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La Mercerie, une astuce beauté + Bonne lecture!

Blue bicycle handmade doily mercerie sewing shop
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TODAY'S WORD: la mercerie

        : haberdashery (items for sewing, couture) , notions store
        : dry goods store

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Click here to Listen to Jean-Marc pronounce the following sentence

La mercerie est l'ensemble des articles qui servent pour l’habillement et la parure : fil, aiguilles, boutons, rubans, etc. Par extension, la mercerie désigne le commerce de ces marchandises et la boutique qui les vend, étendant progressivement sa gamme aux armes, couteaux, métaux, bijoux, parures, pièces d'ameublement, cuirs, étoffes, etc.

Haberdashery is the set of items used for clothing and ornament: yarn, needles, buttons, ribbons, etc. By extension, haberdashery refers to the trade in these goods and the shop that sells them, progressively extending its range to weapons, knives, metals, jewelery, ornaments, furniture, leather, fabrics, etc.

Improve your spoken French with Pronounce it Perfectly in French or  Exercises in French Phonetics


"Bonne Lecture"

    by Kristi Espinasse

I wish that stories would be consumed like chansons--enjoyed more than once. While this may be true of the classics (name a story you've read several times), blog posts don't seem to have the same appeal. Hélas, after an essay is written, it disappears forever into the archives.

Until Mom finds it!
That is how the following histoire was resurrected (Mom hit the share button and voilà, my story had a second life on Facebook. Thanks, Mom!).

I hope you will read it, too--if only for the astuce beauté (a bizarre French anti-wrinkle treatment. No I would not try it--I love frogs too much) or the scene where my hairdresser removes her top. Bonne lecture!


Shopfront in st tropez mercerie
The second definition for mercerie is this: a kind of everything store (notice the balls, the tools inside the window, doormats for sale, etc...) picture of Chez Eugenie Bazar Mercerie taken in St. Tropez

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THE SERENITY PRAYER in French - read aloud by Jean-Marc

Increase your vocabulary with this list. More tools here.

une chanson = song
hélas = unfortunately, regrettably
l'histoire = story
l'astuce beauté = beauty tip
bonne lecture = happy reading!

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Mercerie porto portugal handknit bicycle
Share this post with somebody. It might brighten their day. Merci beaucoup!

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Bruce in NW Connectoicut

Hey, Kristi —

I'd expect you to become Frenchified after living there for so many years, but how is it that you've become Britified? Mercerie means haberdashery only in the British sense. In American English, a haberdashery sells men's clothing and accessories.

I'm off to read about your topless hairdresser.

Cynthia Lewis


As always, you have brightened my day and encouraged me with new words read by Jean-Marc. I send my appreciation along with best wishes!

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you, Bruce. I could not find a satisfactory definition today (and really wanted to translate it as *sewing shop*. Hope you enjoyed the other story ☺️

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you, as always, Cynthia. 


Good heavens, I've gone native! after nearly 30 years in England, I didn't twitch an eyelid at your use of 'haberdashery' - it made perfect sense.

Chris Allin

Dear Kristi,

Like any good book, your stories on FWAD are well worth reading more than once. Since I found you just five years ago, there are many more postings that I never read. Archives are meant to be explored, non? Sometimes I will go through and bring up a story from years ago. So much more about French culture, family life, hopes, aspirations and life lessons. You have truly given your readers a gift and I would offer to others...go back through the archives and enjoy what you have not yet opened!


Years ago, when I worked in a department store in the US, the department that carried the buttons, needles, thread, etc. was called the Notions Department.


I had my first job at 16 in the notions department of a fabric store in Evanston, Illinois. I worked two afternoons a week and all summer, for $1.25 per hour (in 1967), and at the end of the summer received a 5 cent an hour raise. We sold all the articles mentioned above, as well as sewing patterns (Simplicity, Butterick, and Vogue). I wish I could say I enjoyed it, but as my mom said, "If you don't have anything nice to say about it..."

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you, chère Chris! 💛🤣😘😘

Ana Maria

I grew up in pre-communism Cuba. My childhood was as Spanish as if I were living in Spain and as American as if I were in the US.

When I first visited France and saw the Mercerie, I said to my mother, "it's just like the 'Quincallas' we used to have in Cuba". Items for sale included not only sewing notions but also, small hardware items, pots and pans, inexpensive toys, and at least in my memory, the best candies, including French Chocolat Menier. Yum!

Kristin Espinasse

Wonderful. Thanks, Ana Maria.

Stacy - Sweet Life Farm

You, like your stories, are timeless and charming! I enjoy reading your essays again and again for the smiles and the sunshine you bring! I'm still giggling over the frog spit and seeing Jules in your garden has me pining for her to visit you again soon.

Kristin Espinasse

Aw. Thank you my dear friend! A big hug from here. 

Judi in Lake Balboa

I love these types of stores. They remind me of small town hardware stores and the old "Five and Dime" where you can always be surprised at what you find in the next aisle! Finding all the sewing notions is a special pleasure, but expecting just notions, and then finding cute salt and pepper shakers or a cute and handy gardening tool, is such a nice surprise! Fun!
P.S., I really enjoy rereading your stories, like a good book or movie! I just enjoyed the one of your mother in the garden, in that fabulous caftan! I hope she is well and can come to visit you soon! BTW, Today's story was too funny!!


Kristi, I remember that story from several years ago. I enjoyed it then as much as I enjoyed it today. Thank you for the (silent) morning laugh. :)

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