coup de dent
Friday, March 12, 2010
What is love? Photo taken yesterday, outside our kitchen window.
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un coup de dent (koo-deuh-dahn)
: a nip (a little bite)
A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse
I received an email this morning that had me shaking my silver-templed head. It read:
Pourquoi protéger les dents de son animal ?
Pourquoi indeed! Yes, "Why protect the teeth of one's animal?"...when your doors are now dent-ed, your halls hacked, and your books bouffed?
The French words appeared in the subject line of a newsletter that I receive from a French pet-supplies store. I'm not sure how I got onto their list-server (so far I haven't un-subscribed).
Now if only I could un-subscribe to the daily "updates" that our 7-month-old Golden delivers: little mordant messages left hither and thither 'round the house, chewed into the chairs, tooth-torn into the sofa, munched across the mur, and bitten into the baseboards.
The dry-walls in our kitchen are coming apart at the seams, evidence that our puppy has been sinking his teeth into more than the croquettes and the home-made doggy terrines.
Néanmoins, I can't help but feel sympathy for our little chewing machine. Because he was attacked and left for dead as an 8-week-old, I wonder whether the hither and thither damage is his way of getting back at the attackers, and ending up the victor?
And--chew! gnarl! crunch!--take that! Smokey says to the door, to the magazine rack, to the leash to which he is attached.
My husband has a different theory... and a tough-love solution that will have us biting back: it has to do, tout simplement, with nipping this bad behavior in the bud!
Update: Recently, the véto examined Smokey's teeth and discovered that many of them (way in the back) had been broken during his attack. As to "Why protect an animal's teeth?" how about "because our furry friends would ask us to, if only they could speak."
This forum is now open for any comments about today's story -- or for general questions. Looking for the French word for something? Need an answer to a French / France related question? This is the place to ask. This is readers helping readers at its best! Comment here.
Here are some questions to get the ball rolling: Chris writes:
What does "tirer a ses quatres épingles" mean? .... I think it means to play one's role well, or know how to play the game. But I don't understand how we come to this conclusion using the literal meanings of these words. Answers here, please.
And here's another inquiry, from Paula:
Do you have any suggestions for car rentals (in France)? We usually rent from (....) but it gets expensive for the 4 weeks.
Thank you for using this link to access/answer where to Rent a Car in France
French Vocabulary and Sound File: Download Wav or MP3
Smokey a donné un coup de dent au canapé.
Smokey nipped the couch.
Pourquoi protéger les dents de son animal ? Why protect your animal's teeth?
bouffer = to eat
le mur = wall
la terrine = terrine or pâté
néanmoins = nevertheless
tout simplement = quite simply
le véto (vétérinaire) = vet
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"Tire a quatre epingles" used to be translated as the slightly quaint English term "dressed to the nines" but maybe that has changed...
Posted by: Julie Carter | Friday, March 12, 2010 at 01:19 PM
I am so into my poor teeth and the pain I can get..I talk about it..poor doggie.
I do love the ♥
Posted by: Monique | Friday, March 12, 2010 at 01:27 PM
Just have to say, that is the loveliest 'love' photo! :)
Posted by: parisimperfect | Friday, March 12, 2010 at 01:49 PM
Hi Chris and everyone,
- une épingle is a pin, used by a dressmaker to hold 2 pieces of material before stitching them together.
The expression given to Kristin is not quite exact. It is not: à “ses” quatre épingles but “à quatre épingles” and it is used with “être”
The expression “être tiré à quatre épingles” has got nothing to do with a game. However, there is an expression using the word “épingle” and the word “jeu” (= game). So, you are going to have two replies for the price of one!
1) ---> “être tiré à quatre épingles” = to be dressed impeccably, immaculately - in fact , a bit too carefully!
Explanation: If you want a square piece of material 'to be stretched' ("être tiré") without any little fold, you need to fix a pin in each corner - as a result, your piece of material will be nicely kept in place, without any little fold! In the 17th and 18th century, when (rich) people had their clothes well adjusted, without any fold, fitting them perfectly, with a sense of art and symmetry, they were described as: being “tirés à quatre épingles”.
Number 4 in the expression is also used in other expressions and it simply means: to the maximum, in the best possible way.
“être tiré à quatre épingles” reminds me of another expression “être sur son trente et un”, which is the equivalent of “to be dressed up to the nines”.
2) Here is the second expression. It contains the words “épingle” and the word “jeu”.
---> "Tirer (or, “retirer”) son épingle du jeu"
This suggests you quite cleverly get out (tirer, retirer) of a delicate situation (dangerous game) - the game in question being personal, political, financial... - just before it gets worse, just before you lose your reputation, or your money (or both). Here, "l'épingle" has the meaning of something sharp that stings, like 'a thorn'.
---> "Tirer (or, “retirer”) son épingle du jeu" = 'to get out when the going is good'.
Posted by: Newforest | Friday, March 12, 2010 at 01:51 PM
A little off topic, but... did anyone mention Newforest in yesterdays Best Tips for Learning French?
Now to get myself a notebook and begin to note down these treasures, or Notes from Newforest. Merci Newforest!
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Friday, March 12, 2010 at 01:59 PM
Is the lovely heart of the photo carved in ... a shutter?
What I like is that, "le coeur" isn't "mis à nu" (bare). I'm not quite sure about the climber that invaded it (gracefully covered it) and left those glorious little berries (still full of seeds?)
Anyway, I can imagine "le coeur orné de fleurs" all through the summer.
Kristin, what's the name of the climber?
Posted by: Newforest | Friday, March 12, 2010 at 02:05 PM
Newforest, yes. Thats our moveable shutter -- sometimes propped againt the tree (see this photo http://french-word-a-day.typepad.com/.a/6a00d834515cae69e20120a57e7481970b-popup ) -- sometimes propped against a wall inside the house. This time it is outside my kitchen window. It seems as if the vines are growing over it -- but this isnt the case. RE those berries... Ive planted so many things in that pot that I am unsure of the answer. Originally, a bouganvillea was planted there... the poor plant looks dead now (well see). I also planted some ipomée (morning glory?) seeds there, which wrapped there climbing tendrils (is this the words) around the bouganvillea. So, those berries must belong to one or the other plant...
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Friday, March 12, 2010 at 02:22 PM
Our dog Duffy has chewed through our clic clac, the wood on our windows and porte fenêtres, all the lawn furniture pillows and is tryng to dig up all of our back yard bushes. Would Smokey like to come over to play? I'm sure they would have a great, naughty time together.
Posted by: meredith | Friday, March 12, 2010 at 02:32 PM
I think there's always an explanation for behavior -- human or animal. In this case perhaps because of the damaged teeth...
Poor Smokey -- he can't help it.
Posted by: Patricia Anzalone | Friday, March 12, 2010 at 02:43 PM
I found the following explanation for tirer à ses quatre épingles at a website that people might like to know about:
"Etre habillé de façon très (voire trop) soigneuse." Just as Newforest said, it means "to be dressed with care, maybe even overly so." This web site offers a slightly different theory for its origin:
"Autrefois, on disait d'une personne bien habillée qu'elle était "bien tirée". Parallèlement, vers le XVe siècle, les "épingles" étaient l'argent de poche que les femmes pouvaient mettre de côté lorsque leur mari leur donnait une petite somme pour leurs courses, ou qu'elles gagnaient d'elles-mêmes de diverses manières. Ainsi, il s'agit certainement d'un rapprochement entre ces deux expressions, comme si on pouvait s'acheter de beaux vêtements et donc être bien habillé grâce aux "épingles" que l'on avait mis de côté."
To sum up, it says that, just as in the English expression "pin money" "épingle" used to mean money set aside from the household allowance a woman received or else money she was able to earn herself, which allowed her to spend a little extra on things to help her look nice. I find Newforest's explanation more logical. Here is the website which I plan to save to look up expressions: http://www.linternaute.com/expression/langue-francaise/184/etre-tire-a-quatre-epingles/
Posted by: Leslie in Massachusetts | Friday, March 12, 2010 at 02:44 PM
We had just had some landscaping done when we got our dear long-gone Theodore as a puppy. Within a month all the accessible scrubs in the backyard were reduced to nubs! We kept Theo and didn't bother to replant anything - he was more fun than the scrubs anyway.
Looking forward to seeing Jean-Marc at Solo Vino this evening. Anybody else going to be there?
Posted by: Bill in St. Paul | Friday, March 12, 2010 at 02:46 PM
Oh, là là, Meredith. Time to ask Newforest how to say double trouble! in French! Re chewing *through* the clic-clac--this is the kind of chewing S. did. When he totalled one side of the couch, we camouflaged it... only for him to total the other side (and the side-side). Now it is in total tatters! Good luck to you!
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Friday, March 12, 2010 at 02:46 PM
That tongue just gets me every time! So incredibly sweet, that little lopsided face. I'm sure it's hard to be mad at that cutie! I know I couldn't be mad at my little pup when she was teething some months back, but it's hard to see stuff chewed up all over the place. Now she just goes through doggie chew toys the very day she gets one...and she's only 8 pounds, soaking wet! Dogs bring such a sweetness to life, don't they?
Posted by: Erin in Atlanta | Friday, March 12, 2010 at 02:53 PM
It's not "tirer à ses quatre épingles", but:
"être tiré à quatre épingles"
I never heard about the XVth century meaning of "les épingles", as "coins" given by French husbands to their wives to buy things - and money earned by women ... to buy nice clothes.
Not many paid jobs for housewives in those days... Rich ladies didn't "have a job", but they (and their rich husbands) were "tirés à quatre épingles".
Chris, did you have in mind expression 2)?
Posted by: Newforest | Friday, March 12, 2010 at 03:10 PM
All I can say is, "Newforest, you are a veritable font of information!" Thanks for all your helpful posts!
The colors in both the shutter and the puppy pictures are so warm and inviting--beautiful!
Posted by: Heidi | Friday, March 12, 2010 at 03:28 PM
One of the (many) things I love about your blog, Kristi, is how much I learn. And how exquisitely bright and talented many of your "followers" are. Example: Who is Newforest??? I want this person on my team if I'm ever in a "French Trivia" competition. Talk about a wealth of information . . .if she teaches French anywhere in Paris, I'm attending on my next visit to our apartment. And that photo - brilliant! In my minds eye, it showed the contrast of love being sometimes obscured, sometimes prickly, but in the end, when we look beyond the "window dressing" we still see a heart of love. Fabulous! Hugs, Robin
Posted by: Robin | Friday, March 12, 2010 at 03:33 PM
Your sweet young Smoky is going through adolescence - a time when dogs specialize in chewing, chewing, chewing. Giving him acceptable things to chew such as compressed non-bleached rawhide, Kong toys, carrots or large raw bones should help protect your furniture and walls. I'm a dog trainer and one of my dogs is a Golden, so Smoky and Braise photos catch my eye every time. Thanks for the great website.
Posted by: Melanie Lattin | Friday, March 12, 2010 at 03:42 PM
I have two dogs, both 4 years old, and none of them destructive thank god...But some dogs have the tendency and some don't. Labs tend to chew..so in this case don't feel sorry for Poor Smokey (who's story broke my heart as well!) He's a dog. And this is when you have to take a stand and look him straight in the eye and say NO!") and then give him plenty of chew toys -- lots of big rawhide toys, etc, the kongs that you put the piece of food in that take really long to get to, and get him really tired early in the day and then again before bed. Labs LOVE to chew! My in-law's cocoa ate the couch and the wallpaper right off the walls.. Just keep at it. Cesar The Dog Whisperer recommends using a tred mill to get them tired out. (I couldn't get my dogs near anything with a motor, but it's worth a try if you have one!) Good Luck w/ Poor Smokey...he's so cute, you might just want to make believe you don't see the chew marks!
Posted by: Lisa Walsh | Friday, March 12, 2010 at 03:44 PM
Well Newforest (and I've just been to the New Forest in Hampshire - how beautiful it is in the sunshine and freezing blue sky)I agree that the saying is 'être tirer à quatre épingles' meaning to be immaculately dressed and your reference to the olden days is and explanation of 'coins'. Similar, but in fact completely different, is 'tirer son épingle du jeu' - meaning to get out while the going is good. There's something to learn every day, n'est-ce pas?
Posted by: Mummy Biscuit | Friday, March 12, 2010 at 04:32 PM
I'm supposed to brush my dogs' teeth per the veto, but I am very lazy about that. I had to put away any wicker or rattan baskets as one dog liked to chew on them when no one was looking. A Kong with wet dog food in it might keep Smokey busy,
Posted by: martina | Friday, March 12, 2010 at 04:35 PM
I remember our Labrador Buster chewing through cable cords, curtains and the rungs on the chair legs. Has anyone tried to brush their dog's teeth? It is really hard!
I love the heart photo. Is it a door?
Have a great weekend!
Posted by: Eileen | Friday, March 12, 2010 at 04:42 PM
Chercher une épingle dans une meule ou dans une botte de foin, chercher une chose introuvable. Épingle à cheveux, petite tige recourbée à deux branches pour tenir les cheveux. Épingle de sûreté ou épingle double ou épingle de nourrice ou épingle anglaise, petite tige de métal recourbée sur elle-même et formant ressort, dont la pointe est maintenue par un crochet plat. Monter qqch en épingle, le mettre en évidence; lui donner une importance excessive. Tiré à quatre épingles, habillé avec beaucoup de soin (= élégant, endimanché). Tirer son épingle du jeu, se sortir adroitement d'une affaire difficile. Virage en épingle à cheveux, virage brusque et très serré, ayant la forme d'un U.
Posted by: James R. Wilson | Friday, March 12, 2010 at 04:51 PM
Ah, poor Smokey, he should have his teeth taken care of. I take my cats to the dentist for cleaning once every six months and try to brush their teeth, sometimes I just let them eat toothpaste.
Have a great weekend Kristin,
Posted by: Mona | Friday, March 12, 2010 at 05:22 PM
Lisa, Thank you for the helpful tips! We do have good chew toys. Ill try filling the one with the kongs (wow, theres a word for those? :-)
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Friday, March 12, 2010 at 05:27 PM
What a great idea! (To get help on French-related questions.)
Here's one for you: "en gilet a' coeur." I've been working on an Erik Satie song that describes a music hall performer.
..."tous les snobs en gilet a' coeur
l'accueillant de hourras frenetiques..."
I suppose the expression could mean a literal "wearing a heart-decorated vest," but I'm guessing it might be the French equivalent of "wearing one's heart on one's sleeve."
Any ideas or input?
Posted by: Christine | Friday, March 12, 2010 at 05:29 PM
And thanks, Melanie! And any others of you who are helping with the dog tips... Im catching up with comments now. I have a funny story for Bill in St. Paul and Candy in SW Kansas (not dog related... remind me to tell you sometime :-) And, Bill, so glad to know youll be at the tasting!
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Friday, March 12, 2010 at 05:31 PM
Are those physalis in your "What is Love?" photo?
Yummmmm are you lucky!
Posted by: Bonnie Powers | Friday, March 12, 2010 at 05:57 PM
Kristin, Re: the photo at the top.
Thanks for the link you added earlier on to your post.
I remember now. At the time, I was wondering whether the heart was in the middle of a wooden gate. So, it's a wooden 'mobile' SHUTTER ... with a wonderful heart! Mille mercis for "la très belle photo d'aujourd'hui."
and... thanks for your answer regarding the lovely little berries. I've got neither experience nor knowledge on how to grow bougainvilleas, but, I love the idea of your “ipomée” (MORNING GLORY) wrapping itself around it and reaching the heart in the shutter!
Morning glories are annual and this (oh! thank you so much!) reminds me of a packet of seeds bought last year but left in a drawer.
Great! I found it!... (Bot name: Ipomoea tricolor), more charmingly known as “Heavenly blue”. It's now on a window sill in my kitchen (it says: Sow indoors Mar-Apr)... still a bit early.
I opened the little packet inside my packet and took out one seed. It's black and has (more or less) the shape and size of an average grape pip.
I'm now wondering whether your berries contains Ipomée's seeds... ? ready to start again a little miracle of continuous Morning glories through the Summer ... if given the right conditions.
Posted by: Newforest | Friday, March 12, 2010 at 06:21 PM
Are there musicians who read you?? I need a loaner cello for September 12-18. I would like to take part in the first "Musique a Gemenos 2010" organized by kammermusikensembles.com of Kansas City.
Posted by: elizabeth foree | Friday, March 12, 2010 at 06:22 PM
Bonnie, I think they are morning glories (and not physalis--which I would LOVE to have!).
Newforest, Thanks for the description of ipomoea seeds--which look like grape pips! Ill now be able to compare, just as soon as I collect a sample of that berry! Happy planting chez vous!
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Friday, March 12, 2010 at 06:50 PM
there is something out there called "Bitter Apple". Comes in a pump spray. Just spray a little on the areas Smokey seems to like the most. It won't hurt anything including him. If you can't find it at a pet store...maybe the one whose list you seem to be on now....try cayenne pepper in water in a spray bottle...shake real well. If nothing works he should grow out of it "eventually" ;}
Posted by: joie carmel,ca | Friday, March 12, 2010 at 09:24 PM
Newforest, those very, very hard Morning Glory seeds need to be nicked or scraped on sandpaper or with an emery board or file in order for them to sprout. Ces sont tres jolie and very much worth the effort to cultivate. Enjoy! Raining in Northern California today but spring sunshine is expected this weekend.
Posted by: Pat - Shingle Springs, CA | Friday, March 12, 2010 at 11:31 PM
Kristin-All this talk about Smokey chewing--I was wondering if you had the same problem with Braise and if so, what did you do? Bitter Apple worked for me when my 14 year old puppy was young. If you can't find it, maybe you can order it online. Thanks to Newforest for all the great vocab and culture lessons. We are learning so much because of you Kristin. Thanks, Patty
Posted by: Patty Beynet | Saturday, March 13, 2010 at 01:07 AM
Mona and all, I would NOT let a cat, or a dog, eat toothpaste. I've read that children should not be allowed to swallow it, and I can't imagine that it would be any safer for a pet.
Just a thought - but if Smokey has a chance to do other things with his teeth, such as fetch sticks or a ball, might that slightly decrease his desire to chew? Or keep him busy for a while so he will do less chewing?
Posted by: Marianne Rankin | Saturday, March 13, 2010 at 02:20 AM
Beautiful photograph -- if I had to pick just one photo I would not be able to, love them all.
Smokey, I am sure you tried a lots of things already - and forgive me if I am preaching to the choir, my current rescue dog has a lot of quirky annoying behavior, which I am working on -- one problem at a time.
I am sure you have removed the bad teeth -- and dog training? - I had a doberman pincher that was a rescue dog, and I finally had to get a electronic collar-- I used it only three times - then placed the dummy collar on her that's all it took -- it was bad training from the former owner who taught her some not so nice behavior,, -- and if you know a "dog whisper" some of them are also dog trainers, who work well with behavioral issues. This current dog of mine has ruined some things I have had for years, but we are getting to the root of his problem inch by inch.
Posted by: joanny | Saturday, March 13, 2010 at 04:00 AM
Several words can be chosen for 'double trouble'. Here are two:
--> (familiar) “l'enquiquineur” (“l'enquiquineuse”) -- Adj: “enquiquinant(e)”
-- > (slang) “l'emmerdeur” (“l'emmerdeuse”) -- Adj: “emmerdant”
If 'double trouble' refers to a child (or a pet) --> “le petit diable” is quite a good choice.
To Pat - Shingle Springs, CA -- Re:
Thanks for the tip about Morning Glory seeds. Yes, I realised they must be very hard, because on my packet it says: to aid germination, soak seeds overnight in tepid water prior to sowing. Looking forward to sowing them (indoors) in April.
I love the “gilets à coeur” and I could imagine the 'snobs' wearing black velvet “waiscoats” (waiscoat = GB for “gilet” in this context) with flowery and curvy embroideries around, maybe, golden hearts - an image that corresponds to your first guess.
--> You mentioned: 'To wear one's heart on one's sleeve'. In French, no word "coeur" in the equivalent expression, which is -> "laisser voir ses sentiments".
--> This reminds me of a very picturesque expression with the word "coeur" -> "avoir le coeur sur la main" = to be very generous.
Looking forward to the (surprise) photos on our weekly Cinéma Vérité. Kristin, you didn't give us any clue!......
Posted by: Newforest | Saturday, March 13, 2010 at 05:03 AM
Hi Patty. No, Braise did not chew on things or do any damage. Thanks to those of you who recommended bitter apple and pepper! Will consider this.... Smokey is outside, attached to a chain, this morning. He bit through his leash, which was traded for the metal links!
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Saturday, March 13, 2010 at 07:28 AM
Patty is right -- we learn so much here! I would have never realized that I had "magic seeds" growing outside my kitchen window... had not Newforest, Bonnie, and others pointed it out!
This morning I harvested the seeds and carefully set them aside (Pat's note about sandpapering them intrigued me). Next, I put them in a cup of water... hoping to soften them. Here is a photo, just before they took the plonge. Newforest, do these look like the "grape pips" (i.e. morning glory seeds) you mentioned? See photo here http://simurl.com/seed
Posted by: Kristin | Saturday, March 13, 2010 at 08:18 AM
I'm raising my fifth guide dog puppy, Kingston. He is 5 months old now, a beautiful black male pedigree Labrador. Having had the usual chewing problems with my previous pups, due to the emergence of their permanent teeth, I have just learned how to control it from the trainer at SAGA (South African Guidedogs Association).
The secret is to have a bowl of toys in the kitchen that they ARE allowed to chew. Favourites are hoofs, rawhide chews, plastic bottles (remove tops) with kibble inside, cardboard egg boxes, Kongs, chunks of hardwood. Throw them away when they begin to break up, the fragments can be swallowed and cause a medical emergency.
Change the toys every 3 days or so, because, like children, the pups get bored with the same old toys. I buy new chewables to keep them busy from the vets and the supermarket.
When Kingston begins chewing his bed, or the kitchen cabinets, I correct him with a firm "No! Leave it!" and lead him to his bowl full of toys. When he chooses an approved chewable toy, I praise him a lot "good boy, good Kingston!". So far, he has done almost no damage, and is so proud of himself when he trots off to his toy bowl and pounces on a new toy. It means I have a much more positive relationship with him, I'm not resentful of the damage he probably would have done by now. I hope this helps, with kind regards from
Johannesburg, South Africa.
Posted by: Anni wakerley | Saturday, March 13, 2010 at 10:16 AM
Dear Smokey ... & Co
In your own French Vocab list, I think you might add a few words and expressions from your daily life as a teenager (yes, I read you had already reached that stage... hence your behaviour etc etc!) So, here you are:
- “déchirer” = to tear to pieces
- “croquer” = to crunch, to bite into...
- “mordre“ = to bite (I'm sure you would never do that to human beings)
- “mordiller” = to chew (le sofa... le fauteuil) or, to nibble (rats and mice are v. good at doing that)
- "mâcher" = to masticate, to chew, to chew up
- “ronger” (un os) = to chew (a bone)
- “dévorer” = to devour
- “à belles dents” or “à pleines dents” (after the verb mordre or croquer)
= 'with relish'
Expression that applies to you, but to every human being too:
- “mordre / croquer / dévorer à belles dents” = manger avec grand appétit (with a big appetite)
I know Smokey, even if some of your teeth have been damaged, you can still bite “à belles dents”!
Of course, you can pass on the content of this post to whoever has a great interest in you - and in French words! Good idea.
Posted by: Newforest | Saturday, March 13, 2010 at 11:53 AM
Re: little berries on the photos / seeds / and photo you put in your very last post,
I sent you pictures of my Morning Glory seeds... Hmmm ... I am a bit puzzled by the fascinating mystery.
Whatever seeds you've got, if you soaked them, you've got to be ready to plant them straight away in very small pots full of 'planting compost' (3 to 5 per pot according to the pot)... or better in a plant tray if you've got one.
Posted by: Newforest | Saturday, March 13, 2010 at 12:01 PM
Thanks for your comments on "gilet a' coeur," Newforest! I like your imagery of the black-velvet waiscoats (no "t"?).
Posted by: Christine | Saturday, March 13, 2010 at 05:35 PM
Oh yes, Christine, you're right.
definitely a "t" after the "s" (waist)
Let me 're-stitch' all the letters together to make a proper --> black velvet WAISTCOAT!
By the way, if I had the title of that song, I could probably find the lyrics on the internet. As you can see, "les snobs en gilet à coeur" have sharpened my curiosity. I can hear and enjoy their "hourras frénétiques" but who are they welcoming? What is the song about?
and all started with... ?
a heart in a shutter!..
"un coeur dans un volet, or if you prefer:
"un volet à coeur."
Posted by: Newforest | Saturday, March 13, 2010 at 07:17 PM
Got it, Christine,,,
Ça y est!!!
It's "La Diva de l'Empire", isn't it?
As you said you've been working on that song, I assume you are....a soprano!!!
and yes, "les gilets à coeur" are certainly as you first guessed - worn by "les snobs" who are "les dandys de Piccadily"...
Posted by: Newforest | Saturday, March 13, 2010 at 08:57 PM
Good detective work, Newforest!
It is indeed "La Diva de l'Empire." The song was written by Satie in 1904 and describes the young star of an English music hall, hence the English words thrown in: baby, little girl, gentlemen, snobs, dandys, yes.
I did pick up a translation on the internet, but it was pretty bad. I usually do my own, anyway, because-- not a surprise!-- I love working with languages.
Here's the whole text:
Sous le grand chapeau Greenaway,
Mettant l’eclat d’un sourire,
D’un rire charmant et frais
De baby etonne qui soupire.
Little girl aux yeux veloutes,
C’est la Diva de “l’Empire”,
C’est la rein’don’t s’eprenn’nt les gentlemen
Et tous les dandys de Piccadilly.
Dans un seul yes elle mettant de douceur
Que tous les snobs en gilet a Coeur
L’accueillant de hourras frenetiques,
Sur la scene lancent des gerbes de fleurs,
Sans remarquer le rire narquois
De son joli minois.
Sous le grand chapeau Greenaway…
Elle danse presque automatiquement,
Et souleve, aoh! Tres pioudiquement,
Ses jolis dessous de fanfreluches;
De ses jambes montrant les fretillement.
C’est a la fois tres tres innocent et tres tres excitant.
Sous le grand chapeau Greenaway…
* * *
I'd be happy to share my translation, but maybe you'd like the fun of working it out yourself. (I can send it later.)
And unfortunately, I've had to leave out accents because I've yet to figure out an easy way to add them in!
Posted by: Christine | Sunday, March 14, 2010 at 12:19 AM
Journey from ->
"le volet à COEUR de Kristin, en Provence"
(photo outside her kitchen window)
"le gilet à COEUR de Christine, US..."
(1904 song: La Diva de “l'Empire”, music from Erick Satie)
Christine, Thanks for the confirmation of the title of the song and “un grand merci” for the lyrics.
1) About the French language, you might like to know a few things:
*** Dans un seul 'yes' elle mettant de douceur
Que tous les snobs .....
---> Dans un seul 'yes' elle met tant de douceur
Que tous les snobs .....
Here, you've got the French structure “tant de + noun + que”
= “so much . . . that ...”
If you read it this way, it makes sense -> she puts so much sweetness / gentleness in a single ”yes” that all the snobs........
If you have “mettant” (present participle of the verb “mettre”), it doesn't make sense.
*** Et soulève, aoh! Tres pioudiquement,
---> Et soulève, oh! très pudiquement,
*** De ses jambes montrant les fretillement
---> De ses jambes montrant le frétillement
2) to help you with the accents, I am going to send something to Kristin asking her to pass it on to you, and/or she might find a way (via FWAD) to help other readers too.
Posted by: Newforest | Sunday, March 14, 2010 at 03:32 PM
Thank you for your comments, Newforest!
The "mettant de" being corrected to "met tant de" makes perfect sense.
As for "pioudiquement," I put it down to a weird alternate spelling, but it's probably just a plain ol' typo, along with "aoh."
Your posts are so insightful and full of information. And any assistance with accents would be much appreciated!
Posted by: Christine | Sunday, March 14, 2010 at 09:29 PM
Aw, it sounds like le petit Smokey is teething up a storm! When my dog was a pup, she enjoyed the usual chew toys (rawhide, marrow bones) and any sticks she could sink her teeth into. She seemed to get relief from frozen banana chunks and homemade teething cloths: I ripped an old towel into strips, soaked the pieces and wrung them out to damp, then froze the "roll-ups" to make cloth-sicles. ^..^ Bonne chance!
Posted by: pamarama in Dover, NH | Monday, March 15, 2010 at 04:57 PM
Re: typing accentuated characters
---> something will soon be on its way to Kristin.
Have a lovely day!
Posted by: Newforest | Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 03:47 PM
Posted by: Christine | Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 04:06 PM
"Tire a quatre epingles": meme origine que
l'expression anglaise "Pin money", selon le Livre de Poche "La puce a l'oreille".(Anthologie des expressions populaires avec leur origine)
Look it up Kristin! and thanks for your lively and warm hearted stories.
Can I go and sample your wine next time I am in Provence ? Please tell me how to get there by car without getting lost...
Posted by: Odile Coppens | Saturday, March 20, 2010 at 01:15 AM
Yes, you are welcome to come and try our wines. Just send me an email and well arrange a time and a day:
Looking forward to meeting you!
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Saturday, March 20, 2010 at 07:21 AM
Thanks so much for posting about "La Diva de L'empire" I am working on that song and your comments were very helpful.
Posted by: Sara | Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 08:47 PM