Le quignon - is it your favorite part too?
Favorite French Customs and Traditions (and Quirks)!

Favorite French Words & next winetasting!


Last winetasting in September is on the 28th at 5pm. We would love to see you so don't be shy--nobody here bites! Email [email protected] to reserve your seat on the front patio. 

mimi (me-me)

    : cute, sweet, nice pretty

--from the word mignon. Mimi, in casual talk, means "kiss" (un mimi sur la joue = a kiss on the cheek). And in childspeak mimi means chat. (See a whole list of babytalk here)

trop mimi = too cute
c'est mimi = so sweet (or nice or pretty or adorable)
fais-moi un mimi = give me a kiss

Today I need your help. I'd like to spend time with my Dad and Marsha, who've just arrived. So I need you to share the word of the day. Let's make that our favorite word of the day. What word or phrase comes to mind when you think of a delightful French term? What French word makes you smile? To share a favorite French word, click here

Dad and Kristi 2014

Aw, c'est mimi! A sweet moment with my father. Going to enjoy every minute of his visit. Spending time with Dad and my lovely belle-mère, Marsha, will be a mini-vacation. See you sometime next week....

Love you More pillow. I bought that pillow for Jean-Marc. I like to put it out when we have wine tastings. It breaks the ice and lends to the cozy and inviting atmosphere. Get your own Love You More pillow here. Give it to a parent or your sweetheart or your child. Maybe you need one for yourself?

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


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Patricia Grayson

Bebe beigneur = big chubby toy doll in form of baby

Jan Ratziu

Coquelicot - I love the sound of it and the flower too (poppy)!

Eileen deCamp

Bonjour Kristin!

Have fun with your Dad and Marsha!

I love the phrase "mon petit chou" and "Ah, la vache", "Zut alors"

Love the photo of you and your Dad!

Angela Sargent

libellule(dragon fly) - it's like pouring a word.


I agree with Kristen mon petit Chou

Caroline McIntosh

I like the 'mimi' word that I just learned.
Thanks, Kristen.

Marsha Welsher

Coucou! Also love to say coqueicot, one of the first ever French words I learned from a dear French friend.
Marsha ( je suis aussi une belle-mère )

Lesley-Ann Hoare

My favourite? 'Vachement' as in 'vachement formidable'. Honestly, how can something be 'cowly fantastic' ??


Cacahuete !!

Always made me giggle!

Joan Hayes

OMG! I can't believe it's already on the list. I'm with Lesley-Ann. Vachement may be outdated but I still love it. C'est vachement bien!


Pamplemousse - just love the way it sounds.


hippopotame - It's just fun to say and my students always get a kick out of it.

Kenn Joyce

Kristen, we are arriving to the Dordogne next week & plan "gouter" the harvest in as many markets as we can find. Enjoy your visit with "votre pere"


The first new French word I learned when we moved here (apart from real estate jargon) was the simple le tournesol, which abound in SW France. Saying: La vie est dure sans confiture.

Cynthia Lewis

La pantoufle! You had it in one of your posts a few years ago. Have a wonderful week with your dad and belle-mère. Amitiés à tous, Cynthia


"Plus ça change" is a phrase that I come back to over and over.

Barbara Kelley

My favorite French word is…plouc! It fits so many people and situations. It means a rube, a bumpkin

Barry from Bama

Gros bisous perhaps. A father cannot have too many of those! Right on the forehead!

As an aside, I noticed The Resistance Man by Martin Walker listed on your blog under books. I really like this series of books by Martin Walker and highly recommend them.

Ronni Ebbers

Enjoy precious time with your Dad and Msrsha.
Favorite word: Mamie
Favorite phrase: n'importe quoi

Bon weekend


Caroline B

Ditto for "coquelicot"! I love the look and sound of it. And, that the poppy has such a special role in WW1 remembrance.

Janine Cortell

When our family lived in the south of France a local friend used to call my 2 year old daughter mon petit ecureuil.
Whenever I see a squirrel I still think of my daughter as a toddler. Mimi, n'est-ce pas?

Annette Heath

Poubelle is a big favorite for me....meaning trash/garbage can. I love to use it to explain my love of French to friends. It has such a beautiful sound compared to "garbage can", unless of course you change garbage to gare baghe....


tatillon - picky or fussy
Palpitant(e) - exciting

Joan Linneman

As a teacher, I notice how words look, and two of my favorites are oiseau and jouaient, because they have all five vowels! Here's a fun expression I learned someplace: "La culture est comme la confiture, le moins que l'on en a, le plus que l'on etend." I love pamplemousse for the sound of it, too.
Happy, mimi weekend everyone!

Neil Plakcy

Truc is so useful when you don't know the real word!

Sue jean

2 people have already said my word, which is coquelicot. My husband has some wonderful photos of the fields of poppies in France.

Julia Frey

I second libellule, always my favourite. My others are French but not really French: le caravansérail ( caravansary: an inn with a central courtyard for travelers in the desert regions of Asia or North Africa) and le farniente (as in le doux farniente - ne rien faire)

Chris Allin

Minou, minou, minou... Loved greeting the kitty cats in France.

Brolles-Bois-le-Roi...one of the places I lived as a teenager. Quite a challenge for Americans to properly roll the "r". Try saying it quickly three times in a row!

Happy week with your dad and Marsha, Kristin!

Erica Simoneaux

Arc en ciel!= Rainbow

When I lived in France 10 years ago, I said : arc aux colours! And I remember everyone thought that was so funny. So, I've never forgotten "arc en ciel".

Wini  Moranville -- Chez Bonne Femme

Bordelique! I worked with a French chef once who called me "bordelique." I was hoping it had something to do with the elegant city of Bordeaux (you know, like Bordelais) Alas, no. It means "messy," like a bordello.....I wrote about it here: http://chezbonnefemme.com/french-word-of-the-day-bordelique/

PS: Sorry--I used the title "French Word of the Day" before I ever saw your wonderful site!

Deborah Page

C'est chouette! Probably one of those outdated words. Also my husband (who barely speaks a word of French) likes the phrase "Ce n'est pas grave" which was said to him with a smile by a tiny little grandmotherly woman at a market one day.

Judy Smith

entre chien and loup - twilight

Betty w

Paraplouie and pamplemousse just have a wonderful sound. I may have to add a few from your list to my favorites. Please publish them with the phonetics and meanings. I love this.

Elizabeth Lopez

Not a word but a phrase:
Mon Petit Chou.

Jean Gudaitis

I am new so you may already have "faire dodo".
also like "boulot" for work.

Paul Crowley

I like the phrase C'est normal as a response to a thank you for something nice you have done.

Laurie Eager

La crépuscule- a favorite word and time of day!

Kayla Vodnoy

coquelicot has always been my favorite!

Gordon Lyman

Joie de vivre.

Catharine Ewart-Touzot

This was indeed a popular post..all of my favorites long spoken,..lovely picture of you and your father...have a lovely visit.

Jill Ferrie

le papillon-love picturing a colourful butterfly flying around!


pamplemousse...love saying that!

Carol Abrioux

Did anyone say merde? So useful.


I can't pick only one, so here are my favorite three! Grenouille, truffe, and the phrase "mon petit chou"

Faye Stampe,   Gleneden Beach, OR

Great post Kristen. Enjoy your time with your Dad !

I feed blue jays every am (and pm) and I always say "cou-cou & ca va" and practice my French.

They look at me, peck with their beaks --- then I throw the peanuts. I have a feeling they don't care about the French words: just give us the peanuts lady!

Angela Fowler

Ouistiti always makes me smile. Have a great time with our dad and Marsha!

Angela Fowler

Oops - meant your dad,


The kids always love pamplemousse. "How is that even close to 'grapefruit'?" they say. :)


Oh, I forgot a fun one from les BD. Saperlipopette! Watching le DVD... Les aventures de TinTin, you'll hear it.

Suzanne Dunaway

Une mystere et boule de gomme

A real mystery to figure out.

Audrey Wilson

C'est a moi - it's me or mine
Mimi is interesting for me My Aunt was known by this name ever since my brother as a toddler said after a visit from her, "Where's Mimi gone ?" My parents had no idea from where he got this at the age of about 3!!

Joan Linneman

I'm wondering where Suzanne got "mystere et boule de gomme." I hear it throughout the "French in Action" Series, but never knew what Marie-Laure was talking about. Does it come from an ad or a TV show or is it a real expression? Joan L.


Raison d'etre and bonne vie- I use them all the time, probably in all the wrong places, but I love 'em. Enjoy your visit with your dad & belle-mere!

Emma Brady

Je suis flagada ra pla pla. Colloquial for 'I feel knackered' - and I do, so good night. Emma Brady


Ouistiti.......i use it here when taking photos too just like in France. It does make everyone sourire!!!!


Hope you had a great day with your family! Petit bijou! What was it au pif? Mon petit - which i say to my little dog. I am not a very good student. Cafe au l'ait, croissant, Provence, Aix Paris, Normandy, Monet, Fauves, Chèvre etc.


J'en ai 3. J'en ai marre
Je donne ma langue au chat
mi coton mi laine (half way) usually in the negative pas mi coton mi laine;
in British " not just half "way).

Dianne de Poitiers

So many of my favorites are already on the list. French sounds so wonderful that one of my former students said "English is like printing. French is like writing in cursive!" I know it's in English, but I still decided to post it on my classroom wall. In our digital world, it seems to sum it up for me.

Robin Lewin

I agree with Annette - I like poubelle.

Also like fait accompli and ruse de guerre. Just like the way they sound!

As always, enjoyed your post and the wonderful pictures. Hope you are having a great visit with your family.


Andrea Hughes

Several expressions come to mind:

J'en ai ras le bol! (used it a lot when I was working in Paris)

Mince alors! (one of my Grandfather's favorites)

une larme (used when asked if you would like more of a beverage)

belle-soeur (also belle-mere because they're so opposite of their English counterparts which seem to often have a negative vibe; my sister-in-law loves this expression - it always makes her smile)

Linda Donahue

chuchoter-- a perfect onomatapeia

patricia flynn

lecher les vitrines- literally"window licking" --window shopping

Eve Taylor

J'aime bien le mot mistinquette.yes,I love the sound of it! There are so many .....


"Pois chiches" - I have always loved the sound and saying it aloud!


J'aime le mot "rigoleuse" - makes me giggle to hear it. Annie Gray

Jean(ne) in MN

All her American grandchildren called my French husband's mother "Mimi" at her request. She didn't like any of the traditional "mamie" names. It suited her to a T. Other French cousins called their grandmother "Minette". All from Provence. Chouette!

Jan Acorn


Henri Drane

I learned to pronounce the French U and R saying "urlu-burlu".


I love so many of these wonderful words - I think I need to make a little dictionary! One word I still love is 'aubergine' - I love the way it sounds, the color and even the taste that it can invoke!

Liz Hamilton

What about la falaise - means the cliff - sounds so much nicer than the English version.


Hi! This is more a "life in general" comment. I bragged about your French blog today.

Before I reveal the blogger, I could use your help. She said she would cook dinner for anyone who could conjugate "chiffonade". Please help! She is a great vegan cook!


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