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Archive for September, 2016

A pedestrian walking eastward in Montréal crossed the street. Although he had the right of way, a car making a turn at the intersection attempted to cut him off. Angry, the pedestrian yelled at the driver of the car:

Mange d’la marde!

When the pedestrian reached the other side, he crossed the street yet again, this time heading south. That’s when another car passed in front of him, even though he again had the right of way. The pedestrian also yelled at this second driver:

Enweille, épaisse!!

As he yelled it, he motioned with his arms for the driver to get out of his way.

In the first quote, as you may have guessed, the expression manger de la marde means to eat shit.

In the second quote, enweille! is used to tell the driver to get a move on, as in move it!, come on! Épais, and the feminine form épaisse, are used in Québec to call someone an idiot.

Mange d’la marde!
Eat shit!

Enweille, épaisse!!
Move it, you idiot!!

Where does enweille! come from? Enweille! is an imperative form, deriving from the verb envoyer. It’s a colloquial pronunciation of envoye!, and you’ll sometimes see it spelled like that too in literature, in the dialogue of a character. In informal writing, you’ll see different variations: enweille!, anweille!, awèye!, etc.

As an adjective, épais means thick. In colloquial language, épais can also be used as an adjective or noun in the sense of idiot.

T’es ben épaisse de dire ça.
You’re such an idiot for saying that.

(T’es is a contraction of tu es; it sounds like té. Ben is a contraction of bien; it sounds like the French word bain and means very here. You can learn about high-frequency contracted forms used in colloquial Québécois French with OffQc’s Contracted French ebook and audio.)

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