Posts Tagged ‘angry’

Here’s an adjective we haven’t seen yet on OffQc:


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Maude Schiltz uses the adjective crinqué in her book Ah shit, j’ai pogné le cancer (tome 1). Interestingly, she gave two different meanings to this adjective in two different spots in her book.

In the first example, which we’ll see in a moment, she used the informal expression full crinqué in the negative sense of “totally cranky.”

In the second example, she used the expression full crinqué again, this time in the positive sense of “totally pumped.”

full crinqué, negative sense

When Maude used the adjective crinqué in the negative sense of “cranky” on page 341, she was talking about quitting smoking. She explained that she’d quit, but not until after her holiday with her chum.

She wanted to wait so that she wouldn’t ruin the holiday by being cranky due to nicotine withdrawl. Her trip with her chum was going to be a special moment and she didn’t want to spoil it:

[…] je ne veux pas le gâcher en étant full crinquée à cause d’un manque de nicotine.
I don’t want to spoil it by being totally cranky because of a lack of nicotine.

I’m sure you noticed the similarity between the way the words “cranky” and crinqué sound.

In other contexts, crinqué can mean less cranky and more all-out angry (you’ll see an example below), but I think “cranky” works well in this example. Cranky is the mood that comes to mind when thinking about quitting smoking.

full crinqué, positive sense

A few pages later, on page 344, Maude uses the adjective crinqué again, this time in the positive sense of “pumped,” when talking about photos of her trip.

She explains to her friends in an email that she’ll send her holiday photos immediately upon returning home if she’s got the energy for it:

On revient lundi (11 mars), probablement vers 21 h. Peut-être que je vais être full crinquée pis que je vais vouloir vous envoyer des photos tout de suite, mais ouf, j’en doute. Je pense plutôt que je vais être épuisée […].
We’ll be back on Monday (11 March), probably around 9 p.m. I might be all pumped and want to send photos right away, but sheesh, I doubt it. I think I’m going to be too exhausted.

Two meanings?

How’s it possible for crinqué to take on these two different meanings?

Crinqué comes from the verb crinquer, meaning “to crank” or “to wind up.” For example, crinquer un jouet means “to wind up a toy.”

If it’s a person who’s “wound up,” or crinqué, it doesn’t take much imagination to see how that might be applied to someone both in anger or raring to go.

Here are two more examples found through Google that demonstrate this double meaning.

A Facebook update written by Étienne Drapeau begins:

Je me suis levé positif et crinqué ben raide ce matin… Je respire la bonne humeur et je sens que je vais être en feu en répétition aujourd’hui!
I woke up feeling positive and totally pumped this morning… I’m in a fantastic mood and I think I’m gonna be on fire at my rehearsal today!

It’s very obvious from the wording whether we’re dealing with the positive or negative sense of crinqué.

Remember, ben raide is an informal usage meaning “totally.”

Another Facebook update demonstrates crinqué in its opposite sense, the negative one:

Le monde est crinqué ben raide. Ça commence à se bitcher sur Facebook pour des opinions.
Everybody’s totally angry. People are starting to bitch at each other on Facebook for having an opinion.

Context, it’s important!

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First two French quotes written by Maude Schiltz, Ah shit, j’ai pogné le cancer (tome 1), Éditions de Mortagne, Boucherville (Québec), 2013.

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face de bœuf

In her book Ah shit, j’ai pogné le cancer, Maude talks about a psychologist at the hospital where she received chemotherapy.

The psychologist is arrogant and incompetent, and Maude dislikes her intensely. Tongue in cheek, she refers to the psychologist as “Barbie” throughout her book.

At one point, Maude happens to walk past Barbie in one of the hospital’s corridors. Still upset about Barbie’s poor behaviour from an earlier encounter, Maude says she gave Barbie the best nasty look she could muster:

Je lui ai fait mon plus bel air de bœuf.
I gave her my best nasty look.

Un air de bœuf is a look of nastiness or grumpiness. You’ll also come across the expression une face de bœuf, which is a nasty or grumpy looking face.

In Québec, don’t be surprised to hear the animal bœuf pronounced as beu, in both the singular and plural forms: un beu, deux beux.

Speaking of deux beux, maybe you’ll remember an entry on OffQc waaaay back in #177 where I mentioned that one of the tentative names for the TV show 19-2 was Deux beux. That’s because beux is also a slang word for cops, and the two protagonists in 19-2 are cops, deux beux.

But let’s get back to air de bœuf and face de bœuf (air de beu, face de beu). Here’s an example from a blog called Les aventures de la famille Cloutier-Beauséjour about an angry waitress:

On attend quelques minutes et la serveuse arrive avec sa face de bœuf. Elle nous garroche les ustensiles […].
We wait a few minutes and then the waitress shows up with a grumpy look on her face. She throws the utensils at us.

La Parlure also provides a useful example of air de bœuf (the c in donc is silent in this example):

Qu’est-ce qui se passe? T’as donc ben un air de bœuf!
What’s the matter? You look really grouchy!

So, there you go. Now you know — if you hear someone described as having an ox face, it’s because it looks like that person is in a bad mood with a grumpy or unfriendly look on the face.

avoir un air de bœuf
faire un air de bœuf
avoir une face de bœuf
faire une face de bœuf

As for Maude’s incompetent Barbie at the hospital, I had my own Barbie to deal with after my foot was crushed in an accident. My Barbie was a nurse though, not a psychologist, and I had a much less flattering name for her…

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First quote written by: Maude Schiltz, Ah shit, j’ai pogné le cancer, tome 1, Éditions de Mortagne, Boucherville (Québec), 2013, page 150.

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Décâlisse, tabarnak!

Décâlisse, tabarnak!

I witnessed an argument over an iPhone in a public place in Montréal yesterday where some colourful language was used…

A man in his 30s walked past a table where a man in his 60s was sitting. The older man was looking at his iPhone.

The younger man stopped about three metres away from the table where the older man was sitting and began to observe him intently. The older man didn’t like this, and he asked the younger man what exactly he was looking at.

That’s when the younger man explained that he had lost his iPhone in the area, and wanted to know if the iPhone the older man was using was really his own.

The older man got angry at the suggestion that he was using a lost or stolen phone. He then swore at the younger man telling him to get lost:

Go the fuck away!

The younger man asked if he could see the phone, and the older man swore at him again:

Décâlisse, tabarnak!
Go the fuck away, goddammit!

The younger man kept looking at the phone from where he was standing. He seemed pretty convinced that it might be his. He then challenged the older man by saying:

Tu viens avec moi. Tu veux parler fort? On va parler fort dehors.
You come with me. You wanna shout? We can go shout outside.

The older man just told the younger man where to go again:


The younger man then moved about seven metres away from the older man, wondering what he should do. After about a minute, he finally walked right up to the older man to take a really good look at the phone. After he looked, he backed off and said:

OK, c’est pas le mien. Tu vois? C’est pas compliqué. Je m’excuse.
OK, it’s not mine. You see? It’s not complicated. I’m sorry.

I don’t know who’s more to blame in this altercation!

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The STM is Montréal’s public transportation provider (bus and métro).

In French, the name is feminine: la STM.

Here are 3 things for you to learn in French that I’ve heard said by ruffled STM employees recently.

1. Madame, avec le carrosse!

Madame, with the baby carriage!
(i.e., hey you, with the baby carriage!)

This was shouted angrily by an STM employee in the Montréal métro.

The employee was angered by something a lady pushing a baby carriage had done, so she came running out of her ticket booth and yelled this before the lady could walk off.

I don’t know what the lady had done wrong, but I noticed her baby carriage was empty. Maybe she forgot the bundle of joy at the turnstile or something.

2. Let’s go! Let’s go!

Let’s go! Let’s go!
(i.e., hurry the fuck up, people!)

As people boarded the bus at a busy métro station, this was said by an STM employee standing on the pavement beside the bus door.

This employee was encouraging people to get on the bus faster. There was a long queue of people waiting to get on, and some people were taking their sweet time boarding the bus (as usual).

Obviously this expression is English, but you’ll definitely hear it in French too.

3. Déplacez-vous vers l’arrière, s’il vous plaît!

Please move to the back of the bus!
(i.e., will you people stop blocking the door goddamnit!)

An exasperated driver had to yell this a few times when riders of the bus kept crowding the front portion of the bus. There was room at the back of the bus for more standing passengers.

Sometimes when you board a bus, you’ll have to push your way through a wall of stubborn people all huddled together near the front door.

P.S. My respect to STM employees. I’d get pretty exasperated too if I were one.

Image: Wikipedia

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