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While Christmas shopping, I ended up in a bookshop. I browsed books I like and got nothing accomplished.

There’s always the morning of the 24th, right?

While there, the titles of three books for young people caught my eye.

  

1. Mon frère est gentil mais… tellement traîneux!

Author: Josée Pelletier

The expression laisser traîner (quelque chose) means “to leave (something) lying around.” Someone who’s traîneux is messy and leaves stuff lying around.

2. Ma sœur est gentille mais… tellement texto!

Author: Josée Pelletier

Un texto is a “text message.” Ma sœur est tellement texto, my sister’s “all text message.” She’s obsessed with texting.

3. Mon grand-père est gentil mais… tellement flyé!

Author: Reynald Cantin

Flyé means eccentric, out of the ordinary, wild. The fly part is pronounced like the English word “fly.” This informal adjective can describe people and anything that’s “out there,” like ideas, plans, etc.

Do you know how to pronounce gentil and gentille? Remember, there is no L sound in either of these words.

Gentil rhymes with menti.

The tille part of gentille rhymes with fille.

Portraits de Montréal published an interesting story on Facebook about a man who grew up in a family of farmers.

The man tells us that he loved the farm while growing up, and that he wanted to become a farmer himself. But he also tells us that his father saw things very differently.

His father sold the farm because he was only in it for the money and couldn’t understand why his son would care. He used drugs and beat his son.

You can read the text here.

It contains vocabulary that I thought you’d like to learn — vocabulary related to being a farmer and problems with the man’s father.

1. Être fermier, c’est l’fun au bout.
Being a farmer is so much fun.

Bout here would’ve been pronounced as boutte when the speaker said it. The expression au boutte means “totally.”

2. Il est de même.
He’s like that.
That’s the way he is.

De même here means comme ça.

3. Lui, il était là-dedans pour l’argent.
He was in it for the money.

4. Moi, je m’en crissais de l’argent.
I didn’t give a damn about the money.

Je m’en crisse means “I don’t give a damn.”

5. Elle est donc ben propre la grange!
The barn is just so clean!

Donc is pronounced don here. The original text on Facebook contains a spelling error: donc was spelled incorrectly as dont.

6. Câlisse ton camp.
Get the hell out of there.

Camp sounds like quand. Don’t pronounce the p.

7. La vache était loose dans son enclos.
The cow was loose in its pen, enclosure.

The spelling lousse is also used.

8. Je mangeais une volée.
I used to take a beating.
I used to get beaten up.

The expression is manger une volée.

9. Mon père était fucké.
My father was fucked up.

10. Il sniffait.
He used to sniff, snort drugs.

11. de la coke
coke (cocaine)

J’crois que j’ai utilisé toutes mes journées de maladie, faque j’vais caller morte. I think I’ve used up all my sick days at work, so I’m gonna call in dead.

If only!

The expression utiliser une journée de maladie means “to use a sick day (at work),” which is calqued on the English equivalent. We can also say this expression as prendre un congé de maladie.

Faque means alors, “so.” It comes from a reduction of (ça) fait que.

Caller (pronounced câllé; the â makes an “aww” sound) derives from the English verb “call.” Caller as used in this meme is strictly an informal usage.

Caller morte (to call in dead) is not a frequently used expression in Québec. Despite the Québécois’ reputation of having a laid-back attitude to life, not even here is it common to call in dead at work! The expression is just used for comic effect. It’s based on the equally informal expression caller malade (to call in sick).

Don’t confuse the informal caller with the verb caler. Not only are these two verbs pronounced differently (caler doesn’t use the â sound), they don’t mean the same thing. Example: caler une bière, to down a beer, to chug a beer. Caler une bière is a Québécois expression.

Image source: quebecme.me

_ _ _

Update:

To make this meme sound even more like colloquially spoken French, we could change j’vais to j’vas (sounds like jvâ). This alternate conjugation is frequently heard in the spoken French of Québec.

You’ll also hear m’as (sounds like ). It means the same thing as j’vas/j’vais (m’as caller morte, I’m gonna call in dead).

An alternate and more spontaneous sounding wording:

J’pense que j’ai pris toutes mes journées de maladie, faque m’as caller morte / faque j’vas caller morte.

Here’s a new texto conversation in French taken from the Les Parent Facebook page.

We saw another one recently in entry #874.

Today’s conversation uses the word niaiseux. The conversation takes place between husband (blue) and wife (grey).

Click on the image to make it bigger.

Chéri, c’est quoi, le nouveau NIP de la carte?
Honey, what’s the [bank] card’s new PIN?

Tu devrais pas demander ça par texto.
You shouldn’t ask that in a text message.

Je sais, mais je suis pressée.
I know, but I’m in a rush.

(Ton âge) x 3 – 125, date du décès de ton oncle Guy, mon chiffre chanceux, nombre de pattes de mon premier chien.
(Your age) x 3 – 125, the day your uncle Guy died, my lucky number, the number of paws my first dog had.

1-2-3-4?
1-2-3-4?

Affirmatif…
Affirmative…

Niaiseux.
You goof.

NIP stands for numéro d’identification personnel. It’s pronounced like a word, not as three individual letters. Your NIP is the code you enter at the bank machine or when paying by debit.

Un texto is a text message. Par texto means “by text message.” This is similar to un courriel (an email) and par courriel (by email).

The wife calls the husband niaiseux here. She’s teasing him when she says this. It’s like calling him a goof for delivering the PIN to her through coded language. The feminine form is niaiseuse.

The adjective niaiseux can also mean “idiot” or “stupid” and be used to insult someone. It’s obvious here that it’s being used to tease though, not insult.

In the last post, we saw an example of the Québécois verb gosser.

Let’s take a closer look at how the verb gosser can be used in the sense of “to bug someone” or “to give someone a rough time.”

Here are some good examples pulled from a quick Google search:

Au secondaire tu n’arrêtais pas de me gosser avec ça! In secondary school, you always bugged me about that!

Mon propriétaire est un vieux pervers dégueu qui arrête pas de me gosser. The owner is a disgusting, old pervert who keeps bugging me.

Ma blonde arrêtait pas de me gosser pour en acheter une. My girlfriend kept bugging me to buy one.

In the last entry, Rabii Rammal used se faire gosser instead. If gosser quelqu’un means “to give someone a rough time,” then se faire gosser means “to be given a rough time” by someone. Rammal wrote:

Tous, homme ou femme, ont le droit de ne pas se faire gosser dans la rueEverybody, male or female, has the right to not be bothered in the street.

Here are a few more examples pulled from a Google search:

Je me faisais gosser par les infirmières à l’hôpital pour que mes garçons boivent aux 3 heures. I was bugged by the nurses at the hospital to get my boys to drink every 3 hours.

Je me suis fait gosser par un policier. I was given a rough time by a policeman.

J’haïs tellement ça me faire gosser par un vendeur! I hate it so much when salesmen bug me!

Tips: Aux trois (quatre, cinq…) heures means “every three (four, five…) hours.” J’haïs is pronounced ja-i.

In short:

gosser quelqu’un
to give someone a rough time

se faire gosser par quelqu’un
to be given a rough time by someone

The verb gosser has even more uses than just the ones here. Let’s leave that for a future post…

In La Presse, Rabii Rammal writes an article in response to a video called “10 hours of walking in NYC as a woman.” This video shows a woman who receives unwanted attention 100 times in 10 hours walking through New York.

Rammal’s article (C’est rassurant, être un homme) contains a few Québécois usages.

Referring to the men who called out to the woman asking how she was doing, he writes:

Qu’est-ce que t’en as à colisser de comment elle va? What the hell do you care how she’s doing?

He also writes:

Tous, homme ou femme, ont le droit de ne pas se faire gosser dans la rue. Everybody, male or female, has the right to not be bothered in the street.

In the first quote, qu’est-ce que t’en as à colisser? (“what the hell do you care?” or even “what the fuck do you care?”) is an impolite usage.

Gosser quelqu’un means “bother, exasperate, nag someone,” example: y’arrête pas de me gosser avec ça, “he won’t stop bothering me about that; he won’t stop nagging me about that.” Rammal’s quote uses se faire gosser.

[French quotes written by Rabii Rammal in C’est rassurant, être un homme, La Presse, 2 November 2014.]

* * *

When you order food at a fast food restaurant, you’ll need to know these expressions: C’est pour ici? (Is it for here?) C’est pour manger ici? (Is it for [eating] here?) C’est pour emporter? (Is it to go?) C’est pour ici ou pour emporter? (Is it for here or to go?)

At a fast food restaurant in Montréal this weekend, the cashier left me wondering what my third possibility was for where to eat my food.

- C’est pour emporter?
- Non.
- C’est pour manger ici?

- Is it to go?
– No.
– Is it for here?

:-|

Here’s a fictitious text message conversation between two brothers (Zak and Oli) taken from the Québécois television comedy Les Parent.

You can click on the phone to enlarge it.

Oli, es-tu réveillé?
Oli, are you awake?

Ouais… Pas capable de dormir.
Yeah… Can’t sleep.

Lol! Moi non plus. J’entends ronfler jusque dans ma chambre.
Lol! Neither can I. I can hear the snoring all the way in my room.

Je sais. Imagine quand tu dors dans le même lit.
I know. Imagine what it’s like when you sleep in the same bed.

Yark! Grand-p’pa devrait clairement se faire opérer les fosses nasales! Lol!
Yuck! Granddad obviously needs to get his nostrils operated! Lol!

Heu… C’est ma blonde qui ronfle.
Uh… It’s my girlfriend who’s snoring.

Notes

Réveillé means “awoken” (awoken from sleep). Debout means “up” (physically out of bed).

Learn the difference between moi aussi and moi non plus. Moi aussi means “me too.” Moi non plus means “me neither.”

– J’aime ça. I like that.
– Moi aussi. So do I.

– J’aime pas ça. I don’t like that.
– Moi non plus. Neither do I.

Capable often sounds like capab’ when it’s pronounced informally. Chu pas capab’ de dormir. I can’t sleep.

Une blonde is used in Québec for “girlfriend.”

This show is called Les Parent and not Les Parents. Parent is the family’s surname. The title translated into English is “The Parent Family.”

In French, you never put an s on a surname in the plural, no matter what the ethnic background: les Tremblay, les Rossi, les Jackson.

Because this comedy deals with the trials of being a parent, the title is in fact also a play on words (les Parent sounds like les parents).