le french flair


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(loo pay)


to miss (a class...)

After his hearty lunch of poulet rôti, spicy eggplant ratatouille, and rosemary potatoes (and seconds of all three!), I suspect that my son is brimming with health and not at all as sick as he claimed to be when the alarm clock rang this morning. ("Aïe! J'ai mal au ventre!" he complained. Feeling sympathetic, I let him stay home from school for the morning.)

"Well, well, Max, you certainly seem to be feeling better! Maybe I could take you to school now and you won't miss your afternoon classes?"

"Mommy," Max pleads, "I need a whole day off!"

"Well then, you'll have a lot of class work to catch up on, so don't come crying to me!"

Max offers me a disarming smile before asking what's for dessert. I bring out a bowl of aromatic garriguettes—strawberries so sweet you'd swear they were sugar cubes blushing in disguise. I pass Max the can of whipped cream, figuring that he might as well enjoy his sick day even if he is guilty.

As he eats, he reviews which classes he has missed:

J'ai loupé les maths...
J'ai loupé la musique...
J'ai loupé la téchno...

Listening to my son's losses, I try to balance the debit. Though Max missed math, music, and technology, he didn't miss doing the dishes (this, without my asking), he didn't miss making me a surprise cup of tea ("C'est bien chaud!" he announced, his shining eyes carefully steadied on the steamy surface of the tea lest it spill as he walked), and he didn't miss collecting a handful of roses (after he slipped out to the garden, scissors in hand). Finally, he didn't miss selecting a vase (our best coffee cup in the cupboard) and arranging the flowers into an attractive bouquet before delivering them to my desk. "For you, Mommy," he offered.

"J'ai loupé un peu d'histoire." I missed a bit of history, too, my son admits as I poke my nose deep into a pink blossom. Learning about another "louped" class, I feel slightly annoyed. Then I get to thinking about Max's history book and all the "important stuff" that is recorded inside for students to study and recall. Why shouldn't this moment, too, be memorized? How unworthy of note one boy's stolen day may seem to historians, who will never document the sweetness of this tea, or record the gift of a tender heart.


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French Vocabulary

le poulet rôti = rotisserie chicken
Aïe! J'ai mal au ventre! = Ow! I have a stomach ache
j'ai loupé les maths = I missed math
j'ai loupé la musique = I missed music
j'ai loupé la téchno (technologie) = I missed technology
c'est bien chaud = it's very hot
J'ai loupé un peu d'histoire = I missed a little bit of history

:: Audio File ::
Listen to me pronounce the word "louper" before my daughter reads the following quote:
Download MP3 or Download Wav

  Il ne faut pas louper le coche,* mes amis!
  We musn't miss our chance, my friends!
--Henriette Chardak
     *coach, barge; rater le coche = to miss the boat

Terms & Expressions:
  louper son cours = to miss one's class
  louper son bus/train = to miss one's bus/train
  louper le coche = to miss an opportunity, to miss one's chance
  louper son coup = to miss one's chance
  A ne pas louper! = Not to be missed! (program, event...)

Verb conjugation:
je loupe, tu loupes, il/elle loupe, nous loupons, vous loupez, ils/elles loupent => past participle: loupé


A Day in a Dog's Life...
For the next 10 days Smokey and Braise will be vacationing at a chambre de chien, a doggy equivalent of une chambre d'hôte. We'll be dropping them off a the B&B (Bed & Bark?) in Rochegude, on our way to Serre Chevalier. Smokey, pictured left, doesn't look very happy about this... (you should see Gramma K's face, which is even longer!) but there will be no room for dogs in the little Alpine chambre that we will be renting. While we're away, French Word-A-Day will continue, with selections from the archives. (There will be no posts on the 9 and the 12th.)


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