us crab-apples a prune*). If you are confused, that's because this last paragraph was nothing but a salade* - a fruity one at that!
une plaisanterie (f) = joke; blague; lancer des tomates = to throw tomatoes; une prune (f) = slang for "ticket"; une salade (f) = "tossed" tale (lie)
Listen to Jean-Marc pronounce the word "plaisanterie". He'll also read Bastien's "most fruity sport" blague, here: Download plaisanterie.mp3 . Download plaisanterie.wav
The Price of Water in Finistère :
At the age of 55, Swedish writer Bodil Malmsten abandons her native land and settles in Brittany. Embroidered in this memoir are poignant, outraged, thought-provoking observations on a sweeping range of subjects-the elicit pleasures of bargain-hunting, the misery of writer's block, social democracy, racism, tulipomania, the controlling of moles and slugs, death, and the delights of wild weather. Malmsten's passion and humor shine through every episode. Read more, here.
A Pig in Provence: Good Food and Simple Pleasures in the South of France:
Georgeanne Brennan moved to Provence in 1970, seeking a simpler life. She set off on her many adventures in Provençale cuisine by tracking down a herd of goats, a cool workshop, some rennet, and the lost art of making fresh goat cheese. From this first effort throughout her time in Provence, Brennan
transformed from novice fromagère to renowned, James Beard Foundation Award-winning cookbook author and food writer. Order this book, here.
Terms & Expressions:
par plaisanterie = for fun, for a laugh
une mauvaise plaisanterie = a silly joke (also: a spiteful trick)
entendre la plaisanterie = to know how to take a joke
tourner quelque chose en plaisanterie = to laugh something off
faire des plaisanteries sur = to joke (at the expense of someone)
In French film (comedy): The Dinner Game
In stand-up comedy: Coluche (France's beloved comic) and his best political sketches, here (in French)
For the Francophile cook in your life: Eiffel Tower Chocolate Candy Mold
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