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6 gigs, ça fait beaucoup de selfies

6 gigs, ça fait beaucoup de selfies

I saw this ad in the street from Vidéotron advertising a smartphone special.

6 Go
Ça fait beaucoup de selfies

6 GB
That’s a lot of selfies

Sorry for the quality of the image. There was a lot of light when I took the photo, and I had to position myself to avoid getting my fat face de bœuf in the reflection.

Go (gigaoctet), gigabyte
Mo (mégaoctet), megabyte
ko (kilooctet), kilobyte

Gigaoctet is often shortened to gig when speaking, and mégaoctet to meg.

The selfie is a picture taken of yourself with your phone. When I was at university, before cellphones and later smartphones took over the planet (and before I had even sent my very first email ever), we used to playfully call the selfie une autophoto in French!

_ _ _

Update (2014/04/11)

Some readers have made comments that I’d like to add here. On Twitter, @desrosier_j suggests moivatar for selfie. In the comments below, iericksen mentioned égoportrait. On the OffQc Facebook page, Maria pointed out that the OQLF has already recommended autophoto and égoportrait.

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au prix du gros = at wholesale price

So after seeing the same expression on two different signs in the same week (an expression that I never normally see), I’ll take that as a sign that I’m supposed to put it on OffQc.

au prix du gros
at wholesale price

pain frais au prix du gros
fresh bread at wholesale price

chocolat de Pâques au prix du gros
Easter chocolate at wholesale price

Speaking of which…

Now that the elections are over, we can think about other things… like chocolate. I’m not ashamed; one of the best things about Easter? Cadbury creme eggs. Go eat one, or five. You deserve it for surviving the elections. And if they aren’t sold where you live, here’s a virtual one for you 😀

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I’m not sure I’ve ever seen an election sign quite like this one, but OffQc approves for breaking the dress code.

This election sign, or pancarte électorale, is from the Option nationale.

Not only is the rugged-faced Viau candidate Benjamin Michaud wearing a casual shirt instead of formal attire, he’s also revealing a hairy chest.

I think his image fits well with the slogan chosen by Option nationale: Réveiller le courage.

I’m sure it takes courage to break away from the “safe” dress shirt and tie.

une pancarte électorale
election sign

un slogan
slogan

Viau
a provincial electoral district of Montréal

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If you’ve ever noticed that fire hydrants in Montréal have a yellow post attached to them and weren’t sure why, the image should unravel the mystery.

In the winter, snow may completely cover a fire hydrant, or borne-fontaine, making it impossible to locate.

The yellow post attached to it rises above the snow so that the borne-fontaine can be found by the pompiers, the firefighters.

une borne-fontaine
des bornes-fontaines
fire hydrant

les pompiers
firefighters

un incendie
fire

_ _ _

I saw this large ad from Danone on one of the walls at the Gare centrale in Montréal.

Can you guess the word #?%$ stands for on the sign?

Bottez le #?%$ de vos matins

When you fill in the missing word, it forms a French expression: botter le —.

The missing word is cul.

Bottez le cul de vos matins
Kick your mornings in the ass
[literally: kick the ass of your mornings]

Remember, the last letter in cul is silent. This word is pronounced cu, just like the name of the letter q in French.

Now look up at the top of the sign. There’s another missing word, this one represented by the image of an alarm clock.

The French word for alarm clock is réveil or réveille-matin. But the Québécois also call it a cadran.

un réveil
un réveille-matin
un cadran
alarm clock

Le cadran n’a pas sonné!
The alarm clock didn’t go off!

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I came across the ad in the first image in a public space in Montréal. It’s from a mobile phone company called Fido, who always use dogs in their ads. This one says:

On a du flair pour les bonnes affaires
We’ve got flair for good deals

There’s wordplay here because the text reminds us of the French verb flairer, which is something that dogs do: “to sniff.”

Le chien policier a flairé 50 kilos de pot.
The police dog sniffed out 50 kilos of pot.

The t in pot in the sense of marijuana is pronounced. It sounds like potte.

This ad from Fido reminded me of six expressions used in Québec related to dogs (and bitches):

1. ton chien est mort
2. avoir du chien
3. fucker le chien
4. avoir la chienne
5. donner la chienne
6. c’est chien

Ton chien est mort. You’re shit outta luck!

1. ton chien est mort

If your dog is dead, it’s because your chances of achieving something have all gone out the window.

Imagine you’re a guy who really wants to go out with a certain girl you’ve been interested in for a long time. Just when you’ve finally worked up the courage to ask her out, you discover she’s begun going out with a guy a thousand times more attractive than you… Fuhgeddaboudit, guy. Ain’t gonna happen. Your dog is dead. Ton chien est mort. You no longer stand a chance!

You can also say mon chien est mort and son chien est mort.

2. avoir du chien

If you’ve “got dog,” it’s because you’re determined. You’ve got personality. You’re a go-getter.

Ces deux jeunes-là ont du chien et réalisent de grandes choses.
Those two young people are go-getters and are doing big things.

Elle a du talent et du chien.
She’s got talent and determination.

3. fucker le chien

Fucker le chien?This expression literally means “to fuck the dog.”

The idea behind this expression is to waste time or go around in circles trying to accomplish something.

A variation on this expression is fourrer le chien. The verb fourrer also means “to fuck.”

Fucker is pronounced foquer.

J’ai fucké le chien dans ma jeunesse.
I did fuck-all in my youth.

J’ai fucké le chien pour modifier mon mot de passe.
I had a fuck of a hard time trying to change my password.

J’ai fucké le chien avec ça pendant deux mois.
I had a fuck of a hard time with that for two months.

4. avoir la chienne

Une chienne is the female form of chien. So, this expression literally means “to have the bitch.” If you’ve got the bitch, it’s because you’re terrified, frightened.

This expression has in fact already appeared twice on OffQc.

In entry #225, a character called Brigitte from the television show 30 vies tells a colleague she must get tested for cancer. She admits to being terrified:

J’ai tellement la chienne.
I’m so terrified.

In entry #238, we saw that a newspaper headline read:

Les libraires ont la chienne
Booksellers are terrified

The newspaper article was about how booksellers are terrified at the idea of becoming irrelevant due to the advent of the iPad.

5. donner la chienne

This is similar to number 4; donner la chienne means to terrify, to frighten.

Ça me donne la chienne.
It frightens me.

Les hôpitaux me donnent la chienne.
Hospitals terrify me.

6. c’est chien

In this expression, chien means méchant.

C’est chien de dire ça, mais c’est vrai.
It’s a nasty thing to say, but it’s true.

C’est vraiment chien ce que t’as fait.
What you did was really mean.

C’est vraiment chien ce que je vais dire, mais…
What I’m about to say is really nasty, but…

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This ad comes from a website where job offers are posted: jobgo.ca.

I first came across this ad in the métro in Montréal (but I borrowed the image above from their website).

Magasiner : 6 heures
Gagner sa vie : 100 000 heures
AIME TA JOB.

Shopping: 6 hours
Earning a living: 100 000 hours
LOVE YOUR JOB.

There are two québécois usages in this ad.
Can you identify them?

1. The first québécois usage is magasiner. This verb means “to shop,” and it’s not used anywhere else in the French-speaking world. Similarly, the masculine noun magasinage means “shopping.” The people who do the shopping are called un magasineur or une magasineuse.

Spelling tip: These words derive from magasin, so they’re always spelled with an s (magasiner, magasinage, etc.) and never a z (magaziner, magazinage). They aren’t spelled with a z because they don’t derive from magazine.

magasiner en ligne
to shop online

faire un peu de magasinage
to take in a bit of shopping

magasiner un nouveau lit
to go shopping for a new bed
to shop around for a new bed

2. The second québécois usage is ta job. Elsewhere in the French-speaking world, job is masculine. Job is sometimes masculine in Québec too, particularly in writing. The feminine usage is much more of a spoken form. So, it’s kind of interesting to see the feminine form used in the ad above, rather than the masculine one.

Here’s an informal expression heard in Québec using la job:

Ça va faire la job!
That’ll do the job!
That’ll do the trick!

A related word is une jobine, which refers informally to smaller projects, temporary work, summer jobs, etc.

On the United Way Ottawa website, there’s a testimonial from a guy called Joshua about how the United Way helped him. He said: “(They) helped me find a job that wasn’t just a pay cheque: it’s a career.”

In the French translation of what Joshua said, we get a good sense of the difference between the words carrière and jobine: « Ils m’ont aidé à trouver une carrière, et pas juste une jobine avec un chèque de paie. »

Because job and jobine derive from the English “job,” they are pronounced with an English j sound, not a French one.

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