Posts Tagged ‘ben raide’

In a conversation, a guy said j’capote avec ça ben raide.

When someone says j’capote, you can be sure that person has lost their calm.

What you need the context to tell you though is if the person has lost their calm in a good way (because of excitement, happiness…) or in a bad way (because of anger, worry…).

J’ai gagné! J’capote!
I won! I’m so happy! I’m so excited!

J’capote… j’ai perdu toutes mes photos.
I’m freaking out… I lost all my photos.

The guy who said j’capote avec ça ben raide used j’capote in its negative sense. He was distressed.

J’capote avec ça ben raide.
I’m totally freaking out about it.

Ben raide is an informal intensifier, similar in meaning to English’s totally. Remember, ben is pronounced bin. It sounds like the French word bain. The informally contracted j’capote sounds like ch’capote.

The guy didn’t just say capoter – he said capoter avec.

Capote pas avec ça.
Arrête don’ de capoter avec ça.
Don’t freak out about it/that.
Stop freaking out about it/that.

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I’m working on a new downloadable guide for purchase. Now that OffQc is approaching 1000 posts, this guide will be a condensed version of all the language that has appeared here over the last four years.

The guide will contain 1000 example sentences from the conversational level of Québécois French, each example accompanied by usage and pronunciation notes. It’s looking really good so far (and big! I’m about 60% of the way through). I’m really excited to make it available because it’s going to make a serious difference to your knowledge of Québécois French to have everything together in one file.

Everybody who’s bought C’est what? or Say it in French has automatically been entered into a draw to receive a free copy of it when it’s ready. (I’ve got everybody’s email address.) If you bought both, you’ve been entered twice. When it’s ready, I’ll pick 5 winners. I’ll also add to the draw anybody who buys C’est what? or Say it in French between now and the release date of the new guide. 🙂

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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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Club Athlétique Mansfield

Club Athlétique Mansfield

I took a photo of these two signs just outside the Club Athlétique Mansfield. Maybe you’ll remember this health club from the motivational signs we looked at a few hundred entries ago in Fuck the excuses (#611) and Be better than your best excuse (#623).

In the first sign, raide means “stiff.”

Un peu raide?
A little stiff?

The word raide is also used informally in Québecois French in the sense of “totally,” often in the word pair ben raide.

Je tripe ben raide sur l’accent québécois!
I totally love the québécois accent!

Chu dans marde ben raide.
I’m so totally screwed.

Je capote raide sur ce gars-là.
I totally love that guy.

Courbaturé from the second sign means “aching” and “sore,” like after a strenuous workout or when you’ve got a cold or the flu. In Québec, an informal word you’ll hear used in the same sense as courbaturé is raqué.

We saw an example of raqué in entry #796:

Je suis raqué et j’ai mal à la gorge.
I’m aching and I’ve got a sore throat.

Guess what?

We can use the words raqué and raide in one new extra-québécois phrase to replace the text on the courbaturé sign:

Raqué ben raide?
Totally sore all over?

If it helps you to remember, the word raqué sounds like the medieval punishment where victims were tortured on the rack.

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