baba cool


Thank you! (A jug of thanks, and more, in today's story column.)

Note: the book section (in the left and right columns) changes "thrice-weekly" along with each new post. Look for French-themed novels, short stories, grammar books and more!

pot (poh) noun, masculine
    : pot, jug, can, tin, jar

[from low Latin "potus" (a pot), from the classical Latin "potus" (drink)]

"Un pot" can refer to a farewell party and "avoir du pot" means "to be lucky". There are over a dozen more terms and expressions at the end of this letter. Would you like to help to translate one or two? Thank you for sharing your answers in the comments box.

(Mini dialogue):
Me: Jean-Marc, do you have a minute to record tomorrow's word?
JM: I do... but I think people would appreciate hearing your voice from time to time.
Me: (gulps) Thanks for the encouragement.... (secretly relieved there are no French "r's" in today's word or expression):

Audio File: Listen to today's word and to this expression "pot à lait"
Download pot.mp3
. Download pot.wav

On Friday I asked readers to send my mom a virtual flower... and to share the French word for the flower-in-question. If the French equivalent was not known (for it isn't necessary to speak French -- or even to have a dictionary handy to participate), readers were encouraged to just go ahead and send in
their favorite fleur* for Jules. Meantime, as promised, I began to translate those first few terms that arrived via the comments box, where a lovely bouquet began to take shape....

Then a "black-eyed Susan" arrived... and just as I was considering "Les Yeux Noirs de Suzanne" (giddy to learn the name of a favorite flower... never mind that I had the French all wrong...), Jules fired up her computer, clicked over to her daughter's blog, and discovered her floral surprise! Mom quickly responded (via the petal-packed comments box) with a simple, tearful, ALL-CAPS remerciement.*  From that point on, my worries turned from flower translations... to how I, too, might thank you for all of the exotic and lovely flower combinations. From a poetic "Sahuaro blossoms floating in a clay bowl full of desert rain-water"... to those quirky "Kangaroo paws" (and, just this morning, a "une primevère de Mumbai"*), Jules's virtual bouquet grew and, as Mom would add, via all-caps, GREW!

In view of the unexpected response, I spent the weekend obsessing about how to express a heartfelt thanks for making my mom's wish come true.... until Aunt-Marie Françoise arrived on Sunday afternoon with a "pot à lait"* and, in-so-doing, unwittingly put a stop to my flower frenzy. The old-fashioned milk pail (a gift from her), with its muted aluminum body and unadorned handle, helped me to remember that a "thank you" needn't be polished like gold. The humble "pot à lait" hinted that a simple "merci beaucoup" is sometimes all it takes... to say thanks.

To Marie-Françoise's pot, I've added few branches of wild rosemary (collected from our afternoon walk through the garrigue*) and string of non-edible red berries for a Thank You composition (see today's photo) prepared just for you! And because Jules would love the chance to "vous re-remercier"*,
I've added a quince from her "collection"... I'll tell you THAT story another time.
PS: Did you miss the "baba cool" edition and want to send Mom a flower? Don't forget to mention the city from which you are sending your virtual fleur:

une fleur
(f) = flower; un remerciement (m) = thanks, thanking; une primevère (f) de Mumbai = a primrose from Mumbai; un pot (m) à lait = milk jug; la garrigue (f) = Mediterranean scrubland; vous re-remercier = to thank you again

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...Here's where you pitch in... and help to build our French Word Community

Terms to translate & to discuss via the comments box:

un petit pot (for baby...)
un pot de chambre
un plant en pot
un pot de colle
un pot à eau
un pot d'adieu
un pot de départ
un pot de terre
un coup de pot
plein pot (rouler plein pot)
un pot à bière
le pot d'échappement
le pot-au-feu
le pot-de-vin
le pot-de-vinier
poule au pot
le pot aux roses
le pot de yaourt
le pot au noir
la pot-bouille
(may be an old term...)
le pot à feu

un pot d'accueil
...and what about le pot-pourri?

  avoir du pot
  manquer de pot
  tourner autour du pot
  payer plein pot
  payer les pots cassés
  tourner autour du pot
  "C'est le pot de terre contre le pot de fer"
  découvrir le pot aux roses
  mettre la poule au pot
  sourd comme un pot

Proverbs :
  On fait de bonne soupe dans un vieux pot.
  Un pot fêlé dure longtemps.

... don't forget to check back to the comments box for insights into these expressions. Many thanks for your translations and comments regarding these idioms and terms related to the French word "pot".

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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety