Archive for April, 2015

Yup, it’s the coupe Longueuil.

You know — the mullet, also known as hockey hair.

I saw the ad above in a newspaper. It’s from a paint store, and it’s encouraging people to refresh their outdated-looking walls.

Une grande année pour les coupes Longueuil.
Pas pour vos murs.

A great year for mullets.
Not your walls.

Longueuil is across the river from Montréal. This lovely haircut takes its name from that city, whose residents had (have? 😛 ) the reputation of sporting it.

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In his latest article, Rabii Rammal writes about his mother who lived through the war. The bomb warnings that would drop from the sky (and facetiously paraphrased here by Rabii) used to read:

« Salut, vous, votre quartier passe au cash dans quelques heures. Mettons que si on était vous, on resterait pas pour un dernier verre. »

“Hello, in a few hours, you and your neighbourhood are in for it. Let’s just say if we were you, we wouldn’t stick around for a last drink.”

[Rabii Rammal, “Ma mère est une peureuse,” La Presse, 26 April 2015]

Passer au cash…

Passer à la caisse means to go to the cash (and pay). Cash is the English word for caisse. The expression passer au cash used here also means to pay, but in the sense of receiving a punishment or getting in trouble.

Attends que j’te pogne… tu vas passer au cash!
Wait till I catch you… you’re gonna pay!, you’re in for it!, you’re gonna get it!

You can also learn the expression mettons que from Rabii’s quote above. It means let’s (just) say that. We saw an example of this expression in #260 when a school teacher from the TV show 30 vies said:

J’suis contente que ça se calme dans ma classe parce que, côté famille, là… mettons que… mettons que ça se corse.

I’m happy things are calming down in my class because, as far as home goes… let’s just say… let’s just say things are getting complicated.

[30 vies, season 1, episode 54, Radio-Canada, 12 April 2011]

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Heard on the radio: the informal frette for froid.

The radio host said a guy who’d called into the show told him he’d finally taken his motorbike out for the first time this year: sortir sa moto, to get one’s bike out.

He then said the caller found it to be chilly outside. Laughing, he said: Mais y trouvait ça un p’tit peu frette! But he thought it was a little chilly out there!

Frette means chilly, cold here.

French uses trouver where English usually uses to think in sentences like I think it’s nice (j’trouve ça beau), I thought it was funny (j’ai trouvé ça drôle), etc.

With sortir sa moto, you’d use avoir to form the past tense: j’ai sorti ma moto.

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Just some random stuff to learn or review today…

1. Tant qu’à moi, c’est pas nécessaire.
In my opinion, it’s not necessary. Tant qu’à moi is often used in conversations in the same sense as quant à moi.

2. Tu parlais pas mal fort.
You were speaking pretty loud. Fort means loud when talking about volume. Pas mal is an intensifier.

3. J’en aurais pour la soirée à faire ça.
It would take me all evening to do that. J’en ai pour means it will take me when talking about time. J’en ai pour deux minutes. I’ll be two minutes. It’ll take me two minutes.

4. Y’est cheap en crisse.
He’s so damn cheap. Cheap can be used to call someone stingy. En crisse is a vulgar intensifier, like en estie and en tabarnak from #930. Crisse sounds much like the English name Chris, but with a French r. Y’est sounds like yé. It’s an informal pronunciation of il est.

5. Je fais ça aux trois semaines.
I do that every three weeks. Aux trois semaines means every three weeks. Similarly, aux trois jours, aux deux mois, etc.

6. Tu vas te faire pogner.
You’re going to get caught. The informal pogner means to catch, grab, nab, etc., so se faire pogner means to get caught. Remember, the g in pogner isn’t pronounced like a hard g. Pogner sounds like ponnyé.

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Overheard: A woman in her late 20s in Montréal lamented to a friend about her personal situation. With the way things were going, the woman said she’d probably end up in the street with all her stuff.

To end up in the street is finir dans la rue. But maybe you’ll remember that the words dans la have a high tendency of contracting in spontaneous speech.

Dans la can contract to dans ‘a, which sounds essentially like dans when the vowel sounds of dans and ‘a come together. We can show this informal contraction in writing with an apostrophe: dans’.

Instead of saying dans la rue then, she said dans’ rue.

Two words used to talk about “stuff” include affaires, which you might already know, and stock, which you might be unfamiliar with.

When the woman talked about ending up in the street with her stuff, she said all my stuff as tout mon stock.

We saw the word stock in a past entry when it appeared in an episode of the television show Les Parent — in that scene, Louis is helping his son with his homework. He’s surprised his son’s having trouble because the homework is easy stuff. He says to his son: C’est du stock de troisième année! This is Grade 3 stuff!

We saw stock again in another entry when a person who noticed I was carrying a lot of stuff in my arms said to me: T’as pas mal de stock. You’ve got a lot of stuff.

Remember, pas mal isn’t a negation; it’s an expression. Pas mal de means a lot of, quite a bit of.

Say the words pas mal together:
T’as / pas mal / de stock.

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