brosse à dents


chalkboard (c) Kristin Espinasse

foutu(e) (foo-tew) adjective

    1.  damned, ruined, done for

    2. kaput, worn out, shot (exhausted)

    3. capable (elle est foutue de le faire = she's very capable of doing it)

Warning! today's word is slang and not appropriate for all social situations (!!!)


être mal foutu(e) = to be unattractive
être bien foutu(e) = to have a good body

Have another foutu(e) expression or definition or example? There are many (some unpublishable, here...) Please share it with us here, in the comments box!

Audio File: Listen to Jean-Marc: Download MP3 or Wav file

Notre réservoir d'eau est foutu! Our water reservoir is shot!


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

My 16-year-old is acting odd again. The other night he appeared in the kitchen... avec un bouquet de fleurs sauvage!

Max's floral apparition stopped me in my scattered tracks. I stared at the bunch of wildflowers—make that "the bunch with THE wildflower". Turns out Max had uprooted a large green bush which sported a single orange souci. I recognised the bush, which grows—or grew—beside the kids' trampoline. (I quite liked it there, the flower bush; it had served as a modest camouflage to the unsightly jumping apparatus!) 

As clumps of earth fell to the kitchen floor, bursting on contact, I tried to maintain a look of enthusiasm. "Oh... wow... Thank you, Max..." I couldn't help but wonder, to what did I owe this honor? Why, all of a sudden, was my teenager rewarding me? Could he sense the pressure his parents have been under?...

(By the way last time he offered me flowers, he was a toothless 8-year-old, as seen here:)


Salt Lake 2002 Winter Games Olympics (c) Kristin Espinasse

I forced myself to focus on the crumbling cadeau, though I was distracted with concern. It wasn't the uprooting of the buisson camoufleur that upset me. No, my inner turmoil was the result of a recent household calamity: our water tank had just burst, leaving us sans eau. Max's offering came at a comically inconvenient time! Accepting my son's gift meant I would have to give up some of the precious water we had collected, in buckets and containers strewn about our house. I looked over to the comptoir, where 5 bottles of water (a lifesaver from Dirt Diva Malou) came into view. How much would it take to nourish this little fleur and its family of feuilles affamées? And what about our thirsty family? 

In the end I did what any mother would do, and shot from the heart: I shot right over to the dwindling water supply and began to pour out enough eau précieuse to sustain that flower bush. Well, that was my noble plan, anyway. The survivalist in me had other ideas, and I watched, avec tristesse, as she snapped off a portion of the flower bush and tucked it into a small vase—a shot glass, actually—with just enough water to hydrate the little souci flower. Voilà, one less souci...

Max did not appear vexé. I watched as he trotted off, taking the stairs two by two. Before he disappeared into the cage d'escalier, I caught a glimpse of the ear-to-ear smile. He looked satisfied, downright high on that feeling that comes from spontaneous giving.  

My eyes returned to the countertop, over which a sinkful of dishes had stretched.... I looked over to the empty and dry casserole, on the stovetop. Nearby, a box of pasta rested unopened. Now if only our water tank would be as giving as our generous teenager.

Le Coin Commentaires
Did you enjoy today's story? Corrections are always welcome. Do you want to share a household calamity that you survived? Click here to leave a comment.

Word Study: one of the words in today's story has two meanings, both of which were exercised in the essay. This word was also featured in two different posts:

le souci = worry (read the worry story here)

le souci = flower (read the flower story here)

French Vocabulary

le souci = marigold flower

la cage d'escalier = stairwell

... Help! I didn't have time to finish the vocab section, as I had to hurry off to pick-up the kids from school. Would some of you like to find and define the French vocabulary in this story? Please share the words and definitions in the comments box only (no need to send them to me, better to post them for all to see!). Click here to add a word and definition to the comments box.


Jm k

 Time Machine. Chief Grape and I, a handful of years ago (Paris, 2005... at Willy's Wine Bar).

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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety