Le cerveau: the word for brain in French

Max in St. Tropez France
Max, back when he was nine, at a friend's house in St. Tropez.

Note: the following post was written in 2005.
My son Max seems to be over "le syndrome de la page blanche" or "writer's block." Today he muses about the brain. Find his column below, in French and English.

le cerveau
(sair-voh) noun, masculine

    1. brain; mind; mastermind

Letter From a Young Frenchman
9-year-old Max reports...

Est-ce que vous savez pourquoi Dieu à inventé la peau, les os etc? C'est parce qu'un cerveau, ça ne se balade pas tout seul dans la rue! Alors Dieu a crée les veines pour faire circuler le sang, les os pour qu'on tienne debout, les pieds pour marcher, les yeux pour qu'on puisse voir, le nez pour sentir, la bouche pour parler, les oreilles pour entendre, la force pour prendre quelque chose, les mains pour qu'on puisse attraper ces choses... et la peau pour couvrir tout ça!

*   *   *
In English: Do you know why God invented the skin, the bones and the rest? Because a brain doesn't just go walking down the street like that! And so God created veins to circulate the blood, bones, so that we can stand up straight, feet for walking, eyes, so that we can see, the nose, so that we can breathe, the mouth, so that we can talk, the ears, so that we can hear, strength, so that we can take something, hands, so that we can pick something up, and skin, to cover all that!


un rhume de cerveau = a head cold
un homme à cerveau étroit = a shallow-brained, empty-headed man
avoir le cerveau dérangé / fêlé
= to be deranged, mad, cracked, nuts
un cerveau brûlé = a hothead
le cerveau d'une entreprise
= the head of a company
c'est un cerveau = he or she is a real brain
la fuite de cerveaux = brain drain
un cerveau de mouche = fly-brained (absent-minded)
un demi-cerveau
= a half brain (a dumb blond, an airhead)

French Proverb:
Est bien fou du cerveau, Qui veut contenter tout le monde et son père.
He who tries to please the world and his father is a little crazy in the head.

French town of Buisson France platain plane trees
The French town of Buisson beneath winter's claws.

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