A take-out pizza parlor in Marseilles' eighth arrondissement
French With Michel Thomas: "The Fastest Way to Learn a Language". More language learning software here.
blondinette (blohn-dee-net) noun, feminine
blond- or fair-haired girl, woman
blondinet = blond- or fair-haired boy, man
Une dame vint un jour me demander de donner des leçons à son fils, blondinet de cinq ans, joufflu comme un chérubin et espiègle comme un démon. One day a woman came to ask me to give lessons to her son, a blond-haired boy of five, chubby as a cherub and mischievous as a devil.
--French text from the book "Pour développer notre mémoire par l'audition, la vision, l'idée." by Georges Art
* * *
My nine-year-old woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning and things went from bad to worse at the breakfast table when she scolded her brother for helping himself to the last of the Choco Pops. I wondered what the French equivalent of "first-come, first-serve" was but, given my girl's moodiness, decided not to ask. Instead, I mentioned there was plenty of oatmeal left but that I had polished off the Weetabix.
When my daughter directed her wrath at me, defenseless there in my plush robe and puffy slippers, I snapped back, regrettably so.
Half an hour later Jackie came into the bathroom, asking sweetly for a hair pince.* "Ah! Does this mean that you are speaking to me now?" I replied. Strike two.
In the car on the way to school we were silent, listening to the symphony that is the sunrise, golden rays playing against the vine fields, dew drops coating the earth, amplifying the orchestral morning light. I could hear the music. Did the scene sing to my daughter and bring as much peace?
I drove up to the elementary school and turned off the motor, remaining quiet as the engine was. Jackie rested her head on my arm and it was then that I noticed a shiny streak on her cheek underlined by another just-fallen tear.
"Tell mommy everything," I said, pulling my daughter close.
"Elle m'a traité de blonde!" She treated me like a blond! Jackie sobbed.
Jackie's so-called "Pire Ennemie"* was at it again, taunting her this time for the color of her hair. This explained the moodiness back at the breakfast table as well as the pince, which my daughter has been using to tuck away most of her blondinette* locks.
This also explained the temporary (brown) hair color kit that she talked her dad into buying a few weeks back. I spent last weekend struggling over the French instructions (until Jean-Marc tugged on one of my own blond locks, pointing out that the instructions could also be read in English...just one column over...).
Back in the car, I sympathized with my daughter. "She treated you like a blond!" I said, hiding my amusement at the "insulting" accusation. Apparently at my daughter's school, to ruffle someone's feathers you don't treat them badly, you treat them blond.
* * *
Post note: Picking up Jackie from school, I asked how things went at recess (referring to the One Who Bullies Blondes). "C'est réglé," it's under control, Jackie assured. I found out later that Jackie's Pire Ennemie now had wheat-colored streaks painted into her own brunette locks. I wonder if she had been "traité de brune"?*
References: une pince (f) = hair clip; pire ennemi(e) = worst enemy; blondinette (adj.) = light colored; traité (traiter) de brune = treated brunette (or teased for being brunette) and, literally, to call someone a brunette (as traiter de blonde means to call someone a blond)
Related Terms & Expressions:
la blondeur (f). = blondness, fairness
blondasse (adj.) = insipidly fair, washed out; dull, dishwater blond
blondin, blondine (adj.) = blond
blondir (verb) = to bleach, to go blond
blondissant (adj.) = yellowish, golden
une bière blonde = lager beer
cheveux blond doré (golden hair), blond ardent (auburn hair), blond vénitien (strawberry blond), blond platine (platinum blond), blond cendré (ash blond)
Listen: Hear the French word for "fair-haired" in the following quote: Download Blondinet.wav
Une dame vint un jour me demander de donner des leçons à son fils, blondinet de cinq ans, joufflu comme un chérubin et espiègle comme un démon.
In Books & Gifts
Savoir-Flair: 211 Tips for Enjoying France and the French
Le Creuset Stoneware Oil and Vinegar Set, Blue
Poster: Les Hommes Préfèrent les Blondes / Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Fallot Dijon Herbed Mustards - Set of 4 French Mustards
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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety