Zipper politics in France (!)
Not a cougar! A "wife hen"! + James Dean in France!

One good reason to learn French!

Field of mustard flowers in Sainte Cécile-les-Vignes (c) Kristin Espinasse
One thing I love about studying French is the opportunity to improve my English! Just this morning I learned of another set of words I've been confounding all along. 

Thank you, Charles, who responded to my post "Zipper Politics." Charles writes:

You mention journalists having a heyday, but the correct expression is "field day." You were confusing heyday with field day.

Merci encore, Charles! Considering no other readers pointed out the mix-up--except to say I misspelled "hayday" (heyday)--I wonder if anyone else could benefit from the following clarification:

A field day is the fun a person has at the expense of another's i-m-p-r-o-p-r-i-e-t-y. (Whew! Yet another new term! Keep teaching French and I might finally learn English!)

=>Field day in French is choux gras (literally "fat cabbage." One wonders if there's a correlation between this and "to chew the fat"? Anyway, here is an example sentence for you:

L'affaire Hollande-Gayet fait les choux gras de la presse étrangèreForeign press is having a heyday field day with the Hollande-Gayet scandale

Heyday, on the other hand, is the height of someone's success. (You'd think they'd call it a "gold" or "diamond" day--rather than a modest "hay" day. Wait, there I go again--confusing words! That's HEY and not HAY day. But what the hey? (Guess it must stand for Hey! Look at him!

=>Heyday in French = l'âge d'or, l'apogée de sa gloire. Here's another helpful example for you:

Même à l'apogée de sa gloire, l'acteur le mieux payé de son temps ne se reposait pas sur ses lauriers. Even in his heyday, the actor, who was the highest paid of his time, never rested on his laurels. (from the article Charlie Chaplin et ses nombreux rebondissements. "Charlie Chaplin and his numerous comebacks")

Maybe you're one of the lucky ones and you already knew the difference between heyday and field day. In that case, I hope you learned some French from today's English lesson. I sure did! :-)

2-mustard field
Plane trees: 200 years old. This French journal: 12 years old and growing!

Support This Site
Have you ever wondered how to help support this free language journal? For those of you who would enjoy making a donation, simply click here

I look forward to sharing more of France with you--via words, sound clips, photos, recipes and videos. Thank you for supporting these efforts. And thank you for reading this French journal. May you continue to enjoy it, share it, and support it.


P.S. Those photos of the mustard fields--both with yellow and white blossoms--were taken in 2008, near Sainte Cécile-les-Vignes. The last time I saw the old stone cabanon, pictured at the top of this post, someone had attached an entire home to it!--blending the buildings together seamlessly--and giving a new life to an abandoned and forgotten place. 

Thank you for considering a contribution today!
Ongoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and improving this free language journal, for the past 18 years. If you enjoy this website and would like to keep it going, please know your donation towards this effort makes all the difference! No matter the weather, on good days or bad, I am committed to sharing a sunny, vocabulary-packed update with you, one you can look forward to. I hope it fuels your dreams of coming to France while expanding your French vocabulary. A contribution by check or via PayPal (or credit card, links below) is greatly appreciated. Merci!