Bowls or "bols" from Pornic (a village in the Loire-Atlantique, north-western France).

empiler (om-pee-lay) verb

: to pile (up), to stack (up); to do

Never miss a word: get yourself a French Word Widget : installs in Google, Yahoo, Facebook, MySpace, Typepad, Blogger, LiveJournal...

Quote / Example sentence:
L'argent est plat pour être empilé.
Money is flat for stacking.

Hear the French word empiler and the above quote: 
Download empiler.mp3 . Download empiler.wav


se faire empiler = to be had
s'empiler dans = to squeeze into (car, elevator)

More on today's word...
"Empiler" was the first word that came to mind when thinking about the French equivalent of "stack" (as in "to stack cups"). Only, while flipping through the dictionary, I noticed that "entasser" is listed as a synonym.

Entasser... yes, that makes more sense, I thought, noticing how "tasse" (cup) finds its way into the word. "Entasser" would seem to be the right verb for stacking cups (or bowls, as in today's picture), and everybody knows the French use bowls as cups: think café-au-lait)....

Turns out the "tasse" in "entasser" is really the word "un tas" (heap, pile) and not "une tasse" (cup). It looks like "empiler" is most often used for dishes, and "entasser" when you want to heap something onto something --such as dirty clothes onto a mound of laundry... which reminds me of that nagging pile in the next room.... Off now, to faire une machine.


Your Comments:
...Meantime, do you know the word for "stack" in another language? And, do you like to stack stuff neatly... that is, are you "maniaque" ("fussy") or are you more the messy type? ("bordélique"... whoops, Jean-Marc tells me I'm not supposed to say that word). Anyway, thanks for sharing....

P.S.: Did you spot any coquilles (errors) in this--or a previous--post? Corrections are always welcome. Please use the comments box, below, and thanks in advance!


(What we Francophiles tend to bring back from France...)

Cafe lait bowl
café au lait bowl: to drink our morning up like the natives

Book: Using French synonyms


A Message from KristiOngoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal each week. If you find joy or value in these stories and would like to keep this site going, donating today will help so much. Thank you for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.

Ways to contribute:
1.Zelle®, The best way to donate and there are no transaction fees. Zelle to [email protected]

2.Paypal or credit card
Or purchase my book for a friend and so help them discover this free weekly journal.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Empiler and entasser in Spanish are also synonyms. ‘Apilar’, ‘amontonar’ and ‘hacinar’ would be 3 translations... depending on the context you will pick one of those.
‘Apilar’ is to stack things, usually into certain order.
‘Amontonar’ would be more in a messy and tight way (also used to describe people stuck in a room or place).
‘Hacinar’ is used mostly to describe when a lot of people are or live in a small surface or place (literally one over the other).
If I understand correctly, ‘empiler’ (apilar) is more used for things and ‘entasser’ (amontonar - hacinar) for people.


I bought my tasse in Limoges back in 1987. It is very pretty with my French name in gold on the side. (French name is Jeanne)

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)