gribouiller
anticonstitutionnellement

poutoun

Chocolate shop in St. Tropez (c) Kristin EspinasseFrench Terms of Endearment, just below.

                *   *   *
On this 14th day of February, or what the French call "le quatorze février" (a.k.a. "Le jour de la Saint-Valentin"* and "la fête des amoureux"*) we begin with a string of lip-swaying nouns. Go ahead and pronounce the first line in the next paragraph and just feel your lips move to and fro--the exercise is a perfect warm up for...a kiss.

A smack, a smooch, a peck, a pash, and a bee-zoo* were once upon a time (and only in the land of lavender) known simply, humbly, endearingly as a kind of "poutoun" (poo-toon).  And in the Provence of yesteryear, Marilyn's "a kiss on the hand" might be, and rhymingly so, "un poutoun sur la main".

Given that this letter comes to you just a few beats away from the heart of Provence, not far from where La Festo di Poutoun, or "Kiss Festival," is soon to be underway, I hope you'll give today's word--un poutoun / a kiss--more than lip-service by sharing this edition with friend (or "other"...). Thank you for reading and I'll now sign off with a welcome change to "cordialement,"* "amicalement,"* "best regards," and even "cheers" :

Poutouns,
Kristin
                                        *     *     *

                 Le coeur découvre, la tête invente.
      The heart discovers, the head invents.--
Arthur Cravan


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Les Mots Doux ~ Terms of Endearment

It may seem strange that the French, widely regarded as one of the most sophisticated and beautiful people on the globe, use some of the most strange (and not so beautiful) terms to refer to their belle/beau (loved one). Take, for example, "ma puce" which means "my flea" (very popular here); also "mon chou" or "my cabbage" (beau, n'est-ce pas?). Here are a few more ways to call your darling "sweetheart" in French:

mon amour (mohn a-moor) = my love
mon bébé (mohn bay-bay) = baby
ma belle (mah bel) = my beautiful (one)
ma biche (mah beesh) = my doe
ma caille (mah kahy) = my quail
mon canard (mohn ka-nar)= my duck
ma chérie/mon chéri (mah/mohn shay-ree) = my dear
mon chou* (mohn shoo) = my cream puff (sweetie-pie, cupcake)
mon coeur (mohn ker) = my sweetheart
mon lapin (mohn la-pahn) = my rabbit
ma moitié (mah mwa-tyay) = my half
mon poulet (mohn poo-lay) = my chicken
mon trésor (mohn tray-zor) = my treasure
mon poussin (mohn poo-sahn) = my chick
ma puce (mah poose) = my (little flea)
mon sucre d'orge (mohn sookr-dorzh) = my barley sugar
*from mon chou à la crème

More Love Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Amoureux
  les billets doux = valentines
  fréquenter = to see / go out with someone
  amouracher & s'amouracher de = to become infatuated with
  tomber amoureux = to fall in love
.
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References: Le jour de la Saint-Valentin = Valentine's Day; la fête des amoureux = the lovers' celebration; bee-zoo = pronunciation for "bisou" = kiss; cordialement = cordially; amicalement = best wishes, yours

                     Selected "heart" expressions:
  un coup de coeur = a spontaneous attraction
  vider son coeur = to reveal one's feelings
  Aimer de tout son coeur = to love with all one's heart
  Laisser parler son coeur = to let one's heart speak
  Donner son coeur à quelqu'un = to give one's heart to someone
  un bourreau des coeurs = a ladykiller
  Faire le joli coeur = to seduce
  joli(e) comme un coeur = ravishing


Treasury of French Love: Poems, Quotations & Proverbs : In French and English
 

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