Les déchets domestiques ne vont pas dans cette poubelle!
Do not put household waste in this bin!
Déchets is just one of the words used to refer to garbage in French.
Another one that you’ll hear in Québec is vidanges, which is an informal use. You’d wouldn’t see vidanges in the sense of garbage used on a sign like this, for example.
Here are some ways that you might hear vidanges used.
As-tu sorti les vidanges?
Did you take out the garbage?
J’ai oublié de sortir les vidanges.
I forgot to take out the garbage.
Je l’ai jeté aux vidanges.
I threw it in the garbage.
In a scene from the television series La Galère, we hear the term un sac à vidanges, or garbage bag.
A character called Stéphanie has broken up with her boyfriend. She’s at home packing up his clothes neatly into a box so that she can return them to him.
Stéphanie’s friend Claude gets pissed off at how nice Stéphanie is being towards her ex by packing his stuff up for him. So Claude grabs the box, empties it all over the place, and tells Stéphanie to just dump his damn stuff into a garbage bag:
Tu me crisses ça dans un sac à vidanges!
[La Galère, season 4, episode 9, Radio-Canada,
Montréal, 7 November 2011]
The verb crisser comes from the name “Christ.” So when Claude tells Stéphanie to Christ his stuff into a garbage bag, she was really telling her to just throw his stuff the hell out.
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