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94 Useful French Words (listen to them here)

Jackie Espinasse euro bonbons briancon france bonbons chocolats en vrac calisson nougat candy
This month's vocabulary roundup is a walk through a candy shop--pick and choose your favorite French words along the way! Relax and enjoy the sound file for a rainbow of French terms we learned this month. And if you enjoy this journal and find it helpful in any way, please take a moment to support it. Merci beaucoup!

 

CLICK HERE to listen to Jean-Marc pronounce the words as you scroll down the following list :

1. Facing Bankruptcy - Face à la faillite

un commerçant = store keeper
toiletteur pour chien = dog groomer
une tondeuse à cheveux = hair clipper, hair cutter, trimmer
calme-toi = calm down
un urinoir = urinal
Il faut simplement fermer les yeux! = Just close your eyes!
un teckel à poil dur = a wire-haired dachshund
la maîtresse = mistress
une blague = joke
c'est un poisson d'avril = it's an April Fools' joke
on est le premier avril = it's April Fools' Day
chez le coiffeur = at the hairdresser's

Coffee tables mirrors iron wood france
Handmade in France - visit my sister-in-law's website Courbes et Diagonales.com


2. Ma Belle Soeur - My Sister-in-Law

le fer = iron
la belle-soeur = sister-in-law
un paravent = a screen
un amour = a love
tout court = period, plain, simply


3. Dents de Sagesse & Un Gros Mot - Wisdom Teeth & A Swear Word

une mère indigne = unfit mother
la dent = tooth
la sagesse = wisdom
les dents de sagesse = wisdom teeth
le doudou = security blanket or favorite stuffed animal
la robe de chambre = robe
les petits pois = peas
la marguerite = daisy
une boisson = drink
l'oreiller (m) = pillow
le creux = hollow
le congélo = freezer
bon rétablissement! = get well soon!, hope you feel better right away!


Blue bicycle handmade doily mercerie sewing shop

4. La Mercerie & Bonne Lecture - The Notions Store & Happy Reading

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

5. Submit a Word. Let's Write a Story

remuer les choses = to stir things up
on y va! = let's go!
la plume = feather
l'hippopotame (m) = hippopotamus
une caresse = caress
(plus a list of 125 of your French words)

1-coucher du soleil
6. Our Fictional Story! (Part I)

(As most of the French words were featured in the story, here is vocabulary from the day's quote, by Gustave Flaubert)

vouloir = to wish
l'humanité = mankind
toiser = to look at scornfully, to look up and down, to measure
l'orgueil = pride
le néant = nothingness
l'oeuvre (f) = works (art)

Boulangerie
7. Frappadingue: Part II of our story

There were 130 French words scattered through our story. Here's a selection of them:

la déchetterie = dump, recycling center
le caoutchouc = rubber
barjo  = nuts, crazy
chatoyer = sparkle, shimmer
la guimauve = marshmallow
englouti = swallowed, devoured

8. Boulot - Guess who found a job in Bandol?

un petit boulot de vacances = seasonal or summer job
CV (le curriculum vitae) = resume
trop cher = too expensive
gratuitement = for free
un petit-ami = boyfriend
le cadet/la cadette = youngest, youngest child
dans les nuages = (head) in the clouds
le faux nom = alias
rêvasser = daydream
le lundi de Pâques = Easter Monday

Asperge fraise de pays asperagus local strawberries
9. Stationner + We surprise our daughter at her new job

le pépin = glitch, hitch, snag
le boulot = job
la corniche = coastal road
stationner = to park
un débardeur = tank top, camisole, slip top
les couverts = cutlery
un pourboire = tip, gratuity
le tartare de bar = raw sea bass fish
la daurade = sea bream fish
Papa = Dad
maître d = maître d'hotel = head waiter, top professional


10. A French Grandmother's Advice for a Happy Marriage

une tournée = a sales round (sales prospecting)
le marché = market 
une pulsion =an impulse
un conseil = a piece of advice
ne boude pas! = don't sulk!
C’est terrible—insupportable!—une femme ou un mari qui boude!
It's awful—intolerable—when a wife or a husband sulks!
la grand-mère = grandmother
la mamie = grandma 

la guerre = war
porte-à-porte = door-to-door
une cuillère = spoon
méprisant(e) = contemptuous, scornful
un petit salon de dame = a woman's sitting room
faire la tête = to sulk, to give somebody the silent treatment
le plat du jour = the day's special (in a restaurant)
un kilo = a kilo, or 2.2 pounds
une cave = cellar
un jambon-beurre = a ham sandwich with butter
un pan-bagnat = a sandwich made with tuna and olives (specialty from Nice)
une autoroute = motorway, highway
le café au lait = coffee with milk

ALL THE WORDS LEARNED THIS YEAR - Check them out:

 
 

To live well love well (c) Kristin Espinasse French Word-A-Day
The painted sign reads: "To live well, love well, and let the others say what they will!" Pour bien vivre, bien aimer, et laisser dire. (Picture taken during a family vacation.)

   Reorder your favorite French products:

    EMBRYOLISSE concentrated lait cream - customer reviews here.
    BIODERMA Makeup remover - see the reviews here
    AVENE thermal spring water - check out the reviews here
    KLORANE  dry shampoo - all hair types, adds volume - read the reviews here
    La ROCHE-POSAY Anthelios sunscreen - see the reviews reviews here

Muguet lily of the valley france fête du muguet may 1st offer flowers
Thank you for reading. Have a wonderful weekend! And don't forget...Monday is La Fête du Muguet....

Thank you for the time you've spent reading my column. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me to continue writing and publishing these educational missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi
 
♥ Send $10    
♥ Send $25    
♥♥ Send the amount of your choice


"I’ve really enjoyed reading your stories over the years & hope you will continue to delight us with your beautiful photos and thoughtful & charming antidotes of life in the beautiful south of France."
--Jacqueline

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Faire la tête + A French grandmother's advice for a happy marriage

Jean-Marc and Kristi's wedding at the cathedrale in Marseilles France

If you have followed this blog a while, you've seen this photo a million times. Jean-Marc and I were both scared to death about an imminent "for life" decision! Soon after this picture was taken, we got some very good marriage advice from Jean-Marc's grandmother. Twenty-three years later, it is still one of the best tips for a healthy relationship I've come across -- even if we occasionally break the rule! (Mais bien sûr!)


TODAY'S WORD: faire la tête

        : sulk, pout, be in a huff, look cross


AUDIO FILE & EXAMPLE SENTENCE


Click right here to listen to the sound file, recorded by Jean-Marc


Faire la tête, ça veut dire "bouder", c'est à dire montrer du mécontentement tout en restant silencieux, passif. -sensagent
To sulk, means to "bouder", or to express annoyance while remaining silent, passive.

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


A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE

    by Kristi Espinasse
 

I notice my husband is shaving this morning, something he rarely does anymore, now that he’s working from home as a wine sales rep.

"Where are you going?" I ask.

"En tournée."

Prospecting? Where? I wonder.

"In Saint-Raphaël."

Saint-Raphaël? My mind fills with visions of the foamy sea, sandy beaches, sidewalk cafés and brasseries, the boardwalk, the boutiques, the marché, and the glamorous Belle Époque architecture.... Suddenly a pulsion comes over me. The pulsion to pout.

"I didn't know you were going out today...." I grumble.
  
"Well, do you want to come with me?" Jean-Marc offers.

"You know I can't come with you. I have work to do!” With a huff and a puff I leave the room.

***

In 1994 the only conseil Jean-Marc's ailing grandmother gave me before I married her grandson was this: "ne boude pas." Don’t boude when love gets tough! “C’est terrible—insupportable!—une femme ou un mari qui boude!

I hurried to look up the word bouder just as soon as I returned from Grand-mère’s modest apartment in Lyon to Jean-Marc’s studio in Marseilles. I was hesitant to ask my husband-to-be what the word meant. What was it that was so terrible, so insufferable… something a husband or wife should never ever do? And why had Jean-Marc’s grandmother selected this bit of counsel above the rest?

"Germaine," as Jean-Marc’s mamie was called, was a stern woman who saw the collapse of a family fortune. In Morocco, after the war, she peddled house linens from her Estafette (a converted military supply vehicle) as there were six mouths to feed. When her husband, a prisoner of war, returned from la guerre, Germaine continued to "wear the pants," selling her linens porte-à-porte, while her husband went seaside to cast out horrific battle images along with his fishing line.

My first encounter with Germaine had me watching the once-authoritarian-now-frail woman eat the eyes right out of the fish on her plate! No sooner had I recovered from the fact that the French serve their seafood with its heads and tails intact, than I witnessed this unforgettable eye-popping scene!

Apart from Germaine’s advice not to sulk, she taught me where all those forks, knives, and cuillères belong on the French table, at once thoughtful about her bourgeois upbringing, and méprisante of it.

***

The French word bouder, it turns out, means “to pout”. From bouder comes the noun boudoir, which originally meant "a place in which to sulk". Though the dictionary says that a boudoir is "un petit salon de dame," it is really nothing more fancy or exciting than a pouting room.

I return to my sulking place, and continue to work and to sniff. Je boude, je boude!

"We'll leave in 10 minutes?" my husband suggests, popping his head in from the hall.

"I didn't say I was going with you!" I snap.

"Well, if you change your mind, I am leaving in 10 minutes."

I continue to faire la tête, or "be in the sulks," while my husband prepares for his surely glamorous tournée along the French Riviera. At my desk, I peck at the faded keyboard, staring into the dismal screen. I can’t concentrate on writing a story when I’m so busy obsessing about my husband’s freedom:

"Monsieur Espinasse goes to the sunny Riviera," I grumble. "Monsieur Espinasse would like the plat du jour. Would Monsieur fancy a glass of champagne with his foie gras?"

Despite my ridiculous imaginings and the cynical commentary that accompanies them, I know that reality is quite different. My husband’s door-to-door sales day will be spent lugging 18-kilo boxes of wine from one cave to another, navigating medieval roads, trying to find parking in a small French village full of one-way streets!

The glamorous day will continue as he stops for lunch at a grimy roadside gas station where he’ll pick up one of those preservative-rich sandwiches: un jambon beurre or un pan-bagnat. He’ll wash that down with a cup of bitter coffee before rushing to the next appointment. Finally he will weave in and out of traffic on the autoroute, struggling to get back to our village in time to pick up our son from basketball at the end of the day.

Meantime I will be working freely at my computer, trying to write the next great American story (or so my imagination would like to think!). To my left, there’ll be a café au lait, before me, the adventure of my choice, if I will but find the words to transport me there. Will I ever find the words? Oh, to be transported!


"Do you know what the word boudoir means?" I am out of breath, catching up to my husband, who is loading cases of wine into the trunk.

"Comment?" What's that? he asks.

"Boudoir. It's French," I reply.

"No. I don't know that word. What does it mean?" Jean-Marc asks, opening the car door for me.

“A sulking place,” I laugh. “It’s a place to bouder, or to be in the sulks.”

"Are you in the sulks?" Jean-Marc teases.

“Oh no, not me!” I glance out of the car window, to the heavens above. I hoped Germaine was watching. God rest her courageous, peddler’s soul.

I look over to the other peddler, seated beside me. Germaine would be proud of her grandson, who has, in his own way, followed in her steps.


***
This story is from 2006, and is included in the book First French Essais' Venturing into Writing, Marriage, and France.


French Vocabulary


une tournée
a sales round (sales prospecting) 

le marché
market 

une pulsion
an impulse

un conseil
a piece of advice

ne boude pas!
don't sulk!

C’est terrible—insupportable!—une femme ou un mari qui boude!
It's awful—intolerable—when a wife or a husband sulks!

la grand-mère
grandmother

la mamie
grandma 

la guerre
war

porte-à-porte
door-to-door 

une cuillère
spoon

méprisant(e)
contemptuous, scornful

un petit salon de dame
a woman's sitting room

faire la tête
to sulk, to give somebody the silent treatment

le plat du jour
the day's special (in a restaurant)

un kilo
a kilo, or 2.2 pounds

une cave = cellar

un jambon-beurre
a ham sandwich with butter

un pan-bagnat
a sandwich made with tuna and olives (specialty from Nice)

une autoroute
motorway, highway

le café au lait
coffee with milk

First-French-Essais-book-cover

 

First French Essais is available here in paperback or via Kindle

Thank you for the time you've spent reading my column. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me to continue writing and publishing these educational missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi
 
♥ Send $10    
♥ Send $25    
♥♥ Send the amount of your choice


"I’ve really enjoyed reading your stories over the years & hope you will continue to delight us with your beautiful photos and thoughtful & charming antidotes of life in the beautiful south of France."
--Jacqueline

NEWSLETTER SIGN-UP: Has a friend forwarded you this post? Sign-up to receive your own free subscription to French Word-A-Day. Click here


Stationner + we surprise our daughter at her new job

Parking in Bandol
Stationner was word of the day on November 11th, 2005. You can listen to a then 8-year-old Jackie in the soundfile for that post. Jackie is now 19 and finishing up her academic year in Aix-en-Provence, where we found her a studette in le centre ville. She returned for Easter break, to have her dents de sagesse removed and to begin her summer job in Bandol.


TODAY'S WORD: Stationner

        : to park
        : to stay, to remain

le stationnement = parking
trouver une place de stationnement = to find a parking place

Try Mastering French Vocabulary with Audio MP3


EXAMPLE SENTENCE &  AUDIO FILE
 

Hear Jean-Marc pronounce the example sentence, in the imperfect tense :

Click HERE for the sound file

Stationner. Je voulais rendre visite à ma fille au travail mais avant cela il fallait que je stationne la voiture.
To park. I wanted to visit my daughter at work but before that I needed to park the car.

Improve your spoken French with Easy French Step-by-Step
(Kindle users, try Amazon Kindle Unlimited - unlimited reading, any device)

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE

    by Kristi Espinasse

Jean-Marc and I ran into a little pépin in our plan to surprise our daughter at her new boulot.... Cruising down la corniche, our eyes scanned the area for a parking place--anywhere pour stationner.

Not wanting to be late for our 1:45 reservation, Jean-Marc offered to drop me off near Le Jérome restaurant. I appreciated his gesture, but was sorry he wouldn't be there for the surprise, which was his idea in the first place.

I stopped short of the restaurant to observe our daughter in action. I did not like the way she had to cross the two-way road, each time she went to and from the restaurant (many restaurants along the sea are set up this way, with the servers having to take the risk of being hit by car throughout their service).

There were a few other things I didn't like either. For one, the top she was wearing. She needs to cover up! I thought, inching my way toward her, noticing other employees who were also wearing débardeurs (something between a camisole and a tank top). Well, it could be worse, she could be working at Hooters. Which reminds me why we are in France (however ironic that sounds--given my husband probably just found parking beside a beach full of topless women).

Among other things, we are in France for the culture, including the culture of food. I was excited to see what was on the menu...and just how our daughter would handle the demands of a French clientele who would not necessarily leave un pourboire (in most restaurants, a service charge is already included in the bill. Waiters and waitresses are therefore not motivated by tips, but do appreciate them).

Jackie first caught sight of me when she was two steps into crossing the busy road, the platter in her hand now tottering. She paused and her face grew wide with a smile. I hurried up and hooked her out of the road. "Jackie! pay attention to all the cars."

"Mom! You came to see me!"

"Your dad wanted it to be a surprise. He's parking the car now...."

Soon Jean-Marc and I were settled in on the terrace, where my daughter's every move became a new source of concern, if only to me. The tray she held tottered with glasses of rosé, and when she set the tray down to store it after each use, it stuck out in the busy walkway. A waitress with a full  platter would surely trip over it!

...And the table beside us, did she set the forks and knives straight enough? I fought the urge to go over and line up les couverts until I recognized my own anxieties. With that, I made myself sit back, relax, and watch my daughter practice the art of serving in a French restaurant...

Jean-Marc ordered le tartar de bar and I had a grilled daurade. Our daughter continued to fuss over us (would Papa like another glass of wine? Did I need ketchup for my fries? Was I getting too much sun? (for this she insisted on moving us to a formerly reserved table in the shade), all the while keeping her attention on the other diners. I noticed, in particular, how very sweet she was as she worked, how calm, assured and not-at-all stressed she appeared. She was not to be compared to me, to anyone in her family, or to an American or French waiter. She was her own person.

And while she may have only been a busgirl--what these days they call un runner-- it was clear (at least to me) she was Maître D.

 


FRENCH VOCABULARY
Increase your vocabulary with useful terms from our story

le pépin = glitch, hitch, snag
le boulot = job
la corniche = coastal road
stationner = to park
un débardeur = tank top, camisole, slip top
les couverts = cutlery
un pourboire = tip, gratuity
le tartare de bar = raw sea bass fish
la daurade = sea bream fish
Papa = Dad
maître d = maître d'hotel = head waiter, top professional


Fishing boats in bandol

Stories you may have missed...

1. A cool word for "vague desire, impulse, whim" and a story about setting goals

 



FRENCH GOURMET ITEMS - including herbs, mustard, coffee, tisane, chocolate, cakes

THE FRENCH LOVE THESE BEACH TOWELS - quick drying, good-looking


PARIS PEACE T-SHIRT - "so many people have stopped to ask me where I got it" -Betty.

 

 

Thank you for the time you've spent reading my column. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me to continue writing and publishing these educational missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi
 
♥ Send $10    
♥ Send $25    
♥♥ Send the amount of your choice


"I’ve really enjoyed reading your stories over the years & hope you will continue to delight us with your beautiful photos and thoughtful & charming antidotes of life in the beautiful south of France."
--Jacqueline

NEWSLETTER SIGN-UP: Has a friend forwarded you this post? Sign-up to receive your own free subscription to French Word-A-Day. Click here


Boulot: Guess who found a job in Bandol?

classic wooden fishing boat pointu in the port of Bandol France Provence Cotes d'Azur
The port of Bandol where our story takes place, among the old wooden fishing boats, or "les pointus"....


TODAY'S WORD: boulot

        1.  job, work
        2.  chubby, plump

metro, boulot, dodo = the daily grind, all work and no play


EXAMPLE SENTENCE:

Hear Jean-Marc read the following sentence in French


Notre fille, Jackie, a trouvé un boulot en tant que "runner." Le runneur est un serveur qui est en phase d'apprentissage il se tient en retrait du service, observe, apprend et exécute des tâches simples de soutien au service. Il va par exemple dresser et débarasser les tables, faire les aller retour entre la cuisine et la salle, ou encore nettoyer les sols entre chaque service. (definition from Seasonpros.com)

Our daughter, Jackie, found a job as runner. The runner is a waiter who is in the learning phase, he stands in the wings of service, observes, learns and performs simple tasks that help the service. He will, for example, set and clear tables, go back and forth between the kitchen and the dining room, or clean the floors between each service.


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



A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE

    by Kristi Espinasse

Students in France begin looking for summer jobs as early as March - and our daughter was no exception. So when April came around and she still hadn't secured a petit boulot de vacances, she pounded the pavement--handing out CVs up and down the coast between Bandol and Les Lecques. (If she could not pursue the job selling ice cream at the port of Cassis, it was because parking would be trop cher!)

Our 19-year-old was so relieved when she got the call from a restaurant in Bandol that she offered to work gratuitement.

"Jackie!" her father and I protested.

"I only offered to work for free the first day. I have no restaurant experience and I need to learn!" And with that, she cleared the table where we were eating lunch, out on our front porch. She was clearly motivated and had gone as far as to get training tips from her petit ami, who works tables in Sanary-sur-Mer. "Jeremy taught me to stack the plates like this..." Jackie said, balancing a tottering tray....

I was unsure about our cadette working in such a fast-paced environment. Jackie is very much like me--dans les nuages. I work at my own pace, do not like to be rushed, and tend to fade off, or rêvasser. Having said that, it is unfair to cast a blanket statement over one's child! Maybe she really isn't like me in that way at all?

Well, we would soon see for ourselves! On Monday, le Lundi de Pâques, Jean-Marc made a reservation at Le Jérome restaurant for Monsieur et Madame Blanc --a faux nom as our visit would be a surprise....


(Don't miss Part II of this story. Click here)



Le Jerome restaurant at the port in Bandol France

FRENCH VOCABULARY
Increase your vocabulary with this list of useful words

un petit boulot de vacances = seasonal or summer job
CV (le curriculum vitae) = resume
trop cher = too expensive
gratuitement = for free
un petit-ami = boyfriend
le cadet/la cadette = youngest, youngest child
dans les nuages = (head) in the clouds
le faux nom = alias
rêvasser = daydream
le lundi de Pâques = Easter Monday

A peek at vocabulary from part two of our story
comme un marseillais = Like a native from Marseilles (bending the rules, not heeding the laws)

Flowers at the port of Bandol France
If you enjoy this free language journal and find it helpful in any way, help keep it going with a small donation. Merci beaucoup!

Thank you for the time you've spent reading my column. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me to continue writing and publishing these educational missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi
 
♥ Send $10    
♥ Send $25    
♥♥ Send the amount of your choice


"I’ve really enjoyed reading your stories over the years & hope you will continue to delight us with your beautiful photos and thoughtful & charming antidotes of life in the beautiful south of France."
--Jacqueline

NEWSLETTER SIGN-UP: Has a friend forwarded you this post? Sign-up to receive your own free subscription to French Word-A-Day. Click here


Frappadingue - and our French-infused story

Socks and clothesline in les arcs-sur-argens
If today's story is frappadingue, be reassured that all returns to normal in the next post. And if this photo has nothing to do with the story--and the example sentence is a bit strange--I have no excuses, frappadingue or otherwise!

 
TODAY'S WORD: frappadingue

    : crazy, wackadoo, wackadoodle, barking mad
    : moody

(Frappadingue comes from "frappé" and "dingue"--each meaning "crazy")

Didier est un vrai frappadingue de danse. Une passion dévorante, à tel point que l’agriculteur a demandé à ses prétendantes de faire quelques pas pour prouver qu’elles savaient bouger leur popotin, lors du speed dating. (from 20minutes.fr, L'Amour est dans le pré)

LISTEN HERE to the French sentence above


Didier is crazy about dancing. It's an all-consuming passion to the point that the farmer asked his wooers to do a few steps to prove they knew how to move their tushes, during speed dating.


A NOTE ABOUT THE FOLLOWING TEXT

Today's French word story was written using all the terms that readers sent in to this box. The paragraphs were composed according to the order in which the words were submitted. Thank you very much for your French word contributions, and for the chance to use them to write some fiction! Here now, is our final story....

"LOVE IS THE ROAD TO ETERNITY"


This is the story of Plume, a two-ton hippopotame who was starved of life's most basic need, touch (la caresse). Neighbors pointed the finger of blame at Plume's only surviving parent, Olivia who, they say, spent her days watching Les Parapluies de Cherbourg.

Plume and Olivia lived in Toiser, named after the judgemental inhabitants who have the habit of looking outsiders up and down. When the Toisers caught hold of the mother hippos movie addiction, they deemed it choquant and sent in a social worker who hauled Olivia away. They did not bother to send an Interchangeable (the government's term for "surrogate mama hippo"). Therefore Plume, alone and désabusé,  clung to her only companion, a doudou (a little stuffed Hippo) named Ronronner whose snoring helped drown out, and so adoucir, Plume's fears. Olivia taught Plume that all fear came from the Loup-Garou. "Pay no attention to it!"Olivia cautioned her daughter. Focus on La Douceur--the force of softness, gentleness, and kindness

The Hippos of Toiser knew not this Love. They grabbed for échantillions of it at the quincaillerie, only to discard Love at the déchetterie (called DODU as it was plump with the city's rejects). Olivia and her daughter, the Toisers suspected, had an endless source of this foreign substance which, they guessed, came from Eolienne Field--so the mayor had all 7000 wind turbines destroyed, going as far as to have a notaire to draw up a legal contract forbidding windmills anywhere in Toiser and, by extension, the Agape (The Universe).

"C'est époustouflant!" Olivia told Plume (mother and daughter kept in touch via DORLOTER, a service similar to SMS--more than text, loved ones could emit cuddles--miettes that sustained Plume, who had never been starved of affection (as the Toisers insinuated) and who, thanks to Mama Hippo Olivia, knew the true meaning of Agape: more than the "The Universe," Agape was Love incarnate...)

"Love is sweet as ananas," Olivia murmured via DORLOTER to Plume and her little stuffed hippo, Ronronner, as they drifted off to sleep each night...

L'amour voyage

Love has no griffes, no claws
Love is l'intuition
Love is not malheureuse
Love knows not violence
Love looks over us, il nous surplombe
Love warms us like a good pair of pantoufles
Love refreshes us, like pamplemousses

Love is there when the sky darkens, au crépuscule
It's in a kinésintherapeute's hands, as he works
It appears in the strangest places, inattendu
It is as nourishing as a truckload of cacahuoètes
It is the source of la paix

Le truc, the thing about Love is:

You can't shut it up (tu ne peux pas fermez sa bouche!)
It won't crash or collapse (ça ne dégringole pas!)
It's truly a gift, un cadeau
Its longing--son envie--is for all to know Love

Love has no prickly points comme un chardon
It is one's true Petit Bijou
Love is une journée à la plage
C'est le sable qui effleure la peau pendant qu'on lézarde

Sand skimming over the skin while we bask in the sun

Hungry for love, some chase skirts (les coureurs de jupon...)
Others overeat--one hundred aubergines!
There are those who only ever flirter, or court love
Still others who are rendered crazy, folle in love's absense

But for those who want so much as to apercevoir Love
Who endeavor to see it from a panoramique viewpoint (un belvédère)
For a bird's eye view with les oiseaux, putting all bonne chance on their side...

They need only remove the thin tulle covering their vision
Quiet the lost monkeys--les ouistitis perdus--in their brains
Take a shovel to their hardened heart and let Love begin its enracinement....

"Jadis... Long ago..." Olivia whispered to Plume (for Ronronner, the littlest (stuffed) Hippo, had fallen asleep and was snoring softly), "when I met your father, mon coeur battait...." The Toisers accused me of mortal sin, l'Extase, said I was nothing but une coquine, and that I would be thrown into Le Machin-Chose where I would suffer until I reached le troisième age. That is how I ended up here, without electricity or l'eau courante. My cellmate, a jovial flâneuse, was arrested for growing roses called Cuisse de nymphe emue which she tossed into her yaourtière to make "Serrée" (a dessert that doubles as a thigh-thinner). 

"Tombeaux! Tombeaux!" Ronronner shouted. Plume's little stuffed hippo was having a nightmare--evoqué by DORLOTER which sent out "mind slaps" (instead of cuddles) when it sensed non-conformist conversation. 

"Mon Petit Chou," whispered Plume, "Mon petit ver de terre...hush..."

When Roni fell back to sleep, Olivia continued her story of life in prison: Le Robot patrols at night, when the corridors are lit by l'Etoile du Soir--the same star that's become, for Flâneuse and me, a great comforter, notre paraclet. And I am hopeful, once again, that I'll return home with you and Ronronner, to enjoy Les Parapluies de Cherbourg. Every time I see it, it reminds me of how I met your father, in the cinema's vestiaire! Your father can't remember the cloakroom, he says he was blinded by mes jambes! He called one Mouton and the other Bonbon! And I called him"L'Ecureuil...."


PART II: L'IMPREVISIBLE (THE UNFORESEEABLE)

Roni was tossing and turning again, mumbling nonsense in his sleep."Il pleut, il pleut! Châpeau! Le chat voit tout, et ne communique pas c'est qu'il pense! LES BUTINS ARRIVENT. FAUT EPAISSIR LA POTION!"

Plume and Olivia identified Roni's first two groggy sentences as government-issued mind slaps. But the rest was an unmistakable message from from Shalimar--The Sacrificial Vessel. Her warning: The Butins (flying hippos) had been deployed, sent to inject. This is how Olivia's love, the father of Plume, disappeared--following an injection! And now the Butins were heading for Olivia....

Shalimar sent out her gatherers, delicate winged creatures called Les Savoir-Faires. They would use their claws to gather the antidote to these injections. The ingredients could be found back at the DECHETERRIE. "Regarding all those échantillons the Toisers has tossed onto the trash heap," Shalimar explained, "Love can never be thrown away!"

Meantime, The Savoir-Faires were circling over DODU, the dump, scouting out the precious échantillons. Each had a name and each was a vital ingredient in Shalimar's powerful essence....

Pamplemoussier! One of the Savoir-Faire's cried as it honed in and plucked up the first échantillon. The reclaiming continued... Caoutchouc! cried another of the Savoir-Faire's, rooting it up beside some broken glass. And the gathering continued...Terroir! Les Indices! Chouette!

This potion--this antidote--was none other than Love in all its components, the mysterieux names of which the Savoir-Faires cried out upon retrieval of each tossed, forgotten échantillon:

...brouillard! charm! polyvalente! substance! ruisseau! parapluie! insupportable! escabeau! submergé! barjo! tempête! nuages! le foin! mistral! arrête! brouillard! chatoyer! insolite!

As the winged creatures picked up the echantillons, Plume questioned the names--some of which seemed far from love!

"All these ingredients , the good with the bad, are incontournable--essential," Shalimar reassured, gently. "None are superflu, mon petit chou!" We're almost there! guimauves! féerique! douillet! vasistas! autrefois! pamplemousse! fauteuil!

Plume, Olivia, and Roni's eyes were wide watching the winged creatures fly over Shalimar, dropping into her mouth the échantillons which were englouti, gobbled up by The Sacred Vessel.

Ronronner giggled, "She's like a giant poubelle!"

"Roni!" Plume scolded.

"It's okay!" Olivia said. "Love is not easily offended!"


It was dusk, la crépuscule, when Shalimar was filled with the life-giving essence. Our dear Sacrificial Vessel was so full elle a zigzagué as she advanced down the path of Redemption, which was blood red for the color of the coquelicots that carpeted the way.

Dépassée by the time she reached L'Ecureuil, she could not hear his shout for joy: SAPERLIPOPETTE!!! FRAPPADINGUE!!!

Squirrel's enthousiasme ended when he caught sight of the sky. Tens of thousands of BUTINS were honing in on Shalimar! Their injections now dropping like darts over The Sacred Vessel!

As the darts struck her, Shalimar slowed, collapsing in the road of coquelicots. L'Ecureuil ran toward her and knelt beside her. 

Love flowed out through every hole in Shalimar's vessel, as tears flowed from L'Ecureuil's eyes. "Love is nourriture, the Bread of Life," she whispered.

"Shalimar! Stay! How will I make it back to Olivia and Plume?"

"Listen closely," Shalimar said, her last breaths touching him like a caresse. "Yours is the story I am interested in. You are half way home."

"But...." L'Ecureuil looked down at Shalimar, his hands drenched in the essence which was now gone from her. He was astonished as the drops began to dry...and a magnificent plume appeared.

"Take it! The ink pouring through it is Love," Shalimar revealed. "Write your story with it and you will make it safely Home."

As L'Ecureuil walked on along the path of red poppies, the feather in his hand multiplied, as is Love's nature, carrying the great hippo up and over the land toward home. And what a view from below, where all could see and read the story of Love written across the sky. All but the Toisers, who were conquered by it.

 

THE END
This story is devoted to Mama Jules, who to this day wears Shalimar and still sports a plume in her hat.


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  SABLET HOME- for high quality vacation rentals in the heart of Provence. Click here for photos and more details.






FRENCH GOURMET ITEMS - including herbs, mustard, coffee, tisane, chocolate, cakes

FRENCH KNIT SHOPPING BAG - made in France!

THE FRENCH LOVE THESE BEACH TOWELS - quick drying, good-looking, easy to pack!


TABLECLOTH, Provence-themed linens for the house.

KITCHEN TOWELS by Garnier-Thiebaut.

Lavender and vine tour provence france photography markets wine tastings

Experience Provence on a Lavender & Vine small group tour. Discover secret lavender fields, markets, Roman sites, private wine-tastings. Relax in a village home. Click here.

Thank you for the time you've spent reading my column. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me to continue writing and publishing these educational missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi
 
♥ Send $10    
♥ Send $25    
♥♥ Send the amount of your choice


"I’ve really enjoyed reading your stories over the years & hope you will continue to delight us with your beautiful photos and thoughtful & charming antidotes of life in the beautiful south of France."
--Jacqueline

NEWSLETTER SIGN-UP: Has a friend forwarded you this post? Sign-up to receive your own free subscription to French Word-A-Day. Click here


TOISER + Our Fictional Story using (so far three-quarters of) your French words!

Toiser

By the artist Cham (Count Amédée-Charles-Henry de Noé) (France, Paris, 1819-1879) — Image credit Lacma; artwork in the public domain

Good news: Our Mas des Brun rosé has made it to Los Angeles just before Easter! You can find it at Larchmont Village Wine, 223 N. Larchmont Blvd. Phone: 323 856 8699 -- Call to make sure they have some in stock before going, and please say "Hi" to Simon from me (Jean-Marc). He has always supported my wines. Thanks for your support as well.


TODAY'S WORD : TOISER

    : to measure
    : to look at scornfully, to look somebody up and down

AUDIO FILE: click here to listen to the following sentence in French


La rage de vouloir conclure est une des manies les plus funestes et les plus stériles qui appartiennent à l'humanité. Chaque religion et chaque philosophie a prétendu avoir Dieu à elle, toiser l'infini et connaître la recette du bonheur. Quel orgueil et quel néant ! Je vois, au contraire, que les plus grands génies et les plus grandes œuvres n'ont jamais conclu. --Gustave Flaubert

The fury of wishing to conclude is one of the most disastrous and sterile manias that belong to mankind. Every religion and every philosophy has claimed to have God to itself, to measure the infinite and to know the recipe for happiness. What pride and what naught! I see, on the contrary, that the greatest geniuses and the greatest works have never concluded.

Umbrellas of Cherbourg
The Washington Post calls it "A glorious romantic confection unlike any other in movie history." See The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, click here



A NOTE ABOUT THE FOLLOWING STORY

The account you are about to read was written with the French words readers submitted here. The words appear in the exact order in which they were submitted in this comments box--leading the story forward along an unpredictable path! This unique collaboration (thank you very much for the words you sent in) was also the chance to practice fiction-writing (something I've tried before -- at the Paris Catacombs or at the Barber Shop or in a parallel universe).

Amicalement,
Kristi


OUR STORY THAT NEEDS A NAME
(Please submit one in the comments box after you've read part one. Enjoy!)


This is the story of Plume, a two-ton hippopotame who was starved of life's most basic need, touch (la caresse). Neighbors pointed the finger of blame at Plume's only surviving parent, Olivia who, they say, spent her days watching Les Parapluies de Cherbourg.

Plume and Olivia lived in Toiser, named after the judgemental inhabitants who have the habit of looking outsiders up and down. When the Toisers caught hold of the mother hippos movie addiction, they deemed it choquant and sent in a social worker who hauled Olivia away. They did not bother to send an Interchangeable (the government's term for "surrogate mama hippo"). Therefore Plume, alone and désabusé,  clung to her only companion, a doudou (a little stuffed Hippo) named Ronronner whose snoring helped drown out, and so adoucir, Plume's fears. Olivia taught Plume that all fear came from the Loup-Garou. "Pay no attention to it!"Olivia cautioned her daughter. Focus on La Douceur--the force of softness, gentleness, and kindness. 

The Hippos of Toiser knew not this Love. They grabbed for échantillions of it at the quincaillerie, only to discard Love at the déchetterie (called DODU as it was plump with the city's rejects). Olivia and her daughter, the Toisers suspected, had an endless source of this foreign substance which, they guessed, came from Eolienne Field--so the mayor had all 7000 wind turbines destroyed, going as far as to have a notaire to draw up a legal contract forbidding windmills anywhere in Toiser and, by extension, the Agape (The Universe).

"C'est époustouflant!" Olivia told Plume (mother and daughter kept in touch via DORLOTER, a service similar to SMS--more than text, loved ones could emit cuddles--miettes that sustained Plume, who had never been starved of affection (as the Toisers insinuated) and who, thanks to Mama Hippo Olivia, knew the true meaning of Agape: more than the "The Universe," Agape was Love incarnate...)

"Love is sweet as ananas," Olivia murmured via DORLOTER to Plume and her little stuffed hippo, Ronronner, as they drifted off to sleep each night...

L'amour voyage

Love has no griffes, no claws
Love is l'intuition
Love is not malheureuse
Love knows not violence
Love looks over us, il nous surplombe
Love warms us like a good pair of pantoufles
Love refreshes us, like pamplemousses

Love is there when the sky darkens, au crépuscule
It's in a kinésintherapeute's hands, as he works
It appears in the strangest places, inattendu
It is as nourishing as a truckload of cacahuoètes
It is the source of la paix

Le truc, the thing about Love is:

You can't shut it up (tu ne peux pas fermez sa bouche!)
It won't crash or collapse (ça ne dégringole pas!)
It's truly a gift, un cadeau
Its longing--son envie--is for all to know Love

Love has no prickly points comme un chardon
It is one's true Petit Bijou
Love is une journée à la plage
C'est le sable qui effleure la peau pendant qu'on lézarde

Sand skimming over the skin while we bask in the sun

Hungry for love, some chase skirts (les coureurs de jupon...)
Others overeat--one hundred aubergines!
There are those who only ever flirter, or court love
Still others who are rendered crazy, folle in love's absense

But for those who want so much as to apercevoir Love
Who endeavor to see it from a panoramique viewpoint (un belvédère)
For a bird's eye view with les oiseaux, putting all bonne chance on their side...

They need only remove the thin tulle covering their vision
Quiet the lost monkeys--les ouistitis perdus--in their brains
Take a shovel to their hardened heart and let Love begin its enracinement....

"Jadis... Long ago..." Olivia whispered to Plume (for Ronronner, the littlest (stuffed) Hippo, had fallen asleep and was snoring softly), "when I met your father, mon coeur battait...." The Toisers accused me of mortal sin, l'Extase, said I was nothing but une coquine, and that I would be thrown into Le Machin-Chose where I would suffer until I reached le troisième age. That is how I ended up here, without electricity or l'eau courante. My cellmate, a jovial flâneuse, was arrested for growing roses called Cuisse de nymphe emue which she tossed into her yaourtière to make "Serrée" (a dessert that doubles as a thigh-thinner). 

"Tombeaux! Tombeaux!" Ronronner shouted. Plume's little stuffed hippo was having a nightmare--evoqué by DORLOTER which sent out "mind slaps" (instead of cuddles) when it sensed non-conformist conversation. 

"Mon Petit Chou," whispered Plume, "Mon petit ver de terre...hush..."

With Roni fell back to sleep, Olivia continued her story of life in prison: Le Robot patrols at night, when the corridors are lit by l'étoile du soir--the same star that's become, for Flâneuse and me, a great comforter, notre paraclet. And I am hopeful, once again, that I'll return home with you and Ronronner, to enjoy Les Parapluies de Cherbourg. Every time I see it, it reminds me of how I met your father, in the cinema's vestiaire! Your father can't remember the cloakroom, he says he was blinded by mes jambes! He called one Mouton and the other Bonbon! And I called him"L'Ecureuil."


PART II: L'IMPREVISIBLE (THE UNFORESEEABLE)

(to be continued...corrections, comments--and story title suggestions--welcome in the comments via the link at the end of post. You might also pose questions which could move the story forward. Merci beaucoup.)

Olivia and Plume
Olivia & Plume, Mother and Daughter Hippo. After writing this story, I went looking for a stuffed hippo of my own, like Plume's Ronronner ("Roni"). One of these would make a great writing mascot, don't you think? As for the snoring, which Roni, is known for, our golden retriever Smokey, who sleeps beside me as I write, could offer sound effects!

Thank you for the time you've spent reading my column. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me to continue writing and publishing these educational missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi
 
♥ Send $10    
♥ Send $25    
♥♥ Send the amount of your choice


"I’ve really enjoyed reading your stories over the years & hope you will continue to delight us with your beautiful photos and thoughtful & charming antidotes of life in the beautiful south of France."
--Jacqueline

NEWSLETTER SIGN-UP: Has a friend forwarded you this post? Sign-up to receive your own free subscription to French Word-A-Day. Click here


Stir things up. Submit a French word. Let's write a story

Magazine article
"My torrid night with a Corsican fisherman" (photo of Elle magazine). It is time to stir things up on this blog. What better way than to write a sizzler! Ready? Your job is to submit a French word. My job is to weave a story with your terms (but not on your terms!).

On y va! Let's go! Scroll to the comments link at the end of this post and submit a French word. I will post our story in the next edition. Va-va-voom!


TODAY'S WORD: remuer les choses

        : stir things up, shake things up

AUDIO: Listen to Jean-Marc read the following sentence in French

Le génie est l'aptitude de voir les choses invisibles, de remuer les choses intangibles, de peindre les choses qui n'ont pas de traits.
-Joseph Joubert / Pensées

Genius is the ability to see things invisible, to manipulate things intangible, to paint things that have no features.  - Joseph Joubert / Thoughts

 
=> Try Mastering French Vocabulary with Audio MP3

France Today photo © Vins de Provence

DREAMING OF PROVENCE?

The leading magazine for Francophiles, France Today, is bringing its pages to life with a series of week long, immersive, luxury tours to magical regions in France. If you are considering travelling to Provence in June, places are going fast, but don’t miss out on the opportunity to get 10% off per person by mentioning French Word A Day. Truffle hunting, secret lavender fields, a cooking class in the old town of Aix en Provence, a tour of a privately owned chateau with Madame la Châtelaine, and an afternoon sail on a classic wooden boat in Marseille are all on the menu…

Thank you for the time you've spent reading my column. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me to continue writing and publishing these educational missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi
 
♥ Send $10    
♥ Send $25    
♥♥ Send the amount of your choice


"I’ve really enjoyed reading your stories over the years & hope you will continue to delight us with your beautiful photos and thoughtful & charming antidotes of life in the beautiful south of France."
--Jacqueline

NEWSLETTER SIGN-UP: Has a friend forwarded you this post? Sign-up to receive your own free subscription to French Word-A-Day. Click here


La Mercerie, une astuce beauté + Bonne lecture!

Blue bicycle handmade doily mercerie sewing shop
 A popular French toothpaste, and iconic soap, the classic barrette -- check out the MADE IN FRANCE page, where you will find products Francophiles tote home in their suitcase.


TODAY'S WORD: la mercerie

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

Speak French on your next trip to France with 30 lessons based on real-life conversations.


AUDIO FILE & EXAMPLE SENTENCE

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



A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE

"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


Stories you may have missed...

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


FRENCH VOCABULARY
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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  SABLET HOME- for high quality vacation rentals in the heart of Provence. Click here for photos and more details

Lavender and vine tour provence france photography markets wine tastings
Experience Provence on a Lavender & Vine small group tour. Discover secret lavender fields, markets, Roman sites, private wine-tastings. Relax in a village home.

 

 

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

Thank you for the time you've spent reading my column. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me to continue writing and publishing these educational missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi
 
♥ Send $10    
♥ Send $25    
♥♥ Send the amount of your choice


"I’ve really enjoyed reading your stories over the years & hope you will continue to delight us with your beautiful photos and thoughtful & charming antidotes of life in the beautiful south of France."
--Jacqueline

NEWSLETTER SIGN-UP: Has a friend forwarded you this post? Sign-up to receive your own free subscription to French Word-A-Day. Click here


Vocabulary Roundup + Listen to all the French words we learned in March

Little wooden boat or pointu in Giens near Hyérès France

This is our 3rd Vocabulary Roundup for the new year. By now you should be speaking like sailors! Ohé Ohé matelot... let's navigate through all the terms we learned in March. First, take two minutes to relax and listen to Jean-Marc read the list of French words:

Click here to listen to the following list



1. L'Herbe in French & Les Tondeuses de L'Espoir

tasser = pack, press, compress, tamp down
le bourgeon = bud
se régaler = to enjoy, relish
s'apprêter = to get ready (to do something)
tailler = to prune, trim
surtout = above all, especially
doux = mild
la griffe = claw
atteler = to hitch up
sauvage = wild, unspoiled
qui plus est = what's more, besides
se faire du souci = to worry
la débroussailleuse = weed whacker
pointer le bout de son nez
= to show up

2. Gary & Tim's Truffle Hunt & Mutt in French


la chasse aux truffes = truffle hunt
la cigale = cicada
arrête! = stop!
la cacahuète = peanut
une chienne = female dog
voleur/voleuse = thief
tiens = here you go
porte et fenêtre = mutt
pourri = rotten
Bédoin = a village in the Vaucluse
le boulanger = baker
Le Géant de Provence = The Giant of Provence (a.k.a. Le Mont Ventoux)
ochre (from Old French ocre)

3. YOGA & WINE? OH, THOSE FRENCHIES!

trinquer = to toast
un verre
= a glass
d'eau
= of water
l'orteil
= toe
la cheville = ankle
le talon = heel
une oreille = ear
le cours = class
l'encense = incense
la séance = session
le/la contorsionniste = contortionist

4. Au Pif, Kale pesto recipe + Bookshop for sale in France!

manqué = missing
un cadeau = gift, present
une clé = key

l'hôte = host
que dalle! =  zip, nada, none
pas de panique = no worries!
le pistou = pesto
le pignon = pine nut


Wintasting with Warsaw Zurich and local friends


5. Allez Hops! Come on - let's get some beer at a new brasserie in Nice!

allez hop! = Come on, let's go!
l'artisanat = craft industry, handicraft
la cave = cellar
la bière = beer
la brasserie = brewery
l'ardoise (f) = slate, blackboard
le soleil brille = the sun is shining
la bière blonde = lager
la bière brune = dark beer
une étiquette = label
déguster = to taste, sample
le câlin = hug

Port of la ciotat

 
6. Find Out What City We're Moving to...

aujourd'hui = today
une promesse d'achat = promise to buy
acquérir = to purchase
cette fois-ci = this time
croiser les doigts = cross fingers
tout se passe bien = all goes well
Ciotaden, Ciotadenne = resident of La Ciotat

 

Golden-retriever-in-le-castellet

Photos you may have missed - posted on Instagram. Join me there, in between postings :-).

7. Rebelote & How to Remove a splinter or thorn

aïe! = ouch!
la ciboulette
= chive
la ronce = bramble
le potager = kitchen garden, vegetable
une épine = thorn
ça va s'arranger = it will be fine, it'll work itself out
la courbature = ache, stiffness
la douleur = pain
laisser faire = leave it alone, let it be
l' argile verte = green clay
le cataplasme = poultice
le robinet = tap, faucet
le pouce = thumb
le remède de grand-mère = home remedy
rebelote! = here we go again!
c'est le cas de le dire = you can say that again

8. Why Visit La Ciotat? Let These Photos Endear You!

le périple = journey
la truite
= trout
le minou = cat
le poisson = fish
le requin = shark
les rue pavées
= cobbled streets
la grue = crane
le salon nautique =
boat show
à flot
= afloat
la gare
= train station
Le Bec D'Aigle
= the eagle's beak

La-lezarde-in-le-castellet
Words, words, words--don't you love French words? photo of a Salon de thé in Le Castellet

9. Jean-Marc's Bilingual Post, Feuille, and "Third Leaf" Meaning


10. ACCIDENT at home and a house full of Smoke

Ollioules = a town in the Var, west of Toulon, east of Sanary-sur-Mer
le train-train = daily routine
l'atelier (m) = workshop, studio
le four à céramique = pottery kiln
Cassis - seaside town east of Marseille, just west of La Ciotat
le mas = farmhouse
la fumée = smoke
le jeu de clés = set of keys
la bûche = log
le méchant loup = big bad wolf

11.Walk in Sugiton Calanque and the Nudist Beach!

cul-cul
=  butt, also means wishy-washy, ridiculous
le thé = tea
de la fumée = smoke
le ciste = "rockrose" or cistus
le sentier = path, way
la plage naturiste = nudist beach
la calanque = rocky inlet
la bouffe = food, grub, nosh
le caviar des pauvres = caviar of the poor
la poutargue = boutargue, or bottarga


12. Sentimental Tour of Marseilles & Jean-Marc's 50th Birthday

une nana = girl, chick
la cave = cellar, wine cellar
un mendiant = beggar
le massage californien = California massage
avec le déjeuner = with lunch
le gâteau d'anniversaire = birthday cake

Toulon Rue de la Fraternite Tabac bistro chairs city street
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Thank you for the time you've spent reading my column. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me to continue writing and publishing these educational missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi
 
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"I’ve really enjoyed reading your stories over the years & hope you will continue to delight us with your beautiful photos and thoughtful & charming antidotes of life in the beautiful south of France."
--Jacqueline

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Dents de Sagesse & Purée! + A popular cuss word substitute

My Master Recipes Patricia Wells cooking classes Provence Paris France
Purée! Patricia Wells' latest book is out! Imagine you’re in France with a marvelous teacher… Wells calmly guides readers through essential techniques and offers illustrative “master recipes”. Order "My Master Recipes" here. (Review by Library Journal)


TODAY'S WORD: purée!


    : mushy, mashed, creamy (peas, potatoes, spinach)
    : gee! whoah! oh! jeepers!



EXAMPLE SENTENCE & AUDIO FILE

Jean-Marc pronounce the following  French words, click here

Les exclamations « purée » ou « punaise » sont souvent (mais pas toujours je pense) utilisables à la place de l'exclamation « putain » mais sont moins grossières. Le fait qu'elles commencent par la même syllabe me fait supposer que ces expressions ont peut-être été inventées après coup, pour éviter de jurer. --French Stack Exchange.

The exclamations "purée" or "bug" are often (but not always I think) usable in place of the exclamation "f@#!" but are less crude. The fact that they begin with the same syllable makes me assume that these expressions may have been invented after the fact, in order to avoid swearing. (Google Translation)


A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE

    by Kristin Espinasse

Jean-Marc drove our 19-year-old, Jackie, to the clinic in La Ciotat. He checked her in and picked her up 6 hours later. I stayed home--but that does not make me une mère indigne. Non! Each parent uses their skills. Jean-Marc is best with French administrative work - whereas I do best near the home-front, making  pots of homemade soupe à la tomate and double batches of purée de pommes de terre. Our daughter will need it--she's just had her dents de sagesse removed!

While Jackie was having her wisdom teeth cut out, I prepared a cozy place for her to recuperate. Our drab brown couch became brighter and more inviting with the following additions:

    - un doudou
    - une robe de chambre
    - des marguerites
    - une boisson
    - lots of oreillers
    - A picture of her brother and her when they were little
    - her new green pouf (it's just a fuzzy key-chain, but she likes its softness!)


When Jackie arrived she was truly surprised. "Il y a même une cloche!" There's even a bell.

Yes, there was. And I hoped she would ring it non stop (still feeling guilty for not going to the hospital with her. Mère indigne!)


Doudou robe de chambre flowers

BON RETABLISSEMENT, Jackie. While waiting for you, everyone got a flower in her hair--even Fuzzy Green Keychain! Is a patient ever too old for a stuffed animal? Leave a comment below.


FRENCH VOCABULARY

une mère indigne = unfit mother
la dent = tooth
la sagesse = wisdom
les dents de sagesse = wisdom teeth
le doudou = security blanket or favorite stuffed animal
la robe de chambre = robe
les petits pois = peas
la marguerite = daisy
une boisson = drink
l'oreiller (m) = pillow
le creux = hollow
le congélo = freezer
bon rétablissement! = get well soon, swift recovery, hope you feel better right away!

Homemade ice pack with peas soleilado
I made two of these ice packs with French cloth napkins (a gift for our marriage in '94) and ribbons. Inside there are frozen petit pois. Jackie's chin fit into the creux and the sides covered her swelling cheeks. The extra pack went in the congélo.

A few useful posts you may have missed:

Where to find Jean-Marc's wine (scroll down this story for some addresses)

How to Sign Off an Email in French: Amicalement, A+, Bisous, and over a dozen other ways to say "Goodbye"

Jackie-and-max-la-ciotat

Thank you for the time you've spent reading my column. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me to continue writing and publishing these educational missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi
 
♥ Send $10    
♥ Send $25    
♥♥ Send the amount of your choice


"I’ve really enjoyed reading your stories over the years & hope you will continue to delight us with your beautiful photos and thoughtful & charming antidotes of life in the beautiful south of France."
--Jacqueline

NEWSLETTER SIGN-UP: Has a friend forwarded you this post? Sign-up to receive your own free subscription to French Word-A-Day. Click here