Here are 7 random expressions in French that I overheard in Montréal this week and made a mental note of.
1. Tu me niaises-tu?
(Are you kidding me?)
When the métro train I was on pulled into the station, it came to a stop, and then the lights and motor when off completely. A young woman near me, standing with her friend, exclaimed: tu me niaises-tu? She was frustrated that a long delay seemed imminent. An older woman behind me yelled out sarcastically: super!
2. Allô? Allô? Ça coupe!
(Hello? Hello? You’re cutting in and out!)
A man talking on his mobile phone couldn’t hear what the person on the other end was saying. He kept saying allô? allô? and then ça coupe! The connection was obviously bad.
3. Y mouille un p’tit peu.
(It’s spitting out.)
The verb mouiller is often used in the same way as pleuvoir in Québec. Someone who says il mouille is saying the same thing as il pleut. The man who said this also said un p’tit peu. It was only spitting out when he said it.
4. Voulez-vous la facture?
(Do you want the receipt?)
When you order food at the cash, like in a food court, the cashier may ask if you want the receipt. You’ll hear a lot of employees working at the cash refer to the receipt as la facture.
5. En régulier?
(By regular post?)
I took an envelope to the post office. The man working at the cash asked if I wanted to send it by regular post: en régulier? If you wanted to send an envelope by regular post, you could say: en régulier, s’il vous plaît.
6. On va checker ça.
(We’ll check it out. We’ll take a look.)
A guy speaking into his mobile phone said this to the person on the other end. If you heard someone say check-moi ça! or even just check!, it means “check it out!” or “take a look at that!”
7. C’est moins dispendieux.
(It’s less expensive.)
An employee in Pharmaprix was showing a product to a customer. She told her that product was less expensive, moins dispendieux, than another similiar product. This means exactly the same thing as moins cher, which is of course also said in Québec. The word dispendieux looks big and fancy and formal, but it’s not. It really does just mean the same thing as cher in Québec.
In entry #631, you read about how the Québécois use the word vidanges in the sense of garbage. In the comments, roxannabanana asked if this word is always used in the plural.
In the sense of garbage, yes, vidanges is used in the plural. You may come across the singular form when vidange is used to refer to an oil change in a vehicle, however.
In the image, taken at a garage, we read: vidange d’huile (oil change) above the door on the left. This usage in the sense of oil change is known throughout the French-speaking world, but the plural usage in the sense of garbage is québécois.