les fleurs de cimetière (lay flur deuh sim tee ere)
: age spots, "cemetery flowers"
Le médecin m'a dit que j'ai les fleurs de cimetière sur ma peau!
The doctor said that I have "cemetery flowers" on my skin!
A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse
I thanked the doctor for reassuring me that the small, flesh-toned bosse on my forehead—and the darker one on the back of my arm—were, after all, bénin. How many miserable moments had I spent pushing at or scraping or pinching the suspect "growths" which seemed to be spreading? I know better than to pick at la peau, but it was in those absentminded moments that I would reach up to my forehead and scratch at the knotty skin only to be startled to find it flaking off again!
The médecin généraliste determined the bump on my forehead to be nothing more than an old scar, une cicatrice that I had simply forgotten about. As for the little lump on the back of my arm, the one for which I twisted the latter endlessly so as to get another look, it was nothing to worry about either.
Afraid that the doctor might take me for a hypochondriaque, I laughed it off: "I'll bet you get a lot of false alarms like this...."
The doc replied with a sympathetic smile, which grew bigger as her eyes locked onto my hands, which were busy writing out a check.
"And speaking of spots..." the doctor said, "we call those 'les fleurs de cimetière'." I followed her glance to the backs of my hands where a sprinkling of spots now came into focus. I hadn't noticed them so much before....
"Oh. I thought they were freckles!"
As I exited the doctor's office the score was "-2 plus 1": I had two fewer things to worry about and one more "something" to agonize over: le vieillissement de la peau.
Post note: It turns out that "growth" wasn't harmless afterall -- it was basal cell carcinoma.
le mot par jour = word a day
la bosse = bump, lump
bénin = harmless, benign
la peau = skin
le médecin généraliste = general, or family, doctor
la cicatrice = scar
le/la hypochondriaque = hypochondriac
les fleurs de cimetière = "cemetery flowers" (age spots)
le vieillissement de la peau = the aging of the skin
On Friday we bottled 12,000 units of our Domaine Rouge-Bleu... including our 2009 cuvée!
Note: these photos were taken one year ago. Look at Smokey. Oh, how they grow!
Thank you for considering a contribution today!
Ongoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and improving this free language journal, for the past 18 years. If you enjoy this website and would like to keep it going, please know your donation towards this effort makes all the difference! No matter the weather, on good days or bad, I am committed to sharing a sunny, vocabulary-packed update with you, one you can look forward to. I hope it fuels your dreams of coming to France while expanding your French vocabulary. A contribution by check or via PayPal (or credit card, links below) is greatly appreciated. Merci!