Archive for January, 2015

Yesterday’s post about the expression quand même contained an example of the feminine word aubaine as used in Québec:

Quelle aubaine!
What a deal!
What an offer!

C’est une aubaine.
It’s a good offer.
It’s a good price.

Later on, I spotted a sign in a Montréal shop using the same word:

Aubaine de la semaine
Offer of the week
Special of the week
Feature of the week, etc.

You can click on the thumbnail to see a larger version.

On the other sign, we see solde, which means “sale.”

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A good expression to know that came up while I was listening to the radio is quand même.

You’re probably familiar with quand même when it means “anyway,” like this: C’est cher, mais je vais l’acheter quand même. It’s expensive, but I’m going to buy it anyway.

A usage you might be less familiar with is when quand même is used to show surprise.

Overheard on the radio:

— Ça coûte deux millions de dollars. Quand même!
— Quelle aubaine!

— It costs two million dollars. Imagine that!
— What a great price!

The speaker who said it was an aubaine said this sarcastically. He didn’t really believe it to be a great price.

Another example:

— Il roulait à 130 kilomètres à l’heure.
— Quand même…

— He was driving at 130 kilometres per hour.
— Imagine that…

We’ve also got aubaine in the first example above. Learn that one too. It’s a feminine word and refers to a good price, a sale item: C’est une aubaine. It’s a good deal, a good price.

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A short Facebook update by Rabii Rammal reminds us of both Québécois vocabulary and good manners on this brutal winter day:

Ce soir après la job, stationne pas ton char dans la place que ton voisin a déneigée. C’est pas très gentil.

This evening after work, don’t park your car in the spot that your neighbour had to shovel. That’s not very nice.

la job
job, work

[ne] stationne pas
don’t park

ton char
your car

la place
place, spot

to clear away the snow

When a snowplough comes along, it dumps mounds of snow around cars parked in the street, blocking them in. Owners then have the pleasure of having to dig their car out with a shovel. These are the parking spots that Rabii asks neighbours not to steal after work (wouldn’t it be nice).

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Chris asks about a French adjective that sounds like sou in the masculine and soule in the feminine. It means “drunk.” What word is it?

soûl (masculine; sounds like sou)
soûle (feminine; sounds like soule)

You’ll also see this spelling:

saoul (masculine; sounds like sou)
saoule (feminine; sounds like soule)

A québécois expression that comes to mind using the adjective soûl is this one: être soûl comme une botte.

If you’re soûl comme une botte, then you’re very drunk.

In Yves Beauchemin’s Le matou, we find:

Il était soûl comme une botte en quittant le restaurant.
He was totally drunk when he left the restaurant.

This is the masculine form of the adjective, so it’s pronounced sou.

A character on the 2014 Bye Bye used the vulgar expression en crisse after this adjective to make it stronger:

J’étais soûle en crisse!
I was drunk as hell!
I was fucking drunk!

This is the feminine form of the adjective, so it’s pronounced soule.

According to the rectifications orthographiques, this adjective can also be spelled soul and soule, without the accent.

saoul, saoule (older spelling)
soûl, soûle
soul, soule (according to spelling modifications)

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