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un coup de dent (koo-deuh-dahn)
: a nip (a little bite)
A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse
I received an email this morning that had me shaking my silver-templed head. It read:
Pourquoi protéger les dents de son animal ?
Pourquoi indeed! Yes, "Why protect the teeth of one's animal?"...when your doors are now dent-ed, your halls hacked, and your books bouffed?
The French words appeared in the subject line of a newsletter that I receive from a French pet-supplies store. I'm not sure how I got onto their list-server (so far I haven't un-subscribed).
Now if only I could un-subscribe to the daily "updates" that our 7-month-old Golden delivers: little mordant messages left hither and thither 'round the house, chewed into the chairs, tooth-torn into the sofa, munched across the mur, and bitten into the baseboards.
The dry-walls in our kitchen are coming apart at the seams, evidence that our puppy has been sinking his teeth into more than the croquettes and the home-made doggy terrines.
Néanmoins, I can't help but feel sympathy for our little chewing machine. Because he was attacked and left for dead as an 8-week-old, I wonder whether the hither and thither damage is his way of getting back at the attackers, and ending up the victor?
And--chew! gnarl! crunch!--take that! Smokey says to the door, to the magazine rack, to the leash to which he is attached.
My husband has a different theory... and a tough-love solution that will have us biting back: it has to do, tout simplement, with nipping this bad behavior in the bud!
Update: Recently, the véto examined Smokey's teeth and discovered that many of them (way in the back) had been broken during his attack. As to "Why protect an animal's teeth?" how about "because our furry friends would ask us to, if only they could speak."
This forum is now open for any comments about today's story -- or for general questions. Looking for the French word for something? Need an answer to a French / France related question? This is the place to ask. This is readers helping readers at its best! Comment here.
Here are some questions to get the ball rolling: Chris writes:
What does "tirer a ses quatres épingles" mean? .... I think it means to play one's role well, or know how to play the game. But I don't understand how we come to this conclusion using the literal meanings of these words. Answers here, please.
And here's another inquiry, from Paula:
Smokey a donné un coup de dent au canapé.
Smokey nipped the couch.
Pourquoi protéger les dents de son animal ? Why protect your animal's teeth?
bouffer = to eat
le mur = wall
la terrine = terrine or pâté
néanmoins = nevertheless
tout simplement = quite simply
le véto (vétérinaire) = vet
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