Posts Tagged ‘à côté de la coche’

C’est s’a coche! Ian asks me about the meaning of the expression être s’a coche used by younger people in Québec.

The Wikébec glossary defines this expression here as: être à la page, à la mode, intéressant, super, plaisant. We could also add “cool” to this list. In short, it means that something is very good.

Maybe you’re confused about the s’a in the middle of it. This s’a is in fact an informal spoken contraction of sur la. If we were to “decontract” the expression, it would be être sur la coche.

Une coche is a nick or mark, like the kind made with a knife by carving a notch in a piece of wood.

In French, the expression être à côté de la coche refers to being off the mark, on the wrong track. If being off the mark is bad, then maybe we can say that being on the mark, like in être s’a coche, has to be very good!

I found a clip on YouTube of two people practising a slogan to promote their restaurant’s poutine. They use the expression être s’a coche in the video: Au resto Magik Gus, la poutine est s’a coche!

Here’s another clip where the expression is used. In this ad from the STM (Montréal’s public transport provider), the speakers flaunt the ecological nature of the métro.

At the end of the clip, a kid yells out: Le métro, c’est s’a coche!

Maybe you noticed that the uploader of this video entitled it Le métro, c’est su’a coche. The contraction su’a means the same thing as s’a. In fact, it’s half-way between sur la and s’a!

Contracting sur la isn’t limited to this expression. You may hear it contracted elsewhere during an informal conversation. I suggest that you stick with the full sur la in regular language situations yourself — except perhaps with this informal expression, if you’re particularly keen on using it!

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