Archive for the ‘Entries #551-600’ Category


Yes! Entry #600!

As #600 approached, I got curious as to the most googled québécois words and phrases that led people to OffQc since it began in December 2010… and there they are in the image above!

You can click on it to make it bigger.

Do you know them all?

Thanks everybody for continuing to read OffQc. It’s a privilege to have your attention.

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Yesterday’s entry Everything you ever wanted to know about the québécois use of ÉCOEURANT contained a lot of info, and words with double meanings can be intimidating.

Here’s a simplified version:

If the adjective écoeurant is said in a negative tone (like yuck), it means “disgusting.”

If the adjective écoeurant is said in a positive tone (like wow), it means “awesome.”

The noun un écoeurant is an insult meaning “bastard.”

That’s it!

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Before reading, you may like to read a simplified explanation of what écoeurant means, and then come back to this entry for all the details. Otherwise, dive in!

Something that’s écoeurant in French can be described as disgusting in English, such as une odeur écoeurante.

The use of écoeurant in the sense of disgusting is understood by francophones everywhere. But, in Québec, écoeurant can take on some additional meanings.

One of the additional meanings given to the adjective écoeurant is in fact a very positive one, and has nothing to do with being disgusting.

Ils ont donné un show écoeurant! (Y’ont donné un show écoeurant!)
They put on an awesome show!

J’ai une idée écoeurante!
I’ve got an amazing idea!

Comment ç’a été? (How was it?)
Super écoeurant! (Super amazing!)

Wow! C’est écoeurant ça!
Wow! That’s awesome!

You may also come across the expression en écoeurant, like in this example from a blog comment on La Presse:

L’appartement sent bon en écoeurant […].
The apartment smells amazingly good.

When écoeurant is used in a positive sense, you’ll know it because the speaker’s enthusiasm conveys it.

Be careful, though: referring to a person with the noun form of écoeurant sends us back into the negative end of this word’s meanings.

Lui, c’t’un écoeurant!
He’s such a bastard!

Va chier, mon écoeurant!
Fuck off, you bastard!

In an article from Le Devoir, we find a good example of the insult used in the political arena:

« Vous êtes une bande d’écœurants », crie le ministre Antoine Rivard.
“You’re a bunch of bastards,” yelled minister Antoine Rivard.

In an example on OffQc from 2010, Claude from the television show La Galère refers to her boyfriend as an écoeurant:

Oh l’écoeurant! […] le salaud d’écoeurant!
Oh that bastard! That dirty bastard!

An amusing example from Les chroniques de Karîse Dondelle, humour domestique, p.11, by Caroline Côté:

Deux minutes plus tard, [mon mari] renverse sa bière. De la faute à qui? Moi. Si j’avais oublié de l’apporter aussi, il ne l’aurait pas renversée. Mais là, n’allez pas croire que mon mari c’est un écœurant, là. Wow! Il ne dit pas que c’est toujours ma faute, non, non, des fois il admet que c’est lui. Par exemple, quand on peinture la galerie pis tout le monde trouve ça beau, il dit que c’est lui.

Two minutes later, [my husband] spills his beer. And whose fault is that? Mine. If I hadn’t remembered to bring that to him either, he wouldn’t have spilled it. But don’t go thinking my husband’s a bastard just because of that. Wow! He doesn’t say that it’s always my fault, no, no, sometimes he admits that it’s his. For example, when we paint the veranda and everybody thinks it looks nice, he takes the blame.

That quote also contains an example of used at the end of a statement:

Mais là, n’allez pas croire que mon mari c’est un écœurant, là.

To learn more about this usage of là, take a look at:
Everything you ever wanted to know about the québécois use of LÀ

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Tanné d'être gelé?

This ad seen in métro Atwater asks:

Tanné d’être gelé?
Had it with being stoned?

The ad is aimed at people with drug, alcohol and gambling addictions.

être tanné de
to be fed up with

stoned, drugged

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In entry #595, I posted a video where comedian Jean-François Mercier pokes fun at smokers by professing his love for his anti-nicotine attack dog Roxie.

Let’s look at two parts of that video, where Mercier uses language you might find difficult. I’ve reposted the video below for convenience, but you can return to the original entry for the transcription and translation into English.

1. Mercier says:
[…] tu comprends pas pourquoi qu’y’a des gens qui fument.

This means: tu ne comprends pas pourquoi il y a des gens qui fument.

Instead of il y a, Mercier pronounces this informally as y’a. This occurs very frequently in spoken French.

He also stuck in que after pourquoi. You don’t need to adopt this yourself, just recognise that sometimes you’ll hear it.

He also left out ne in his sentence, using only pas to negate. This happens very frequently in spoken French.

2. Mercier says:
[…] à cause que t’es-t-un chien.

This means: parce que tu es un chien.

À cause que means the same thing as parce que. The use of à cause que has fallen out of use elsewhere in the francophonie but you can still hear it in spoken French in Québec. It’s not used in formal language. On the other hand, parce que can be heard at all levels of language, and Mercier does in fact also say parce que in the video.

Rather than tu es, Mercier says t’es. This occurs very frequently in spoken French. You’ll also hear him say t’aurais instead of tu aurais, t’étais instead of tu étais, and t’as instead of tu as.

Mercier also slipped in a -t- liaison between es and un (t’es-t-un chien). You don’t need to adopt this feature, just recognise it.

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