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Wednesday, October 22, 2008


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Or je suis plein. which my husband told everyone for a couple of years until told what he was actually saying.

Marianne Rankin

I found another "fun word." It's "amuse-bouche." It means a small, often artistic, appetizer. Literally, it's something that amuses one's mouth.


A few years ago, we got a rescued ten-month-old female basset who had not yet been fixed. We didn't have the money that month, so we thought one month wouldn't make that much of a difference, especially since our male dog, a very intelligent beagle/basset mix, was seven years old and had never been in the same neighborhood as a female in heat, never mind in the same yard. That didn't stop him from trying, however, and we ended up with SEVEN puppies. Granted, they were cute, and they all lived...of course, we kept the stupid one...but still, it made for an interesting few weeks.


A bit of help with some of the idioms given today.

1) un “p'tit pain” dans le four --> you can imagine the round shape of the top of a bun, and the bun getting baked inside an oven... Hence, when you are pregnant, you have “a bun in the oven”, taking 9 months to get ready!
"Un petit pain -> French equivalent to the word "bun". Same expression and same meaning with “brioche”

2) very informal and “not so sweet”...--> être en cloque
une “cloque” is a blister... and that's not fun!!!
être en cloque is a very informal way to say -> to be pregnant.
To me, this expression sounds a bit painful!

3) Polichinelle is a puppet with 2 “bumps” (front and back)
un secret de polichinelle / un secret mal gardé = an open secret
In the expression: “Avoir un polichinelle dans le tiroir “, there are 2 ideas involved --> the bump, and the idea of a secret kept in a drawer in order to hide it.
“Avoir un polichinelle dans le tiroir” is used for an unexpected pregnancy, and / or a pregnancy one wants to keep secret. The secret can be kept in the drawer until the bump becomes obvious. Once the bump is obvious, the secret has become a true “secret de polichinelle”!

Kristin.... you can forget about the fear of pronouncing & recording a French word containing a French "r" - as you mentioned last time. Your "ard" and "arde" in veinard and veinarde are so perfect!

Leda Fremeont-Smith

Good morning,

Your news always brightens the day. I hope this email goes through. Had tried to add suggestions to your auctioning your Mom's painting. Such as a sketching class with her in the summer. Now, Labradoodles: a breed that has gotten popular and popping up all over town. We had a pulipoodle: black and curly haired named Rosie to cheer up the golden years of our dachshund Max aka Maximiilan d'Asticou. A one owner lover and very much mine. When he passed on, numerous friends spoke the truth about him. Alas he was not particularly beloved by all. But we loved him, especially me. All this to say thank you for all your good humor and insight. I do sigh at your photos of the book fair -- and so many others.
Be well. Enjoy the fall.
L. F.-S.

Fred Caswell

Your translation of "batard" to "mut" reminds me of a tidbit from a teacher of french who stated that William The Conqueror was called Quilliam The Batard or William The Bastard! As for "Mr. Black Dog", this batard had no need to invade with force for he had a most welcoming area to receive his advances. Lucky bastard!

I tend to root for the "underdog" but in this case "under" takes on an added meaning.

There is no one who has never personally met "Jewels" who is more appreciative of her than I am. Given that, I am most pleased to receive one of your typically delightful "petits romans." Merci beaucoup, Kristi!

Jane Wallace

Labradoodles are the happiest dogs, they just love life and everyone in it, I've had a Labradoodle for 5 Years and every day is a Joy.


We had a male golden and bred him four times, kept one puppy. Oh I miss having goldens!


Great word! I learned it recently on seeing the remarkable French comedy called DELICATESSEN. The female lead called the male lead actor that in one of the scenes. The other best scene in this great film was the TIKA-TIKA dance scene. Watching French films (through NetFlix for example) is a great learning tool.


Thanks for 'veinard.' It's come up a couple times in conversation and I'm glad to know it doesn't have anything to do with 'viscieux'. BTW, have you done that word yet - which seems to have quite a few connotations. Trouble with the French language, just when you think you know a word, you discover it has about a dozen different levels of meaning.

Michael Morrison

Enjoyed your story about Braise and her love interests. As a suggestion: an "earl" in English is a "comte" in French.

Debbies Dog Clothes

Those are some beautiful dogs.

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