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Posts Tagged ‘avoir la chienne’

A park for dogs to run around in (and their owners to cruise each other) in Montréal

A park for dogs to run around in (and their owners to cruise each other) in Montréal

We’ve seen the expression avoir la chienne before, but let’s review it. I was reminded of this expression while reading a text written by Véronique Grenier on Urbania called “Rides de char.”

J’ai la chienne!

Chienne is the feminine form of chien. When you’ve got the chienne, you’re terrified or frightened.

J’ai la chienne.
I’m terrified.

J’ai la chienne de faire ça.
I’m terrified of doing that.

J’avais la chienne.
I was terrified.

J’ai eu la chienne de ma vie!
I got the fright of my life!

While on the topic of having the chienne, now’s a good time to look at the difference between j’avais peur and j’ai eu peur.

J’ai eu peur is used to describe getting scared at a specific moment. J’avais peur is used to describe being scared over time.

J’avais peur.
I was scared.
(all morning, this afternoon, while watching a movie…)

J’ai eu peur.
I got scared.
(when I saw him, when that happened…)

The same distinction exists for avoir faim.

J’avais faim.
I was hungry.
(this morning, all night, during class…)

J’ai eu faim.
I got hungry.
(when I saw the cake, when I smelled the pizza…)

Going back to the original expression in this post, j’avais la chienne is used to talk about being terrified over time. In the example j’ai eu la chienne de ma vie, the speaker got the fright of his or her life at a specific moment when something happened.

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Je tripe fort sur les orignaux de jardin!

Je tripe fort sur les orignaux de jardin!

Review time!

Here are 51 example sentences to file away in the folder marked Québécois French in your head. Note: Some of these sentences are for a mature audience only and blah blah blah, this is OffQc.

Credit where credit is due — a very large number of these example sentences are heavily inspired by Maude Schiltz and the colloquial language found in her book Ah shit, j’ai pogné le cancer (tome 1).

I’ve included notes where I thought it would be helpful.

All of these example sentences feel like the sort of things you could say in everyday language situations with people you know well. These are not examples of formal language.

There’s an exception though, and that’s number 33. This example sentence isn’t strictly informal.

Are you getting excited? I am! We’re only a few posts away from #800, which means post #1000 will soon be poking its head on the horizon!

1. Je tripe fort sur les orignaux de jardin!
I’m totally crazy about garden moose!

Or should that be “garden meese”?
The singular of orignaux is orignal.

2. Y a été assez poche avec moi.
He was pretty bad to me.

Y a is an informal way of saying il a.
Y a sounds like yâ.

3. Là, ça va faire!
OK, that’s enough!
Right, enough is enough!

means “now,” but “now” doesn’t sound right in the translation here.

4. J’ai pris mes cliques pis mes claques.
I grabbed all my stuff.

Pis is pronounced pi.
Pis means “and” here.
You can use this expression when getting all your stuff together to move out quickly or when you’re being kicked out, for example.

5. J’ai sacré mon camp.
I got the hell outta there.

Camp is pronounced like quand.

6. Je commence à badtriper là-dessus.
I’m starting to freak out about it.

Badtriper is pronounced bade-tripé.
Use badtriper to talk about freaking out in a bad way (stress, worry, etc.).

7. C’t’une joke, capote pas!
I’m just kidding, calm down!

C’t’une is an informal pronunciation of c’est une.
C’t’une sounds like stune.
Use capoter to talk about losing one’s calm.

8. Je tripe là-dessus solide.
I’m totally crazy about it.

9. Chu down depuis hier.
I feel down since yesterday.

Chu is an informal pronunciation of je suis.
Down
is pronounced like its English equivalent.

10. Y mérite que je le câlisse là.
He deserves for me to fuckin’ dump him.

Y is an informal pronunciation of il.

11. Chu sorti avec ma gang de bureau.
I went out with my group from the office.

Chu is an informal pronunciation of je suis.
Gang
sounds like its English equivalent.

12. C’est ben correct si t’aimes pas ça.
It’s perfectly fine if you don’t like it.

Correct is pronounced informally as correc.

13. On s’est quitté sur une note poche.
We left each other on a bad note.

14. J’ai pogné mon chum à cruiser des filles.
I caught my boyfriend going after girls.

Cruiser is pronounced crouzé.

15. Ça, c’est le boutte le fun!
That’s the fun part!

Boutte is an informal pronunciation of bout.

16. Je file tout croche.
I feel bad. I don’t feel well.

17. J’ai pété une sale coche.
I lost my temper big time.

Péter is pronounced pèté.

18. J’ai tripé en crisse.
I had a hell of a great time.

19. Je trouve que c’est de la bullshit.
I think that’s bullshit.

Bullshit is pronounced boulechitte.

20. Y pogne avec les filles.
He’s lucky with girls. Girls find him hot.

Y is an informal pronunciation of il.

21. Le timing a pas été bon.
The timing wasn’t good.

22. J’ai de la misère à le croire.
I’m having a hard time believing him.

23. J’ai fait freaker tout le monde.
I freaked everybody out.

Freaker is pronounced friquer.

24. J’ai pogné un down.
I’m feeling really down.

Down is pronounced like its English equivalent.

25. T’es vraiment magané ce matin.
You’re in really rough shape this morning.

T’es is an informal contraction of tu es.
T’es
sounds like té.

26. J’ai la chienne de me faire mal.
I’m terrified of getting hurt.

27. Y est carrément épeurant, ce gars-là.
He’s downright scary, that guy.

Y est is an informal pronunciation of il est.
Y est sounds like yé.
Carrément is pronounced cârrément.
Gars is pronounced gâ.

28. T’es cheap en maudit, toi!
You’re so damn cheap!

T’es is an informal contraction of tu es.
T’es
sounds like té.
Cheap here is used in the sense of not liking to spend money.

29. Tu te fais bullshitter solide.
You’re getting played solid, lied to big time.
He (she, they, etc.) is totally bullshitting you.

Bullshitter is pronounced boulechitté.

30. Je file cheap en maudit.
I feel so damn bad.

Cheap sounds like its English equivalent.
Cheap here is used in the sense of feeling like a low-life.

31. C’est pour le fun!
It’s just for fun!

32. Chu raqué et j’ai mal à la gorge.
I’m sore all over and I have a sore throat.

Chu is an informal pronunciation je suis.

33. Le brigadier scolaire a fait traverser des écoliers.
The crossing guard helped some schoolchildren to cross.

34. Le français québécois, c’est tripant!
Québécois French is such a blast!

35. On m’a booké un rendez-vous.
They booked me an appointment.

Booker is pronounced bouké.

36. Y a pogné le creux de la vague.
He’s down in the dumps.

Y a is an informal pronunciation of il a.
Y a sounds like yâ.

37. Arrête de m’écoeurer avec ça.
Stop nagging me about that.
Stop driving me nuts about that.

38. La semaine s’annonce rough.
Looks like a rough week ahead.

Rough is pronounced roffe.

39. T’es full pas de classe, toi.
You’re so unclassy.

T’es is an informal contraction of tu es.
T’es
sounds like té.
Full sounds like foule.

40. Je file pas ben pantoute.
I don’t feel good at all.

41. Shit, tu viens de passer sur la rouge!
Shit, you just went through a red (light)!

Sur la is often pronounced informally as s’a.

42. Peux-tu checker ça avec ton patron?
Can you check that with your boss?

Checker sounds like the English word “check” followed by é.

43. Es-tu game de faire ça demain?
Are you up for doing it tomorrow?

Game sounds like its English equivalent.

44. T’es aussi ben de l’appeler aujourd’hui.
You better call him today.

T’es is an informal contraction of tu es.
T’es
sounds like té.

45. Crisse-moi patience!
Leave me the hell alone!

46. Ces produits sont pleins de chnoute.
These products are full of crap.

47. Le médecin m’a gelé ben comme faut.
The doctor drugged me up good.

Ben comme faut is an informal way of saying bien comme il faut.

48. Chu vraiment tanné d’entendre ça.
I’m really sick of hearing that.

Chu is an informal pronunciation je suis.

49. Des livres, j’en ai un char pis une barge.
I’ve got heaps and heaps of books.

Pis is pronounced pi.
Pis means “and” here.

50. C’est un crisse de gros cave.
He’s a huge goddamn idiot.

Don’t mistakenly pronounce cave like an English word.
Cave is a French word and rhymes with bave.

51. On l’a pogné à se crosser sur la job.
They caught him jerking off on the job.

Sur la is often pronounced informally as s’a.

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You’ll definitely want to check out this tumblr:

Notre Québec : Un crayon français, des mots québécois

French tumblr-er MarieBee (real-life Marie-Bénédict Jacquemin) picks a Québécois French expression and puts it into a deliciously sketched image.

When you mouse over the image, its definition appears.

She’s drawn some expressions that we’ve already seen on OffQc, like:

Y cogne des clous
He’s nodding off to sleep
Review on OffQc here

Eille, casse-toi pas le bécik!
Hey, don’t complicate things on yourself!
Review on OffQc here

Y’est parti y’inque s’une gosse
He left lickety-split
Review on OffQc here

Tire-toi une bûche
Pull up a seat
Review on OffQc here

Il a eu la chienne
He took a fright
Review on OffQc here

An expression we haven’t looked at is c’est pas chaud pour la pompe à l’eau, explained as such: se dit d’un climat qui est frisquet au point d’être perceptible pour les organes génitaux. [!]

Thanks to Maude for pointing me to this.

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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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