New: Add a "slice" of French life to your own blog, website, or desktop -- check out this gadget.
donné(e) (doh-nay) adjective
: dirt cheap ("given")
"Donné," from the verb "donner" (to give), means many things, including "given". Here is an example and proverb:
Tout ce qui n'est pas donné est perdu.
All that is not given is lost.
* * *
In books: French Demystified: Simple enough for a beginner, challenging enough for a more advanced student.
Our Grenache grapevines, those that slump like old men and nag like old women, just received a spa bath that only aching vines can rave about. While some prefer mud and pay the price, our grapevines go gaga over ground "garbage" -- compost, that is. Like spa mud, organic compost can be costly... especially when you have a klepto in the countryside.
In one towering heap, Jean-Marc had the vine-rejuvenating organic "restes"* delivered last week. Soon after, fate struck, this time in the form of a broken-down tractor. In the days it took to fix the engine, Jean-Marc noticed that the pile of compost was diminishing... As the dent in the pile grew, so did my
Driving by the vine fields, in search of answers, Jean-Marc noticed an old camionnette* parked alongside the Grenache vines. When next he spotted a paysan* busy with a few buckets, he believed he had found the compost culprit.
Jean-Marc watched as the man, freezing to a standstill before dropping the heavy buckets, gave himself away.
"Bonjour, Monsieur," the man said, stepping in front of the seaux* so as to conceal the compost. "I was just scraping together some of the, uh--fallen bits--of, er, compost," he added, sheepishly.
Jean-Marc studied the dent in the compost pile. "That's a lot of 'fallen bits'," he pointed out. "How many bucketfuls of compost have you 'scraped together'?" Jean-Marc asked.
"Only two," the man swore, stepping aside to reveal the buckets behind him.
Jean-Marc was about to let the man keep the compost, but as he turned to leave he noticed a pile of wood in the camionnette and realized that Mr. Fallen Bits had also helped himself to some firewood (the oldest Grenache vines that had recently died).
"Mind if I have a look in your truck?" Jean-Marc asked. That is when he discovered six bucketfuls of "fallen bits"! Now that explained the great "dent" on his compost pile.
"Monsieur," he began. "If you need compost, I can give you the telephone number of the company that sold it to me because, you know, compost--CE N'EST PAS DONNE!!!"
* * *
Apparently compost isn't "dirt cheap" ("donné") -- but who knew it was a commodity? Back to the kitchen now... where I intend to turn those wilted lettuce leaves and a few pumpkin skins, eggshells, coffee grounds and, you know -- "les restes"-- into liquid gold. Never mind physics. This is economics!
* * *
One hundred more French words and stories in my book Words in a French Life.
References: les restes (m) = scraps, leftovers ; l'angoisse (f) = anxiety; la camionnette (f) = pick-up truck; le paysan (la paysanne) = farmer, peasant; le seau (m) = bucket, pail
The Grape Grower: A Guide to Organic Viticulture
The French Peasantry in the Seventeenth Century
"501 French Verbs" includes common idioms & example sentences demonstrating verb usage.
Murder in the Marais by Cara Black
Ultimate French Beginner - Intermediate (CD/Book)
Visions of France DVD: See the breathtaking beauty of southeastern France.
DEVENIR MECENE - BECOME A SUPPORTING MEMBER
Ongoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal. If you find value in this website and would like to keep it going strong, please know your donation towards this effort makes all the difference! A contribution by check or via PayPal (links below) is greatly appreciated. Merci!
♥ Or click here to send the amount of your choice
To purchase our memoir, THE LOST GARDENS click here.