Meet "Dotty" (here, with painted "nails" -- desperate not to look like a plouc). Wouldn't you just love to paint her? Find out how to add your watercolor, oil, pencil, pastel (or other) portait of Dotty to our online gallery. Read the story column here. You can use either photo for inspiration.

Message to UK readers: find out how to get free tickets to our next wine-tasting event

plouc (plook) noun, masculine
    : country bumpkin, hick, yokel

adjective: dowdy

Know any other definitions for "plouc"? Do you have something to say about today's word? Please share your thoughts in the comments box.

Audio File: listen to the word plouc. Can you hear what Jean-Marc is saying? Post the expression and the translation in the comments box. Download plouc.wav . Download plouc.mp3

In French language learning: Michel Thomas Speak French Advanced: 5-CD Advanced Program

I waved goodbye to the journalist, who was especially beautiful and poised -- graceful in a lovely scarf and gold earrings... just enough, not too much.

I looked down, at my own outfit, shook my head. What was I thinking? Menswear? Next time, I would wear heels... and remember to quit wearing Jean-Marc's socks.

"How did the interview go?" my husband asked, as we stood in the driveway, saluting the journalist as she drove away.

"I talk too much. Blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah." Jean-Marc smiled, knowingly.

"Worse, I sound like a country bumpkin when I speak."
"What is a "country bumpkin"?*" Jean-Marc wanted to know.
"It's the opposite of bourgeoisie."

"Oh," Jean-Marc sympathized. His eyes searched the grape fields for an answer, which he soon found, his focus now on the tractor... just beyond the tumble-down mailboxes. There was a peacefulness and playfulness to what he said next, and it somehow set the record straight.

"Mais, Chérie. Tu es un country bumpkin!"*

                                *     *     *
Interview Tips... or "Plooky"* Behavior to Avoid during a Professional Entretien*

 => Don't use toilet paper to dry your nose. ( matter how much you sweat).

=> Don't serve journalist tap water. (Stock the fridge with soda, once & for all!)

=> Don't mention former fiancé... (find another way, besides name-dropping, to spice up your story)

=> Do not accept journalist's offer to help with laundry. (Next time, get the pajamas off the clothesline before the media arrive.)

=> Don't mention Jesus. Especially mention Jesus! (...and don't forget to throw your arms up into the air -- and wave your whole body in conviction!)

P.S.: I will let you know when the interview is published...

country bumpkin = un plouc (m); un entretien (m) = interview; plooky = (Franglais for "hicklike", based on today's word); Mais, Chérie-- tu es un country bumpkin!" = But, Dear -- you are a country bumpkin!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~In The News~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"French Writer Wins Nobel Prize: The Swedish Academy on Thursday awarded the 2008 Nobel Prize for literature to Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio, a cosmopolitan and prolific French novelist, children's author and essayist regarded by many French readers and critics as one of the country's greatest living writers." (NY Times)

Read one of Le Clézio's stories, "David", in Short Stories in French: New  Penguin Parallel Text

In French salons: Kerastase haircare
Get organized: Map of Paris 12 File Folders
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Pam Angulo

I guess "s'habiller comme un plouc" is a bit nicer than saying someone *is* "un plouc"! ;-)

John Posniak

Plouc... how about pécord? Hope this helps.

John in VA


In Italian, country bumpkin or hick is "un bifolco/una bifolca" or "uno zotico/una zotica" (which has the sense of being a lout) or "un sempliciotta/una sempliciotta".

Chris  Christian

How about "hayseed"?

Kimo Gerald

Hi Kristin: Of course, soon as I saw the word the word "palooka" popped into my head. Think there's a connection?

Fred Caswell

What's bad about being a country boy or plouc? A quote from a famous American writer of earlier years (a true plouc himself) who remains a source of inspiration to me: "Go quietly in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you have imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler."
--Henry David Thoreau

Thoreau has long been a hero of mine, and his names are definitely French!!

Kristi, you have written so lovingly about a joy in your life named "Jewels" who who has clearly shown that clothes and simplicity can temporily mask a beautiful person who is at peace with him/herself.

JC knows a jewel when he meets one and marries her. Fred


At least you are a country bumpkin in FRANCE. I felt the same way when I lived in Paris.


Here is Dotty, clinging desperately to “her” (should I say “his”?) life-saving stem, with her brilliant painted nails (must be “her”). I love this photo!
Thank you for this brilliant close-up of “DOTTY-la-chenille”.

Kristin, if you are a “country bumpkin”, this has to be taken as a “compliment très charmant”, specially as it was preceded by “Mais chérie, tu es.....” In any case, if the expression referred to the clothes you were wearing, we all know that --> "L'habit ne fait pas le moine".

If someone would shout at you, in an angry and derogatory way: “ESPÈCE DE PLOUC”! ... and you would shout back: “ESPÈCE DE PLOUC TOI-MÊME” !... I would expect a bit of a fight, (with words), because, in this context, it would be taken as an insult.

Alternative, in French?
“PAYSAN” --> = a rural person, person who lives in the countryside, but, can also be derogative. Add: ESPÈCE DE(paysan), and it becomes an insult.

There is a slang word which can be used in both genders:
---> “(un) PÈQUENAUD / (une) PÈQUENAUDE”.
Quel pèquenaud! ... Quelle pèquenaude!
(also written: PÉQUENOT)
The word sounds quite funny (to my ears)

“HICK” (according to my English dictionary) is a US equivalent of "plouc".

Muncie Hansen

Wait, Wait, WAIT! Have you ever told us the story of a 'former fiancé?' I don't remember this bit of info! And why would he spice up your interview? Enquiring French-Word-Minds want to know!


This goes along with the conversation we were having at work today about the characters in The Grapes of Wrath.

I too never felt myself to be ā la hauteur of the other French women in my neighborhood. For as mysterious and worldly they seemed to be to me, I was probably the same to them. Everyone always seemed so happy to meet the americaine. I felt a little better with my claim to cooking fame in the neighborhood (a neighborhood of wonderful, talented cooks)when I, the crazy American, made cookies with M&M's instead of chocolate chips. I might as well have been Julia Child that day.


Speaking of grapes (A Central Theme on this website)...

Plook, noun (Scots slang): pimple, pustule.

An ancient meaning, however, is a common measure (line or mark) in a vessel to which liquid provision, such as wine (but not strong ale or 'strong' waters) was poured. The fill line was often a dimple or raised point on the side of a jug, and the plouck was the 'full measure'.

When I saw your Word of the Day, I thought it looked familiar :-)


It was such a joy to read this because I can relate. I was a Tennessean living in the U.K. and whenever I attended French class, I was the 'plouc' too.


Dear Kristin,
Not to worry. You have adapted well to your environment; she was out of hers. All your faithful readers know, you are generally not a superficial person. No accoutrement (scarf, earrings, high heels, nail polish or socks) can signify the depth of mind, heart or spirit. Rock on!


Day late and a dollar short, that's moi. I'm having a new roof put on my house. 'nough said.

Did anyone ever have a chenille bedspread or a chenille robe, slippers, etc.? The beauty of it being that no "Dotties" had to die to make these items.

I'm 65 and still have the chenille spread that was on my youth bed. It went to college with me.

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