Is going to the local café a favorite amusette of yours, as it is mine? For the purposes of this edition (we always need a purpose...) we're calling this restaurant a buvette. Read on in today's edition—by guest columnist "Newforest".
amusette (ah moo zet) noun, feminine
Le tricot est pour elle une amusette qui l'aide à se détendre.
Knitting is a pastime that helps her to relax.
A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse
One of the many things that charms me about the French language is its penchant for puttin' on the Ritz or, plutôt, puttin' on the ettes. Have a look at these beauties or starlettes...
If I have un petit faible (une faiblette?) for this language (languette?), if certain words are sweetly chouette, and certain sounds sharply shadowed comme une silhouette... the cause for this might just be that little suffix ette!
But don't be fooled, Mistinguette, the suffix "ette" doesn't necessarily make une petite banque "une banquette". Read on in the following quiz or enquête, by Newforest (you may recognize Newforest from the comments box, where our Francophone friend continues to educate us on language etiquette. Merci, Newforest!)
Les Diminutifs by Newforest
Are the following words "diminutifs” ? (See the answers at the end of this edition.)
1) Is “un livret” un petit livre? (a booklet)?
2) Is "une chouette" un petit chou? (a small cabbage)?
3) Is "une banquette" une petite banque (a small bank)?
4) Is "une barbichette" une petite barbe? (a small beard)?
5) Is "un porcelet" un petit porc/cochon? (a piglet)
6) Is "une baguette" une petite bague (a tiny ring)?
7) Is "une burette” un petit bureau (a small desk / or a little office)?
8) Is “une espagnolette" une petite femme espagnole? (a small size Spanish lady)?
9) Is "un têtard" une petite tête? (a small head)?
10) Is "un moucheron" une petite mouche (a baby fly)?
Do you love these ettes and would you like to share a few of your favorites? Click here to comment and, while your here, please help me to thank Newforest for the inspiration behind this post and for the helpful quiz.
Has someone forwarded this edition to you? Why not receive your own free copy, each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, straight to your inbox? Click here to sign up to French Word-A-Day.
Selected French Vocabulary
une buvette = refreshment stand
plutôt = rather
une amourette = passing fancy
une causette = a little chat
une lichette = a tiny piece, a little taste ("a lick")
une risette = a little smile
une soeurette = a little sister
saperlipopette! = gadzooks!
un petit faible = a little weakness for, a crush
chouette! = great!
comme une silhouette = like a silhouette
Mistinguette = little missy, from actress and singer Jeanne Bourgeois a.k.a. Mistinguette
Walnut Wine and Truffle Groves is a culinary travel book that navigates the back roads—as well as the menus and markets—of the southwestern region of France with newfound excitement. Through interviews with local home cooks and chefs, visits to local farms, historic sites and wineries, market tours, and serendipitous detours, Lovato provides a glimpse into this unspoiled wonderland. The alluring recipes and stunning photographs let readers discover the true jewels in France’s culinary crown as well as discover the country’s most beautiful and less trod-upon provinces. Order here.
KINDLE: carry thousands of educational books with you to France & beyond.
SmartFrench Audio CDs Intermediate/Advanced
French Demystified...simple enough for a beginner but challenging enough for a more advanced student.
First published in 1927 to educate French housewives in the art of classical cooking, LA BONNE CUISINE DE MADAME E. SAINT-ANGE has since become the bible of French cooking technique, found on every kitchen shelf in France.
RÉPONSES DU QUIZ sur les DIMINUTIFS
Here are the answers.
1)“un livret” = booklet, small book [diminutif de “livre”]
2)"une chouette" = barn owl [PAS diminutif de “chou”!]
By the way, “un hibou” = an owl (no liaison between “un” and “i”)
3)"une banquette" = a seat
[Diminutif de “banc” (bench) - PAS diminutif de “banque” (bank)]
4)"une barbichette" = small goatee = “une petite barbiche”
“une barbiche” = goatee = “une petite barbe” → a small beard
[Hence, "barbichette" → “diminutif de "barbiche” which is “diminutif de “barbe”]
5)"un porcelet" = apiglet [diminutif de “porc”]
6)"une baguette" = 'baguette' / French stick [PAS diminutif de “bague”!]
7)"une burette” = cruet [PAS diminutif de “bureau”!]
8)“une espagnolette" = locking device for French windows [PAS diminutif de “espagnole”!]
9) "un têtard" = tadpole [PAS diminutif de tête - more of "un augmentatif", considering the size of its head ...]
10) "un moucheron" = midge [Diminutif de “mouche”]
A Message from Kristi
Thank you for reading my 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 the creative process of writing. My wish is to continue offering 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 of any amount.
Ways to contribute:
1. Send a check
2. Paypal or credit card
3. A bank transfer, a great way to send your donation as there are no transaction fees.
Or purchase our online memoir, The Lost Gardens