Thursday, August 26, 2004
un(e) fouinard(e) (fwee-nar, fwee-nard) noun, masculine
1. a snoop
2. (adj.) inquisitive, prying, nosey
3. a computer hacker
Also: un fouineur, une fouineuse = a snooper
fouiner = to snoop, to nose about
fouiner dans les affaires d'autrui = to poke one's nose into other people's business
Citation du Jour:
On doit continuer à chercher pour trouver. Quand le soleil se perd dans la nuit, l'espoir guette un reflet.
We must continue to seek in order to find. When the sun loses itself in the night, hope watches out for a reflection. --Louise Gélinas
A Day in a French Life...
Our curious guest stood no taller than the door knob on our porte d'entrée* where I greeted him with a kiss on both cheeks. He had noisette-colored* eyes like his Corsican mother's and dark cropped hair like his two older brothers (his mother explains that with four enfants,* she's taken to shaving the boys heads with a tondeuse* "Ça coûte moins cher!").*
I will not tell you the little guy's name, except that back home in Arizona we would call him "Eddie." Eddie spoke with a decidedly Parisian accent which is normal for one raised in the capital's banlieue.*
Eddie's parents chased him through the house until I said, "Ne vous inquiétez pas," assuring them that nothing could harm their three-year-old. "That isn't the problem," the mother explained,
"C'est un fouinard!* He is a snoop! He will go through all of your things."
A French Curious George!
We solved the dilemma by closing off the la cuisine,* le salon,* and la salle de bains,* leaving Eddie to roam free through the children's rooms. By the end of the visit, Max and Jackie were pleased to rediscover toys that had disappeared long ago. Le fouinard* presented one object after another with a bright smile on his freshly painted face (in his digging, he had unearthed 6-year-old Jackie's make-up trousse).*
His mouth was painted deep strawberry, his cheeks bright pink, and his eyes were now set off with glittery blue powder... Some people snoop and get caught red-handed, while others fouinent* and get caught red-lipped.
*References: la porte d'entrée = the front door; noisette = hazelnut; un enfant (m/f) a child; une ceinture (f) = a belt; une tondeuse (f) = electric clippers; ça coute moins cher = it's less expensive; une banlieue (f) = a suburb, outskirt; fouinard; la cuisine (f) = the kitchen; le salon (m) = the living room; la salle de bains (f) = the bathroom; une trousse (f) = a case; (les autres) fouinent = snoop
A Message from Kristi: For twenty years now, support from readers like you has been an encouragement and a means to carve out a career in writing. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider a donation. Your gift keeps me going! Thank you very much.
Ways to contribute:
1. Send a check (to this new address)
2. Paypal or credit card
3. A bank transfer via Zelle, a great way to send your donation as there are no transaction fees.
Or purchase my book for a friend, and so help spread the French word.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety