Des Clopinettes & Old slang used by a new generation
New Month, New Life? We're Packing! On Fait des Cartons!

Un Pot de Départ for Max & July Vocabulary Roundup

Our 22-year-old, Max, had a wonderful send-off party at the beach in Les Lecques (that's him centered beneath the sombrero). His closest friends gathered to wish him well in Mexico, where he will be on an exchange program through May 14th, 2018.

un pot de départ

    : farewell drink

Bonne lecture - Happy Reading!
If you missed a post this month, no worries you can rattraper, or catch up! Here's a list of all the missives that went out.

Click here to listen to Jean-Marc pronounce today's word--and all of the vocabulary below. Sit back and relax (you don't have to keep up with the recording. Come back and listen a second time.

Les Transats: Something You Can Rent on French Beaches

le transat = lounge chair
boules = pétanque or bocce ball
la peau = skin
avoir le cul entre deux chaises = to have the butt between two chairs
le parasol = beach umbrella
à plus = bye for now
le maillot = soccer jersey
derrière chaque grand homme, il y a une femme
behind every great man, there is a woman

French Sloppy Joe's: One of Many ways to use up a delicious batch of Caponata!

au pif = by guesswork

Décontracté at Château de Pibarnon

la murette = little wall
fleur de sel = "flower of salt", highest quality sea salt
anchoïade (m) = anchovy dip for vegetables
la daurade = sea bream
la récompense = reward

Lance: My Husband's Creative & Quirky Side

comme d'habitude = as usual
beurk! = ew, yuck!
la garrigue (f) = Mediterranean scrubland
la navette = shuttle (ferry boat)
une lance = spear
un oursin = a sea urchin
un outil = a tool
le superflu = excess

Boire La Tasse: Short story by the sea, funny French sayings

boire la tasse = to swallow a lot of water (unexpectedly)
le secouement = shaking off
le râteau = rake
faire son truc = to do his thing
pas un chat = nobody in sight
simple comme bonjour = a piece of cake
la crotte = droppings, dog mess

Best City in Which to Live...La Bonne Réponse

la bonne réponse = good answer
le refuge = mountain shelter
la cigale = cicada
là où sont mes amis = there where my friends are
le maçon = builder, construction worker
tant qu'il y a l'amitié = as long as there is friendship

Eplucher, Friendship, and Bernard's Courgette Carpaccio

fastoche = easy
désolé(e) = sorry
Tu vas voir = you'll see
très facile = so easy
econome = vegetable peeler
nouer les liens = to bond, to strengthen ties
tendre to main = hold out one's hand
amitié = friendship
au pif = by guesswork

Des Clopinettes: Old Slang Used by a New Generation

un oursin = sea urchin
les boules = game in which players throw steel balls toward a "cochon" or smaller ball.
la pétanque = another word for boules
un pas = step
il y a des enfants = there are kids here
une clope = cigarette
des clopinettes = peanuts (little or nothing)

chalkboard bottlebrush plant and scarecrow in Ramatuelle

somewhere in France (c) Kristi Espinasse

A Message from KristiOngoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal week after week. If you find value in this website and would like to keep it going strong, I kindly ask for your support by making a donation today. Thank you very much for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.

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


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I thought I'd try clicking on one of the suggested donation amounts - as a) I get so much pleasure from your blog and b) I've had minor problems sometimes in the past when I've wanted to donate. Today it was a breeze! I decided to donate in GBP (British pounds) as opposed to dollars so I simply scrolled down and clicked on GBP. Then it asked me to click to log into my Paypal which I did. It charged me a tiny charge of 3 pence (3 cents?) and then said SENT. So I hope anyone else who tries this new method/link will find it as easy as I did. It took less than 2 minutes. A tiny gesture of appreciation sent with much love.

Paul Guerin

Tell Max to come visit us in San Miguel de AllendeL I have a daughter about his age living there she speaks fluent English and could show him around...

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you very much, Margaret, for your donation! And many thanks for explaining the relatively easy process of sending funds through PayPal. This is all so helpful and much appreciated!


This was super easy to donate this time. Thank you for keeping up your blog! I love to live vicariously through you. :) All the best to Max and Mom, Dad, and Jackie as the dynamics at home have changed a bit for a while. God Bless!

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you very much,  Adrienne, for your feedback - - and for the donation you just sent! Im glad to see your note here, or I might have addressed the thank you note that I am about to send to John 🤣. 


Thank you for your posts. I love learning some French idioms while hearing about the comings and goings of your family.


Bonjour Kristin, we wish Max was in NEW Mexico instead of Mexico but so happy for him and his new adventure. Someday we will come and see you and Jean-Marc again, we miss seeing you. But, you are ALWAYS welcome to come see us in gorgeous Santa Fe!

Keep up the good work on the blog, it is still a highlight of my day!!


Alice  Freeman

Max et ses amis sont tous adorables! Bon courage, Max et ses parents.


What a bunch of handsome dudes! Bonne chance Max! Just be super careful of the water in Mexico. Use ONLY
bottled water !!



Hi Kristin,
Wow!!! Off Max goes into the wild blue yonder, keeping well in mind all of his parents' Love and admonitions. What a wonderful experience for him.
I expect that he may see his Grandmother while there? Is Jacquie wishing that she could go also?? You and Jean-Marc look to have done a great work with your children.
We most often do our best. We fall down. We get up and go again, hoping for a better friendship with God and with each other.
Joys and merriment and the blessings of God to you all, C-Marie


Wow! How can every single one of those boys be so gorgeous! Ils sont tous très beaux!!


That is one handsome group of young men. If they venture into the states via San Diego and need some assistance have him/them contact me. I know how hard it is when our "bebes" move away and how much better I feel when someone my daughter knows is nearby...just in case. if you would like our contact info just privately message me. :)


Our dear Kristi,
As happy an event as this is,(beaucoup felicitations!),it also pulls at our heart strings to realize just how grown up Max has become,and how filled with accomplishments and brightness for his future!
Especially now,we wrap very tight hugs(and blessings)around you all .
What a big step in your lives!
Natalia XO

Eileen Burns

Wow! Somebody looks like Mom! You will miss you sweetheart while he is away. It is a wonderful opportunity for him to get to know another culture....but you know that! I wish him well. MUCH LOVE Eileen

Marianne Rankin

Bonne chance, Max! De temps a autre, nous aimerions lire quelques mots sur vos aventures au Mexique.

Bon voyage!


Je pense que les sourires de Max sont le sourire de sa mère, sans les moustaches, bien sûr, mais avec la même expression réfléchie, timide, gentille et nuancée.


Bonne chance Max. Have a wonderful experience!

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