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Posts Tagged ‘bébite’

cochon d’Inde

And here you thought I totally forgot about part 2 of our mini-series about the Québécois French word bibitte

Actually, you’re right — I did forget. So let’s look at part 2 right now before I forget again!

In part 1, we saw that bibitte can be used to talk about bugs in Québecois French. If you haven’t read part 1, you can read it now and come back.

In part 1, we saw this example:

J’haïs ça les bibittes!
I hate bugs!

Now here’s part 2. Below are examples pulled from the wonderful world of the world-wide web. (I’ve made minor changes for simplicity.)

In a forum online where users discussed the animal they most feared, one commenter said:

Je truste pas les lapins. J’aime vraiment pas ça pantoute. Les cochons d’Inde pis toutes ces bibittes-là aussi.

I don’t trust rabbits. I really don’t like them one bit. Same goes for guinea pigs and all those kinds of critters.

Not only does the commenter dislike those bibittes, he doesn’t even trust them, il les « truste » pas (from the informal borrowed-from-English verb truster, which sounds like troster).

On a different site, a blog author had this to say about chickens:

Même si les poulets sont assez sédentaires, ça vole ces bibittes-là!

Even if chickens mostly just sit around all the time, those creatures can fly!

OK, so we’ve got one person who used bibitte to talk about rabbits and guinea pigs, and another who used it to talk about chickens. Let’s keep going.

This next blog author talks about the time she and her boyfriend made a discovery in the trunk of their old Buick 77 left parked in a barn:

Rendu chez ses parents à Thetford, il ouvre son coffre… ça couinait! Mon chum qui déteste ces bibittes-là, je prends des gants et commence la fouille […].

Once he got to his parents place in Thetford, he opened the trunk… something was squealing in it! My boyfriend hates those kinds of critters, so I grabbed some gloves and began searching (in the trunk).

The author goes on to explain that she found four squealing baby mice in the trunk of the car.

The author called the trunk le coffre. You’ll also hear francophones in Québec call the trunk of a car la valise.

There’s also a Wiktionnaire entry dedicated to bibitte. An example there reads:

— Viens-tu, on va aller voir les serpents!
— Ouh! Non, j’aime pas tellement ça, moi, ces bibittes-là.

— Come on, let’s go see the snakes!
— Ooh no, I don’t really like those things.

Rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, mice, snakes… What does the Usito dictionary from Québec make of all this?

In entry number 2 under bibitte, it says:

BIBITE ou BIBITTE, n.f.
2. Petite bête, souvent sauvage.

“A small creature, often wild.”

So now you can add this second use to your knowledge of the word bibitte:

2. Critters (and other beasts), often wild, often small and furry… but not always!

1. Bugs!

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In the last post I said we’d take a look at the word une bibitte in an entry of its own — but I think we’ll do it as a mini-series instead. Here’s part 1.

Before all else, know that this word has spelling and pronunciation variants, like bibitte, bibite, bébitte, bébite. In quotes, I’ll use whatever variant the author used, and bibitte everywhere else.

J’haïs ça les bibittes… Je parle des insectes longs de même qui sont laites en tabarnak.

1. Bugs!

The first thing to know about the feminine word bibitte is that it can be used to talk about bugs.

Here’s what a blog author had to say:

C’est le retour du beau temps, tout le monde s’en est aperçu. Mais qu’est-ce qui va de pair (malheureusement) avec l’été? Les *?&%$ de bibittes sales. Pis moi, j’haïs ça les bibittes, bon. Pas les moustiques ou les mouches noires. Nenon. Je parle des insectes longs de même qui sont laites en tabarnak.

The nice weather is back, as everybody’s noticed. But (unfortunately) what comes with summer? Those *?&%$ nasty bugs. And me, I so hate bugs. Not mosquitos and black flies. No, no. I’m talking about those really long ugly-as-all-fuck insects.

In fact, there might be even more than just bibitte in that quote that’s new to you, like:

pis moi, and as for me
j’haïs ça, I hate that (j’haïs sounds like ja-i)
j’haïs ça les bibittes, I hate bugs
nenon, no no
longs de même = longs comme ça (imagine the author indicating the size of the bugs with her fingers and saying “this long,” longs de même)
laite, ugly (informal pronunciation of laid)
laite en tabarnak, fucking ugly

We can understand the *?&%$ in les *?&%$ de bibittes sales to stand for a swear word, like esti. So les esti de bibittes sales means fucking nasty bugs.

OK, so that’s the first usage of bibitte. If you want to remember just one thing from the quote, then remember this: j’haïs ça les bibittes, I hate bugs. Why is that ça in there? Just ‘cos, ok! J’haïs ça les abeilles. J’haïs ça les dentistes. J’haïs ça les arbres. Whatever! Don’t forget: j’haïs is pronounced ja-i.

Continue on to part 2.

Image credit: Espace pour la vie

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