A couple of French turkeys, each pouting in his/her own corner après l'engueulade. Photo taken at Château Miraval, in 2005. Sign up for French Word-A-Day: it's free.

engueulade (ongh-lahd) noun, feminine

  1. argument, shouting match
  2. scolding

Also: a telling-off, bawling out, blowing up, chewing out or "a giving to another of one hell of a bad time". Get the picture?

"Arguing is to the modern Frenchman what thinking was to Descartes, a proof of existence....Vitupero ergo sum: I bicker, therefore I am." --from the book "Culture Shock! France" by Sally Adamson Taylor

Idioms & Expressions:
recevoir une engueulade = to be hauled over the coals (to be told off)

"Ils se sont quittés sur une engueulade. They parted after a stinking row."
--quote and translation from the Dictionary of French Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Henry Strutz

Listen to my daughter, Jackie, pronounce today's words and example sentence:
Download engueulade.mp3 . Download engueulade.wav.

A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse


Note: the following taradiddle (now there's a fun new word—for me anyway...) was written two or so years ago.


When Jean-Marc and I were in Paris last month, we stayed at Florence and Olivier's love nest in the onzième. A "shopping list" posted on the fridge had me admiring the couple's 15-year-old recipe for amour.  Scribbled on a piece of paper were these essential ingredients for a happy union:


- 1 kg de câlins
- 300 g de caresses
- 2 kg de tendresse
- 1/2 T de bisous
- 0 kg d'engueulades


- 1 kilo of cuddles
- 300 grams of caresses
- 2 kilos of tenderness
- 1/2 T of kisses
- 0 kilos of shouting

One thing that amused be about this list was the ingredient engueulades. But, of course! I thought, knowing all along that shouting somehow measures into real love. But just how much temper... tempers love? I wondered, rechecking the list of ingredients. That's when I noticed the zero allotment...

A little disheartened to realize that the Love Recipe was limited to only sweet ingredients (personally, our marriage "cake" has always included a good measure of salt), I had an inspiration....

I picked up a virtual crayon and crossed out that "0" as well as that "kilo". Next, having looked both ways and when the coast was clear, I scribbled in a new measurement in place of the "0":

"1 heaping, HOLLERING teaspoon!"

I may not be the best cook, but this is one recipe that I have been perfecting ever since cutting a frosty French wedding cake (with the help of my Sometimes Huffy Husband) a decade and a half ago.

A Sometimes Hissy Housewife

:: Le Coin Commentaires ::

Comments are the best part of French Word-A-Day. Thank you for leaving yours here! Can't think of anything to write? How about listing a few of the ingredients that make up your recipe for happy relationships? We're listening!

~~~~~~~~~~~French Vocabulary~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
taradiddle = silly story (also "fib); le onzième (m) = the "eleventh" district or "arrondissement"; l'amour (m) = love; le crayon (m) = pencil 
Read: Words in a French Life: Lessons in Love and Language from the South of France

Alans letters Alan's Letters is a personal chronicle of a teen soldier in WWII. "a universal story that rings true across time" -M.R. Berger

In Video: Visions Of France: See the breathtaking beauty of southeastern France from a spectacular vantage point.

Learn to Speak and Understand French with Pimsleur Language Programs

Cruise the side streets in style with this Euro-style electric scooter from Razor. Featuring a high-performance, chain-driven electric motor and a vintage-inspired body, the Pocket Mod can reach speeds of up to 15 miles per hour--plenty fast enough for a quick trip to the corner store or a fun ride in the country.

  Toc toc-ing in Saint Tropez (c) Kristin Espinasse
Un heurtoir (doorknocker) in St. Tropez. 

Best-sellers on the French Language:

Exercises in French   Phonics Exercises in French Phonics is...
" a great book for learning French pronunciation"
"useful and practical"
"high quality material, good value for your money" --from Amazon customer reviews. Order your copy here.

A Message from KristiFor twenty years now, support from readers like you has been an encouragement and a means to carve out a career in writing. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider a donation. Your gift keeps me going! Thank you very much.

Ways to contribute:
1. Send a check (to this new address)
2. Paypal or credit card
3. A bank transfer via Zelle, a great way to send your donation as there are no transaction fees.

Or purchase my book for a friend, and so help spread the French word.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety