Name your favorite drink + What does the French “bredouille” mean in English? (Hint: it doesn't mean 'tipsy')
If you were to visit Jean-Marc's wine shop, what would you buy? Tell us your favorite wine, drink, or boisson in the comments section. It could make for a lively thread!
Today's Word: bredouille
: empty-handed, unsuccessful
Audio/Listening: Click the link below to hear today's word + a dozen more vocabulary words. Next, scroll down to the vocabulary list to check your comprehension.
A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse
"A Surprise Visit"
Following Sunday’s grasse matinée, I felt lazy and tempted to skip church. Maybe I could go with Jean-Marc to his wine shop instead? It would only be for 3 hours, given the store’s open from 10-1 le dimanche. And it would give us some time together. Allez! On y va!
Setting my coat and purse on the tasting table at Le Vin Sobre, I turned to peruse the small épicerie fine when I heard my husband say the very thing I was thinking: Help tidy the tea section?
“Compte sur moi!”
After the teas were neatly line up I began to clean the glass windows behind which Jean-Marc stocks les produits frais: la poutargue, la pata negra, les boquerones, les fromages… A woman, her young son and their spirited cocker spaniel blew into the boutique along with a few fall leaves. “Bonjour Monsieur. Auriez-vous un Chenin Blanc?”
After Jean-Marc had rung up his first sale of the day and the trio had left, he shut the cash drawer with a flourish. “Comme ça on ne sera pas bredouille.”
“Bredouille? That sounds like a cool word . Répète-le.”
“J’ai dit, ‘comme ça on ne rentrera pas bredouille’.”
Ah! Now I wasn't leaving ‘empty-handed’ either! I was going home with a new expression to share with readers!”
Ah, quand on parle du loup! Just then, two Francophiles from Boise, Idaho walked in... Susan introduced herself as a reader of my blog. She and Larry were leaving their rental in Cassis, and heading north to the quaint village of Sablet. What a chance meeting this was on the very day I was ditching church.
“C’est une double coïncidence,” Jean-Marc smiled, “because we don’t always open on Sundays.” With that, on a fait connaissance. I leave you, dear reader, with a snapshot of our chanceux encounter. And a warm remerciement to Susan and Larry, for all the wine you purchased. Là c’est certain, on ne rentrera pas bredouille!
Post note: I was going to use the phrase “speak of the devil” to segue into the final part of the story about when my readers appeared. But then, yikes! I didn’t want to inadvertently refer to “readers” (or to Susan and Larry) as les diables! That’s when I learned the popular idiom: Quand on parle du loup, on en voit la queue (when you speak of the wolf, you'll see his tail). It means when you speak of someone they will appear).
A Wine Odyssey...
This fall marks the 2-year anniversary of Jean-Marc's wine shop. Bravo, Chief Grape! My husband has come a very long way in his wine journey. Read about the ups and downs in our memoir, The Lost Gardens.
2007 at our first vineyard, "Chief Grape," who records all sound files for this blog. Merci, Chief!
la grasse matinée = to sleep in
le dimanche = Sunday
Allez! On y va! = come on, let’s go!
l’épicerie fine = delicatessen
Compte sur moi! = count on me!
les produits frais (m) = fresh food, refrigerated foods
la poutargue = a culinary specialty of Martigues, known elsewhere as “bottarga” (salted, cured fish roe)
la pata negra (“patte noir”) = Iberian ham
les boquerones = anchovies
le fromage = cheese
Bonjour Monsieur, Auriez-vous un Chenin Blanc = hello sir. Do you have a Chenin Blanc
Comme ça on ne sera pas bredouille = now we won’t be going home empty-handed
Quand on parle du loup, on en voit sa queue = when you speak of the wolf, you'll see his tail.
C’est une double coïncidence = it’s doubly coincidental
on a fait connaissance = we got to know each other
chanceux (chanceuse) = lucky
le remerciement = thank-you
Bon weekend à tous. Don't forget to list your favorite wine or boisson in the comments, below. Merci!
A Message from Kristi on this blog's 19th anniversary
Thank you for reading this language journal. In 2002 I left my job at a vineyard and became self-employed in France. "French Word-A-Day" has been my full-time occupation ever since. Ongoing support from readers like you helps keep this site ad-free and allows me to focus on writing. My wish is to continue creating posts that are educational, insightful, and heart-warming. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider supporting it via a blog donation.
Ways to contribute:
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